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Colonial Cases

Somerset

British Chronicle, 15 April 1766
 A letter from Frome, in Somersetshire, menions, that a weaver near that town cut his throat in so shocking a manner that he soon expired.
  The day following two of his brothers being at work together in a field about five miles distant from that town, having some words they proceeded to blows, when one of them struck the other so violent a blow on the head with a sickle, that he expired soon after.  The Coroner's inquest brought in their verdict wilful murder, for which the surviving brother is to be tried at the present assizes for that county.

 

Gloucester Journal, 17 August 1767

Bath, August 13. Monday was committed to Shepton-Mallet gaol, Richard Millard, aged upwards of 80, for the murder of his wife on Sunday morning, at Compton-Martin, in this county, by knocking her down with a hatchet, and cutting her head almost off with a bill-hook.  The Coroner's inquest brought in their verdict wilful murder.

 

The Observer, 8 July 1798

   A man employed in sinking a well at Glastonbury, last week, having blown up a rock at the bottom of it, descended before the smoke, &c. of the powder had evaporated - and was immediately suffocated.  Two lads descending to his assistance, head nearly shared the same fate, both being drawn up senseless, and with difficulty recovered.

 

The Times, 14 November 1799
  Last week an inquest was taken at llminster, Somerset, on the body of a poor stranger, found in a most wretched condition, in a distant field; when, painful to relate, the verdict was: Died from the want of necessary food, raiment, and cleanliness.
  Friday se'nnight John Atyeo, a shearman, belonging to the manufactory at Twerton, near Bath, in endeavouring to pass over, in the dark, a piece of water near the mill, was unfortunately drowned.

 

The Observer, 5 January 1800

BATH. - On the evening of Monday se'nnight, W. Dench, a waggoner, in the service of Mr. Wiltshire, was found dead on the Chippingham road; and the coroner's inquest supposing his death to have been occasioned by the wheels of the waggon grazing his head and hurting the brain, found a verdict accordingly.  An anonymous letter, however, to Mr. Wiltshire, and a variety of concurring circumstances, induced suspicion that H. Boulter, an occasional waggoner, and a fellow of a very bad character, had murdered him, he was in consequence apprehended, and has been committed to Devizes gaol; and this day (Friday) the body of Dench was dug up, and the head opened before a fresh inquest, when a piece of iron, a cinder, some paper wadding, and some gunpowder, were found in the interior part of the brain.  The verdict - Died by a pistol shot.

 

The Observer, 2 February 1800

WELLS. - Monday morning J. Stride, a master tailor, was found dead in a stream of water, with his shoes and hat off, his throat cut from ear to ear, and several stabs in his body. - Verdict Lunacy.

 

The Observer, 1 June 1800

   The son of Mr. Simon, of the New bridge, Bath, on Thursday evening fell from a boat into the river, and was drowned.

 

The Observer, 17 June 1801

   Some nights ago a quarrel took place at a public-house at Radstock between a pedlar and a blacksmith, in which some blows were exchanged with sticks; it was recommended by a by-stander that they should go out and box to decide it, when the pedlar snatched up a knife and stabbed the smith to the heart.  The murdered was committed to Shepton gaol by the Coroner, whose verdict was wilful murder.

 

The Observer, 23 January 1803

   Tuesday C. Fitcher, a journeyman sadler, at Bath, hung himself at his lodgings in that city.  He had been discharged from his situation a few days before, and was to have been married to a respectable young woman on the following Sunday.  He was found and cut down by a fellow-lodger, who last year did the same office for a journeyman baker.

 

The Observer, 13 February 1803

   A fine girl, two years of age, at Widecomb, near Bath, some days since playing with the fire in the absence of her mother, was burnt to death.  The brother of the little sufferer, a year older, narrowly escaped the same fate.

 

The Observer, 13 February 1803

ACCIDENTS BY FIRE.

   A child was burnt to death at Froom last week, in consequence of playing with a lighted stick.

 

The Observer, 13 March 1803

   The following instance of remorse of conscience occurred a few days since, at Criscomb, near Wells.  A young man in the service of a farmer, had been prevailed on, by his father, to rob his master of hay, and was detected by his mistress in the act of putting it on his father's shoulders; he received some reproaches from the matron, but was promised forgiveness on the hay being returned.  Then unhappy youth, however, in a state of despondency, hung himself the same evening in an out-house.  The Coroner's Jury returned a verdict of felo de se, but that part of the sentence which directs the body to be buried in the highway, was dispensed with.

 

The Observer, 25 September 1803

   An inquest was taken last week at Chard, on Ann Trash, a young girl, 16 years of age.  She was employed by a farmer in the neighbourhood, who, on account of a trifling theft, dismissed her; when, dreading to inform her parents of her disgrace, she called on a neighbour, borrowed a penny, and procured a small quantity of arsenic, for the pretended purpose of poisoning rats.  It appeared that she swallowed the deleterious drug the next morning, and soon died in the greatest agonies.  The jury returned a verdict of felo de se, and she was buried in a cross road.

 

The Observer, 6 November 1803

   A few days since the eldest daughter of Mr. Tipp, a respectable tradesman of Bleadon, Somerset, accidentally set her clothes on fire, and was so dreadfully burnt that she immediately expired in the greatest agony. - Mr. W. Tipp, her cousin, about 20 years of age, was so deeply seized with a paroxysm of phenzy, on the occasion, that he destroyed himself!

 

The Observer, 6 November 1803

Tuesday as Mrs. Collet, an elderly Lady of Bath, was crossing Paragon Buildings, on over-driven ox tossed, trampled on, and gored her in so shocking a manner, as to cause her immediate death.

 

The Observer, 22 January 1804

Wednesday an inquest was taken at Bath on the wife of J. Weaver, shoemaker, of Lambridge-Place, Walcot, whose death was reported to have been occasioned by the ill-usage of her husband; but it appeared that her fate was the consequence of intoxication, having gone to bed in that state, and arose after her husband was asleep to go intro another room, when she fell down stairs and fractured her skull.

 

The Observer, 5 February 1804

   An inquest was taken a few days ago at Chillingham, Somerset, on a young man, who, going home much in liquor, accidentally fell through the floor of an old room, and remained suspended by the arms between the joists till he was suffocated.

 

The Observer, 4 March 1804

   Six Inquisitions were last week taken by the Coroner for Somerset, on children and adults who had met with death by various accidents: amnion them was a lad of the parish of Colford, who had been killed by the crank of a waterwheel.  He was supposed to have been playing near the wheel, when the crank caught him between the stick, and cut off the right thigh close to the body with as much precision as of performed by a surgical instrument;  the left leg and thigh were both fractured in a dreadful manner; but it is remarkable, that in tins state, he crawled away from the wheel, and lived four hours without experiencing the last pain till within two minutes of his death; he even had the courage to drag home the amputated limb to the distance of a mile!  -  This account, extraordinary as it is, is published on the authority of the Coroner.

 

The Observer, 8 July 1804

   Inquests were last week held in the neighbourhood of Bath, on two children, both of whom met their death by falling into wells.

 

Cambrian, 25 August 1804

   A melancholy accident happened last week on the road between Barnstaple and Ilfracombe: whilst a loaded market-waggon, with four female passengers sitting in front, was going down a steep hill, the horses took fright, and precipitated both goods and passengers into the road; two of the women were killed on the spot, a third had both her thighs broken, and is since dead, but the fourth escaped with some slight bruises.

 

Cambrian, 4 February 1804

Wednesday an inquest was held on the body of the wife of John Weaver, shoemaker, of Lambridge-place, Walcot, Bath.  It appeared that she went to bed intoxicated; and afterwards rose and endeavoured to reach another room for her snuff-box, but fell down stairs, where she was found by her husband the next morning quite dead, her skull having been fractured by the fall.

 

Cambrian, 2 March 1805

   Thursday last, an inquest was taken on an old man 75 years of age, who strangled himself in his dwelling-house, in Castle-Cary, Somerset.  So determined was he on the commission of the crime, that he sat at his bedside, and fixed the cord parallel to his neck, and so forcibly bent himself forward; and any time having it in his power to relieve himself; what is very extraordinary, his wife, who for many years has been confined to her bed, was in the room, and knew nothing of it until he was found dead.  No cause whatever could be assigned that could   induce him to the act. - Verdict, felo de se; of course he was buried in a cross-road.

 

The Observer, 1 September 1805

   On Monday morning last, a Gentleman shot himself at Bath.  The Coroner's Inquest returned a verdict - Lunacy.

 

Glamorgan Gazette, 9 February 1833
  The Taunton Courier gives the following account of the discovery of a murder committee near that town twenty-four years ago, and of the apprehension of the alleged perpetrators of the horrid deed:- In June, 1808, the body of Patrick Chatsey was found in the river at Creech St. Michael, about three miles from this town.  The deceased was a drummer in the 19th Regiment of Foot, commanded by Captain Lockyer, and had suddenly disappeared on the second or third of December preceding.  An inquest was held on the body before the then Coroner for this part of the county, and after a long investigation, rendered more than ordinarily difficult by the decomposed state of the body, which had evidently remained several weeks in the water, a verdict of "found drowned" was returned. Some suspicious circumstance connected with the death of the deceased transpired at the time, and four persons - John Brooks, Charles Way, Anthony Jerrard, and John Monk, alias Monkton, were supposed to be implicated in the alleged murder of the deceased; but after a slight investigation, the imputation was not persisted on, although at various periods since insinuations of their guilt have been made by different persons.  On Thursday last, Jerrard, who now is, and was at the time of Chatsey's disappearance, landlord of the Black-boy public-house, in Black-boy-lane, in this town, was drinking at the George Inn, when a wrangle ensued between him and Mr. Ricketts, Veterinary Surgeon, in the course of which a person present, in an under tone, suggested to Mr. Rickets that he should ask Jerrard "what had become of the drummer's money?"  Upon this Jerrard observed that 'he neither stole the money, nor did he kill him, but he knew who did.' This expression was followed by a detail of particulars, which led to further inquiry, and induced the magistrates to issue a warrant of apprehension against the prisoners before mentioned.  A diligent and strictly secret examination of various persons likely to throw light on the affair has been continued fort two days, at the Wilton Gaol, where the prisoners are in custody, and the investigation is to be resumed.

 

The Observer, 28 September 1806

   The lady of J. Holman, Esq., at Bath, was last week delivered of a daughter, which expired shortly after, but the mother is in a fair way of recovery.  She had been married thirteen years, without having any issue.

 

The Times, 7 August 1807
Sunday last, at the annual wake at Stoke-Edith, Somersetshire. John Jones was killed, during a battle with John Bell.  On the Coroner's Inquest, it appearing that the contest had been previously concerted between the parties, and that they shook hands, in token of feeling no malice, before they set to, the Jury returned a Verdict of Chance Medley.

 

Cambrian, 16 August 1807

On Sunday, at the annual wake at Stoke-Edith, Somersetshire, John Jones was killed, during a battle with John Bull.  On the Coroner's inquest, it appearing that the contrast had been previously concerted between the parties, and that they shook hands, before they set to, the jury returned, a verdict of chance medley.

 

The Observer, 3 January 1808

   A few says since an inquest was held on a woman and little girl, who having mistake their way, owing to the darkness of the night, fell into a pond in the parish of West Pannard, Somersetshire, and were downed.

 

Cambrian, 27 February 1808

Suicide.

A melancholy instance of suicide occurred on Sunday morning last.  A gentleman of respectability from Bath, cut his throat, and otherwise lacerated himself, in a shocking manner.  The unfortunate gentleman had been confined to his room for some days, through illness, and at ten o'clock on the above morning, the servant girl hearing him groan, looked through the key hole of his chamber door, and discovered him weltering in his blood.  Medical assistance was procured; but the wounds he had inflicted upon himself were such as to occasion b his almost immediate death. A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body the same day, when it appeared that he had before, on several occasions, discovered string symptoms of mental derangement.  - Verdict, Lunacy.  The deceased was seventy years of age.

 

The Observer, 14 August 1808

   A Coroner's Inquest was found a verdict of justifiable homicide in the case of the young man who was shot in the neighbourhood of Bath, by the High Constable in dispersing what he considered a riotous meeting.  The officer is fortunate in this decision, for we are amongst the number of those who thought the act might have admitted of a different construction.

 

Cambrian, 31 December 1808

Friday night, about twelve o'clock, a most dreadful murder was committed at the Bell public-house, in Stall-street, Bath; the perpetrator's name is Taylor, son of Mrs. Roy, the landlady, who shot John Dyer, a mail-coachman, dead on the spot, and with another pistol shot W. Guyon, likewise a mail-coachman, through the jaws, and who now lies in  a deplorable state.  The horrid catastrophe originated in a gambling dispute, an affray ensued, when Taylor, left the room, ran up stairs, procured the pistols, and resorted to the fatal measure. - The wretch is in custody.

 

Cambrian, 15 April 1809

At Somerset assizes, twelve prisoners received sentence of death, but were all reprieved, except James Taylor, for the wilful murder of John Dyer, a coachman, at a public-house in Bath; the particulars of which, as far as they could be collected at the period of the unfortunates transaction, were then given to our readers.  It appeared that the prisoner, the deceased, Guion and Johnson, coachmen, and Rice, a tailor, were tossing for liquor and money on the evening of the fatal event, and a scuffle ensuing, Taylor went up stairs, and returned in a few minutes with a loaded pistol in each hand, fired one at Guion (whose wound did not prove mortal) and the other at Dyer, which killed him instantly. - Taylor was executed on Monday; he was only 22 years old, and has left a wife, to whom he had been married but a few months.

 

Cambrian, 25 November 1809

A most dreadful murder and robbery was committed on the evening of Tuesday se'nnight at Coalhurst, near Bridgewater: Thomas Gage, a servant to Mr. Henry Styling, murdered his master's wife, by cutting her head quite open with a hatchet; he then robbed the house of two ten-pound notes, a watch, and various other articles; afterwards he stole his master's mare, and with his booty rode off, and has not since been heard of.

 

Carmarthen Journal, 14 November 1812

   Saturday se'nnight, as James Sparks was driving two harnessed horses through Shepton Mallet, Somersetshire, the chain of the hind one accidentally caught a ladder, on which two workmen, named Stokes and Barnes, were standing, and dragged the ladder to a considerable distance, precipitating the two unfortunate men to the ground.  Stokes was so much bruised that no hopes are entertained of his recovery; the other received a dreadful contusion on his head and arm, but is recovered.

 

Cambrian, 9 January 1813

Horrid Murders near Frome. -

 On Monday se'nnight Mr. Webb, a respectable farmer, at Roddenbury-hill, near Frome, was murdered while sitting in his chair.  The dreadful deed was discovered in the following manner: - On Tuesday morning a young woman called on her sister, who lived in the farmer's service; her repeated knocks at the door being unnoticed, she opened it, and found Mr. Webb on the floor by the side of his chair, weltering in his blood -m having been shot through the arm, and his head dreadfully shattered. On her alarming the neighbourhood, a further search was made; when the body of the female servant was discovered in a bucket well, with her throat cut!  It is supposed that she was endeavouring to escape from the scene of horror, when the villains overtook her and deprived her of existence.  The Jury sat on the bodies.  Verdict - Wilful Murder against some person or persons unknown.

 

Cambrian, 18 June 1814

      Murder and Robbery. - Tuesday night, between the hours of nine and ten o'clock, as Mr. William Fowler, a respectable farmer of Chew-magna, was returning from Bristol market, he as stopped by a footpad, near the Maidenhead at Dundry; when springing from the cart, as is supposed with a view to protract his property, he was shot through the head.  The report of the pistol frightened the horse, but the young woman leaped out at the tail of the cart, and proceeded to a carpenter's shop about 200 yards from the spot, where she procured assistance, and on her return found the deceased rifled of all his property.  He has left a wife and four children.  A tremendous storm of thunder and lightning which was raging at the time, did not deter the hardened villains from the commission of so abominable a crime.

 

Cambrian, 27 August 1814

   At Somerset Assizes, Mary-Ann Adlam, formerly of Bath, straw-hat-maker, for stabbing her husband in a violent quarrel, on the 18th of May last, and of which wound he died, was found guilty of manslaughter, and sentenced to six months' imprisonment.  On the verdict being given, Mrs. A. fell into strong convulsions.  On recovering, the Judge told her, that, seeing the state of her feelings he should not add to her distress by enlarging on her offence.  The Court was crowded to excess; and, on hearing the exculpatory evidence, great commiseration was evinced for the unhappy woman by the whole Court.

 

Cambrian, 27 August 1814

      The unfortunate Miss Welchman, who was inhumanly murdered in London, is the daughter of a very respectable farmer, of Street, near Glastonbury; and about four years ago was an assistant at Miss Coles's, milliner, of Bath, where she was much esteemed for her uniformly good conduct, and agreeable manners.  The perpetrator id this horrid deed has a brother residing in Bath, who has for many years followed his business as a baker, with the utmost credit and respectability.

 

The Observer, 8 January 1815

FATAL ACCIDENTS.

A man and woman travelling last week in a gig from Taunton to Chard were upset in passing the precipice at Castle-in-Roche, in consequence of which the man was killed on the spot, and the woman had her thigh broken, and the vehicle was dashed to pieces.  From the summit of the hill to the abyss into which they fell, the depth is not less than 300 feet.

 

Cambrian, 18 March 1815

   Friday morning, a dreadful accident occurred on the river Avon, nearly opposite Kelston-House: A canal boat, laden with timber, suddenly sunk without a moment's notice; a man and boy saved themselves by swimming, but the man's wife and three children who were in the cabin, sunk with the boat, and were irretrievably lost.

 

Cambrian, 25 March 1815

   Wednesday afternoon, a most distressing accident took place at Mr. Napper's clothing factory, Froome, by the bursting of the steam engine boiler; by which unfortunate circumstance five persons were killed, and two severely injured.  A Coroner's Inquest was held on Saturday. Verdict, Accidental Death.

 

The Cambrian, 15 April 1815

   On Saturday, a deplorable accident happened at one of the Timsbury coal-works, near Bath: - Six men having imprudently mounted on a basket of coal on its ascent to the mouth of the pit, and having been drawn up a considerable way, the rope, from being over weighted, broke, and they were precipitated to the bottom; four were taken up dead, and the other two survived but a short time.

 

The Cambrian, 15 April 1815

   Taunton, April 8. - The Assizes for this county terminated yesterday.  The principal interest was excited by the proceedings respecting a collier who was killed in the Bristol road in September last.  A verdict of manslaughter was at that time pronounced by the coroner's inquest against J. Wiltshire, Esq. the son of a most respectable gentleman near Bath.  A bill of indictment for murder was presented on Tuesday morning, but was unanimously thrown out by the Grand Jury.  A bill being then presented for manslaughter was returned a true bill, and on Wednesday Mr. Wiltshire was brought to his trial.  All the circumstances of this unfortunate affair then underwent the fullest investigation, in consequence of which the jury returned a verdict of not guilty.  [More on his character evidence.]

 

Cambrian, 16 September 1815

   As Mr. Basset, of Linton, Somersetshire, was sitting with his family of four children, on Friday night, four fellows entered, and beat them so dreadfully that Mr. Basset was left dead, and his eldest daughter, sixteen years of age, is not expected to recover.  They carried off 90l. in notes.

 

Cambrian, 30 September 1815

   On Thursday, at the York-house, Bath, after lingering forty-three hours, in consequence of having dreadfully fractured his leg, in leaping from the roof of the Birmingham coach, at Swanswick, (conceiving the coach to be in a perilous situation, the leaders becoming unmanageable from taking fright at an ass lying bin the road), James Lloyd Harris, Esq. of Cheltenham, in the 35th year of his age.

 

Cambrian, 18 October 1817

Shocking Circumstance. - On Saturday blast a most shocking circumstance occurred in the village of Wentfield, Somersetshire. - A young man, the son of a farmer, whose name we forbear to mention, had professed an ardent affection for the daughter of a neighbour, whose circumstances were too low to gain the sanction of the youth's parents for a union.  The poor girl was possessed of a greater share of discretion than her lover, and refused to consent to a private marriage, convinced that it would only be a source of unhappiness intimately to both.  It was in vain that he used every persuasion his passion could devise, she remained resolute, and he came to the horrid determination of putting an end to the existence of the girl and himself. He succeeded but too well.  He possessed himself of a double-barrelled pistol, and after more fruitless endeavours to make her swerve from her sense of duty, he hastily took from his pocket the pistol and fired, but from what cause is not known, it burst, and dreadfully wounded the girl, as well as shattering his right hand all to pieces.  She fell, and as he thought, probably lifeless; he then took from his pocket a knife, which he constantly wore about him, and stabbed himself in many parts of his neck and body.  The bodies were found very shortly after the horrible catastrophe, but neither was dead.  The girl is expected to recover, but no hopes are cherished of his recovery. - Morning Chronicle.

 

The Cambrian, 29 September 1817

   On Wednesday last, a distressing and fatal accident occurred to S. M. Waring, Esq. of Grosvenor-place, in this city, the particulars of which we are the rather anxious to give on authority, as some misstatement has taken place on the subject.

   His friend and pupil, C. Baynes, Esq. son of Gen. Baynes, of this city, had driven him out for a  morning ride on the Kelston road, in a hired gig, the shafts of which, it seems, were too small for the horse, and galled his flanks.  The animal in consequence became uneasy soon after setting out, and his rearing induced Mr. W. hastily to alight, in doing which he hurt his side.  However, the horse seeming to be pacified, he mounted again.  But in returning to Bath, soon after passing Kelston, the horse became furious, and set off with ungovernable speed; and while Mr. B.'s attention was rivetted on driving, or rather guiding the animal, so as to keep clear of carts, &c., he scarcely perceived for some time that Mr. W. had thrown himself out of the gig backwards, and, on perceiving it, secretly congratulated himself that at least his respected tutor, he hoped, was out of danger. After racing two miles or more, his horse was stopped by a person on the road; and presently a boy came up to him on a pony, saying his companion was sadly hurt.  The pony was put into the gig, and Mr. B., driving back, saw his friend dead, of as severe contusion on the back of the head, occasioned by his fall.  That sight overcame him, and he instantly fainted. .  .  .  .   Mr. Waring was conveyed to an a adjoining house, to await the coroner's inquest, which resulted in a verdict of Accidental Death. [Burial; biography.]

 

Cambrian, 31 January 1818

An Awful death. - On the 13th inst. a sheriff's officer went to the house of Peter Holway, a farmer, near Wellington, in the county, to levy an execution for 14l. His wife upbraided Holway for not having informed her of his being served with the initiatory process, as in that case the expences might have been avoided.  In the course of her reproaches she expressed a wish that he was dead.  Holway then said he would go to his son's, a distance of about two miles, to get his assistance to pay the amount of the levy.  Just before mounting his horse, he took out his snuff-box, and presenting it to his wife, asked her to take a pinch, which she scornfully declined, and said, she wished " that he might break his neck before he came home."  The wish was unhappily realized, for on returning with his son, he suddenly dropped from his horse in a fit, and dislocating his neck, expired without uttering a syllable!  A coroner's inquest has been held on the body, who returned a verdict of Died by the visitation of God. - The wife has been ever since in a most afflicted state of wretchedness. - Bath Herald.

 

Cambrian, 28 March 1818

   Wednesday Mr. Caines took an inquest at Fitzhead, near Milverton.  The remnants of a female child, consisting of the lower extremities, with the vertebrae, and part of the abdominal muscles, were found floating in a mill-pond, in that parish.  After an investigation of nearly twelve hours, the jury returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against Jane Pain and Betty Pain, the supposed mother and grand-mother of the little innocent, who were committed to Wilton gaol.  It appeared in evidence, that in December, 1816, Jane Pain stated herself to be pregnant, and actually swore to one G. Hall.  The old woman and the daughter both asked the good woman to attend when she should be wanted.  In March last it was whispered about that Jane Pain had had a child, but no proof could be adduced.  She was seen in an adjoining field to that in which the child was found, at an early hour in the morning.  Many contradictory statements were given by them on the inquest, and on the Coroner's entering the parish, Jane Pain fled. - Western Flying Press.

 

Cambrian, 5 December 1818

DIED.  Tuesday, in London, Mr. George Stothert, ironmonger, of Bath, whose death was most awfully sudden, having transacted business at a house with which he was connected at eleven o'clock in the morning, in full health and with his usual flow of spirits: but he was afterwards seized with intestinal pains, and by five the same afternoon was a corpse! ...

 

Cambrian, 27 March 1819

   An inquest was held on Monday, at the New-inn, in the parish of Curry Rivel, near Langport, on the body of a man, unknown, found drowned in a ditch within a few yards of the river Parret. - The deceased was a respectable looking and well dressed man; appeared between 50 and 60 years of age, about five feet ten inches high, stout made, large features, with hair very short and rather bald.  A good hat was found near him; he had on a black coat, black silk waistcoat, drab jerseymere breeches, and boots about held worn, having coloured tops.  He had no watch, pocket-book, or memorandum whatever, that could lead to a discovery of whom or what he was, or where he came from.  It appeared that he came to Langport about noon on the preceding day; that he drank in the course of the afternoon, five pints of beer at three different houses.  In company he appeared rather reserved, but to none person he stated that he came from some part of Wales; and that he had been at Bath.  After a full investigation, the Jury returned a verdict - Found drowned; but how or by what means he came into the water no evidence appears.

 

The Observer, 21 June 1819

   On Whit-Tuesday a fight took place at the village of Tiverton, near Bath, between two brothers, named Wiltshire, of the adjoining parish of Newton.  One of them had been knocked down, and the other was in the act of kicking him, when a man, named Ashley, touching him on the elbow, and said, "Don't kick him; for if you do, you will kill him; it is a shame for brothers to be fighting;" at which Wiltshire turned round, and vociferating to Ashley, with a tremendous oath, "I'll knock your brains out, of any one who takes his part," instantly struck Ashley a violent blow under his ears, who fell to the ground, never the speak again, and after lingering till the following day, he died!  The Coroner's Jury, who sat upon the body, returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against Wiltshire, she has been committed to Shepton Mallet gaol for trial.

 

Cambrian, 26 June 1819

Murder. - Twerton, near Bath.  The Wiltshire brothers and Ashley.

 

Cambrian, 3 July 1819

Awful Effects of Lightning. - During the severe storm on Monday, three men, haymakers, in the field between Clapton and the river Lea, getting their dinner under a tree, one of them finding the rain penetrate through the leaves, left his companions, and sheltered himself under another, a short distance off; he no sooner got under it than he was struck by the lightning senseless on the ground, but after some time he recovered, and, on looking round,  discovered the lifeless corpses of his companions, both having been struck dead at the distance of ten or a dozen yards from each other.

 

Cambrian, 16 October 1819

    In addition to the melancholy intelligence which we lately conveyed to our readers, respecting the loss of the two promising sons of Mr. Elton, at Weston Super mare, we have now to record the death of the benevolent Col. Rogers, who was mentioned as going out in his boat to rescue their bodies from a watery grave.  From the chill and fatigue which he suffered, ... a fever was brought on which terminated fatally on Wednesday se'nnight. ...

   Mr. Elton's two sons have been found and conveyed to Clevedon, where they were interred in the family vault.

 

Cambrian, 22 January 1820

   Two children proceeding on Thursday week from Langport to Bristol, on a baggage-waggon, were found, on its arrival at an inn on the road, frozen to death.

 

Cambrian, 19 August 1820

  DIED. - The Rev. John Chamberlain, of Bath, a highly respected minister in Lady Huntingdon's connexions.  Mr. C. left his house on Friday evening, and during his accustomed walk is supposed to have been seized with apoplexy, as he was found, apparently in a dying state, by a milkman, about four o'clock the following morning in a field near Moor-lane, in the parish of Lincombe and Widecombe.  He was conveyed to the poor-house, where medical assistance was immediately rendered, but it proved ineffectual, and he expired in the afternoon.  An inquest was holden on the body on the following day by P. Laying, Esq. when, after a minute investigation, the jury returned a verdict of - Died by the Visitation of God.

 

Cambrian, 1 September 1821

   We regret to state, that Padden and Smith, two of the men who fell into a common receptacle at Bridgewater (as stated in our last) have both expired.  Smith died the same evening; Padden lingered till the following morning.  Each has a wife and family. Ware now lies at the Infirmary, and hopes are entertained of his recovery.  A coroner's inquest has been held by E. A. Stradling, Esq. on the bodies of Stacey, Padden, and Smith. Verdict - Died by suffocation.

 

Cambrian, 13 July 1822

SOMERSETSHIRE.

FATAL ACCIDENT. - Wednesday morning, a servant of J. Pearse, Esq. M.P. of Chilton-lodge, was killed by a bull in the farm-yard.  The man had been cautioned not to go near it; but as he had been in the habit of feeding the animal for a long time, the poor fellow thought he was free from  harm.  He first drove two cows into the yard, of which the bull took no notice; but the moment he entered the yard himself, it ran at him, tore him in a shocking manner,  tossed him in the air, and killed him before any assistance could be rendered.  It is very remarkable, that the wife of this poor man was killed about two years since, while gathering wood under a tree which (having been partly cut) fell on her; that some  time previously one of their sons was killed from the kiosk of a horse, and that another son met an untimely end.

   On Tuesday last, as Jane Hutton, a young woman aged 19, was cleaning the parlour windows of a house in Norfolk-buildings, Bath, she lost her hold and was precipitated into the area; where, falling on the corner of a door, she received a most dreadful wound in her side, and now lies at the casualty without hope of recovery.  We have often remarked on the danger as well as indelicacy of allowing servant maids to clean the outside of windows; and we sincerely hope the fate of the unfortunate girl will prove a sufficient caution against such practices in future.

 

Cambrian, 28 September 1822

SOMERSETSHIRE. - On Saturday se'nnight, about a quarter past nine, as one of the coaches was returning from Bristol to Bath, it upset about midway between Newton Turnpike and Twerton; when one of the passengers, a poor Irishman, named Hambleton, was so seriously injured that he died on Wednesday.  Friday morning an inquest was held on the body, and a verdict given of Manslaughter; it appearing that the accident was occasioned by the furious driving of the coachman, George Clark.

 

Cambrian, 4 January 1823

SOMERSETSHIRE. - SHOCKING ACCIDENT. - On Monday afternoon, a man named William Roberts, very much inebriated, reeled against the shop window of Mr. Ingram, brazier, of London-street. Walcot, Bath, and broke a pane of glass, when the shopman, seizing him by the collar, he gave a sudden jerk to extricate himself, and loosing his equilibrium, fell beneath the wheels of a waggon laden with dung which was passing, and the back part of his head was literally crushed flat, and instant death ensued.  The feelings of the young man who was the innocent cause of this fatal catastrophe, may be more easily imagined than described.

 

Cambrian, 11 January 1823

SOMERSETSHIRE. - A man, aged 86, named Bradford, hung himself at his cottage, a little beyond Thurloxton, on the road to Bridgwater, on Monday se'nnight.

 

Cambrian, 18 January 1823

SOMERSETSHIRE. - FATAL ACCIDENT. - We regret to state that Friday morning as the coach from Bath to the Bolt-in-Tun, Fleet-street, London, was proceeding at its usual pace, down the declivity just beyond Batheaston-house, it came in contact with the wheel of a cart, in consequence of the carter drawing the horse across the road, and backing the vehicle against the fore-wheel of the coach, by which the pole was broken, and the coach-man thrown down between the horses, when the wheel went over his leg, which, however, was not broken. Had the carter suffered the horse to stand still, the coach would have passed in safety. - There were two outside passengers one on the box, and the other on the roof; the former became alarmed at his perilous situation, and instantly attempted to leap from his seat; but was dissuaded by his companions, who held him by the coat for some time, till at length he fell or jumped down and was unfortunately killed on the spot, having dislocated his neck! ... The name of the unfortunate deceased, was Mr. Webb, a sack manufacturer, at Abingdon, in Berkshire.  No blame whatever is attached to the coachman.

 

The Cambrian, 8 February 1823

WANTON CRUELTY. - An investigation of a case of the most wanton cruelty took place at an Inquest which was terminated after three adjournments, at Bridgewater, last week.  The subject of it was a poor boy, William Bartlett, about 10 years of age, who was apprenticed to a fellow named Hunt, a sweep, in that town.  It appeared that Bartlett had been prevented following his business for a fortnight from an illness brought on by the neglect and inattention of his master and mistress; on one occasion he was tied for a whole day and night to a pole, without the least food whatever, during the illness; at another, in one of the coldest days of the winter, he was beaten from his bed-room entirely naked, into an adjoining yard, where he was forced into a trough of cold water, in the open air, and was compelled to remain there for half an hour ! This treatment was repeated at two different times.  As a climax to such inhuman depravity, this brute took him by the feet and dashed him against a brick floor: after which, he beat him from one part of the house to the other, the poor boy being then in a dangerous state of health. By these and similar acts of barbarity was the unfortunate lad prosecuted, till human nature could no longer support life, and on the 20th inst. he expired in inexpressible pain.

   Mr. Haviland, an experienced surgeon of the town, opened the body, which was a shocking spectacle, and after a thorough examination, gave it as his decided opinion, that though inflammation existed, yet that death was very much accelerated by ill usage and want of proper sustenance.    The jury returned a verdict accordingly.

   The above circumstances were related by a fellow apprentice of the deceased; but such was his fear of punishment from his master, that he was promised his release before he could be induced to make the disclosure.  In consequence of the verdict of the jury, Hunt is detained in custody until the Magistrates determine as to the nature of the offence. - Taunton Courier.

 

The Cambrian, 31 May 1823

SOMERSETSHIRE.

   On Saturday evening, about nine o'clock, a young man named Jenkins, apprentice to a brash-maker in Corn-street, Bristol, suspended himself with a piece of tape, to a beam in the dining-room of his mother's house, in Redcliff-street, in convenience, as we have been given to understand, of a slight dispute with her, arising out of a demand he had just before made upon her, for money to buy a new suit of clothes, and which she, from inability to spare the requisite sum, had declined to comply. - A few minutes only had elapsed after this disagreement wren the poor woman, who keeps an eating-house, had occasion to speak to him; and, on making search for him,  found him hanging to the beam as beforementioned.  She instantly called for assistance, and in the meantime held him in her arms, and slackened the ligature round his neck.  On the arrival of a surgeon, he was bled, and other means of resuscitation were employed, but in vain, the spark of life had fled.  A Coroner's inquest was held on the body, on Monday last, when, from the evidence adduced, the jury came to a conclusion that the deceased had committed the rash act in a fit of temporary insanity, and therefore returned a verdict accordingly.

 

The Cambrian, 15 August 17823

DREADFUL AND FATAL OCCURRENCE. - At the village of Claverton, near Bath, a mill is erected for the purpose of throwing the water out of the old river into the Kennet and Avon Canal.  On Saturday night, a young man of the name of Lideard, 22 years of age, by some means, it is supposed by his foot slipping, got entangled in this mill, as he was walking near the place, and, dreadful to relate, his body was literally ground to death !  When discovered by his friends, they could scarcely recognise his person.

 

The Cambrian, 20 December 1823

SOMERSETSHIRE.

   A destructive fire was discovered early on Wednesday morning at Frome, in this county, on the premises of Mr. Fricker, pastry-cook.  The most prompt exertions were made by the inhabitants, aided by a troop of the 14th dragoons stationed in that town; and the progress of the fire, after one house was consumed, was fortunately stopped.  We lament to say that two children of Mr. F.'s were burnt to death; and the servant-man, in consequence of a fall from the roof of a house, (where he was attempting to rescue the children from the garret,) had his arm broken, and was much bruised.  On Thursday a Coroner's Inquest was held on the bodies of Matilda and Charlotte Fricker, the children mentioned above, then the Jury returned a verdict, That some person or persons unknown, wilfully and maliciously set fire to the said dwelling-house.

 

The Observer, 1 February 1824

TRAGICAL EVENT AT TAUNTON.

   On Monday last this town was thrown into a state of great consternation and horror, by an occurrence which has overwhelmed a most respectable family in extreme distress.

   About half-past two o'clock in the afternoon, High street became a scene of confusion and alarm from a report that the house of Richard Meade, Esq., the eminent solicitor, had just been the scheme of the most shocking events.  It appears that Mr. Meade's servant man, who had lived with him 14 years, and about about 36 years of age, had suddenly destroyed himself by cutting his throat, after having in the most barbarous manner attempted the murder of Francis Towning, a female in the same family, who whom he had paid his addresses four or five years, and with whom he was shortly to have been married, by beating her head most inhumanely with a hammer!  On the unfortunate girl screaming out for assistance, Mrs. Warren, the mother of Mr. Meade, ran to her assistance, upon which the wretch struck Mrs Warren with the hammer so severely, that both her life and that of the young woman to whose aid she had flown, are in a lamentably  doubtful state.  The further particulars are accurately detailed in the following report of the evidence on the Coroner's Inquest, which was held on the body of the suicide the next day.[to be completed]

 

North Wales Gazette (Bangor) 5 February 1824

TAUNTON. - On Monday, about two o'clock in the afternoon, High-street became a scene of confusion and alarm from a report that the house of Richard Meade, Esq., the solicitor, had just been the scene of the most shocking events.  It appears that Mr. Meade's servant man, who had lived with him 14 years, and was about 26 years of age, had suddenly destroyed himself by cutting his throat, after having in the most barbarous manner attempted the murder of Frances Towning, a female in the same family, to whom he had paid his addresses four or five years, and with whom he was shortly to have been married, by beating her head most inhumanly with a hammer !  On the unfortunate girl screaming out for assistance, Mrs. Warren, the mother of Mrs. Meade, ran to her assistance, upon which the wretch struck Mrs. Warren with the hammer so severely that both her life and that of the young woman to whose aid she had flown are now in a lamentably doubtful state.  The shrieks of the sufferers reached Mr. Meade, who was in his office; he ran down stairs, followed by Mr. Barley, his managing clerk, w2hen Mr5. Meade met Mrs. Warren, who was bleeding profusely from the head and who could only point to the spot where the scene of destruction had taken place.  On Mr. Meade's entering the nursery-room, he encountered the dreadful spectacle of his man servant lying on the ground bleeding, with a pistol on his right, and another at his knees, and the servant girl in a chair senseless, with her head leaning against the wall, and covered completely over with blood.  Mr. Meade's conclusion was that the man was dead, but on his exclaiming "Oh, Joseph;" the assassin  leaped up and endeavoured to quit the room, which Mr. Meade at first prevented, by holding him violently by the arm.  He however got away, and ran up a two pair of back stairs into his room, to which he was quickly followed by his master and others.  Mr. Meade burst open the door which had been fastened, and found the wretched man with his face towards a looking glass which stood on a small dressing table, in the act of holding his throat with his left hand, and with his right hand saw him make a desperate cut at his throat with a razor; he then turned entirely round towards those who had entered the room, and immediately fell backwards.  The arteries were entirely divided, and he died in twelve or fourteen minutes.

   An inquest was held on the body the following day. - Verdict - Insanity.

[Also The Cambrian, 7 February 1824.]

 

The Observer, 25 April 1824

CORONER'S INQUEST - EXTRAORDINARY VERDICT.

   We have heard of a Yorkshire jury who, in the case of a man inducted for stealing a pair of leathern breeches, and being unwilling, from the peculiar circumstances of the case, to subject him to the penalty of the law, returned the incongruous verdict of Manslaughter!  Burt we did not expect ever to have congizance of an absurdity almost as extreme within the precincts of our own circulation.  Such, however, is the fact, and the following are the particulars:-

   An inquest was held last week at Clatworthy, near Wiveliscombe, on the body of William Ridler, aged 22.  The deceased was a labourer in Taunton, and lodged in the house of Samuel Dummett, a miner at Wilson, near this town.  The deceased proving a troublesome inmate, and being considerably in arrears for his lodgings, was requested to quit, and a few days before his departure, it was discovered that he had smallpox.  Dummett, his landlord, never having had that disorder - having a child in the house, and his wife in  daily expectation of being put to bed (an event which has since happened), became naturally apprehensive foe his own safety, and mildly, but anxiously, urged his guest to leave him.  The deceased consented accordingly, and, without saying anything to Dummett's family, rose on Friday morning, the 9th instant, went to his employers, from whom he received 6s. and adjourned to several public-houses in Taunton, where he drank brandy and water, beer, and other equally improper beverage for a man in his state of incipient disease.  He then proceeded to his father's house at Clatworthjy, a distance of fifteen miles, and arrived there at ten o'clock the same night, having walked the whole distance, and expended nearly all his money in drink on the road.  He remained in a lodging house which his father procured for him, from that time until Thursday, ebbing the seventh day after his arrival, and then died of a confluent small pox.  The Coroner's Jury, imagining, as we presume, that the death of the deceased was occasioned by his having been inhumanely turned out of his lodging, returned a verdict - "That there did not appear to them any malice had been proved against Dummett, but that he was guilty of Manslaughter," and he was committed accordingly under the Cerner's warrant to Wilton Gaol to take his trial at the next Assizes.

   James Stacey, a fellow lodger in Dummett's house, testifies that there was never the slightest insult or unkindness exhibited by Dummett or his wife towards the deceased, and the character of Dummett being that of an industrious, inoffensive man, the case has excited a very general commiseration.  Several respectable persons of this town have volunteered their services in his behalf, and have offered bail to any amount; but as the offence charged is not bailable, the poor fellow must remain in gaol until the Summer Assizes, unless the home Secretary of State should think fit, from the peculiar hardship of the case, to sanction id liberation under proper sureties for his forthcoming at the appointed time for trial.

 

The Cambrian, 7 August 1824

MURDER. - Sunday evening about half-past nine o'clock, Jacob Wilkins, about 50 years of age, ostler at the Blucher inn, Norton-St.-Philip, Somersetshire, was murdered, about half-way up the hill beyond the Fox public-house at Midford.  Monday a young man named James Reynolds, alias Walters, was brought before Edmund Anderdon, Esq., and the examination of witnesses lasted nearly 11 o'clock at night.  The watch of the deceased was found upon him; and when Mr. Geo. Goldstone, the surgeon, who examined the body, produced some small portions of the bone of the fractured skull of the deceased, the agitation of the prisoner was remarkable.  Reynolds has been tried twice already, for horse-stealing, and for stealing wearing-apparel.  He is not yet 19 years old. -  An inquest has been held on the body by Peter Layng, Esq. coroner, and the verdict being willful murder against Reynolds, he is committed for trial.

 

The Cambrian, 23 October 1824

DIED.

   On the 14th inst. in Prospect-place, Bath, Thos. Edwards, Esq.  On retiring to bed on Wednesday night, he swallowed the contents of a bottle, which he thought was tincture of rhubarb, but it proved to be laudanum. By means of Jukes's machine, the contents of his stomach were evacuated, but too late; and the unfortunate gentleman survived the accident only four hours.  A coroner's inquest has been since held, and a verdict of Accidental Death recorded.

 

The Cambrian, 11 December 1824

   About sixteen days back three poor men, by name Cousens, Mann, and Aldous, set out from Wells in an open boat, with the intention of going to Yarmouth for herrings - the weather being so boisterous, they could not gain the port, and were driven about from place to place for fourteen days, with little or nothing to support life; on Tuesday last poor Alfous died, and on the morning following the other two men arrived at Wells with their dead companion.  Mann still remains very ill; Cousens is recovered.  A Coroner's Inquest was held on the body of Aldous yesterday, and their verdict was - "Died by the Visitation of God, through the severity of the weather," - Bury Post.

 

The Cambrian, 28 May 1825

    The body of a man, apparently between 50 and 60 years of age, was found on Monday last, naked, and tied up in an old patched sack, named "James Shepherd," with a large stone in the mouth of the sack, in the river Avon, near the Dolemeads, Bathwick.  The man had been stabbed on the left wide to the heart.  The Jury returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against some person or persons unknown.

FATAL NUPTIALS. - Thursday an Inquest was taken by Peter Layng, Esq. on the body of Henry Taunton, who died on Wednesday morning preceding, from the injury he received from being pushed down the steps at the bottom of Walcot parade, by his wife.  Thus have we, within the space of one month, had to record the marriage of this couple, at the youthful ages of 95 and 57 - the husband's being taken before the Magistrate for attempting to kill himself by cutting his throat, through despair at his unfortunate marriage; and now his actual death, inflicted by the violence of his wife. The verdict was manslaughter, and the Coroner accordingly committed the virago widow to Shepton Mallet Gaol, to take her trial at the next Assizes - the overseer of the parish being bound over to prosecute her. - Bath Journal.

 

The Cambrian, 4 June 1825

   In our last (says the Bath Chronicle) we stated that the body of a man, inclosed in a sack, had been found in the Avon, and that the Coroner's jury had returned a verdict of wilful murder against persons unknown.  It has since been asserted, and we believe justly, that it w as a subject procured for the use of professional students; but we cannot avoid adding, that it would have been more becoming in the parties concerned to have given information to the Mayor, and not have suffered the public mind to have been so much agitated.

 

The Cambrian, 23 July 1825

   The following affecting circumstance recently occurred at Middlezoy, Somerset.  A woman, residing at that place, named Rich, had been to Bridgewater market, and was returning to her home  in a cart, when she was descried by her little son, a child of only three years of age.  The fond creature, in the excess of his joy at again seeing his mother, ran and laid hold of the wheel of the c art in which she was riding; when, distressing to relate, he was carried under it, and sustained a fracture of the skull, of which he died on the following day.  Mr. Caines, of Langport, held an inquest on the body, when a verdict of Accidental Death was returned.

 

The Cambrian, 30 July 1825

   The effects of the heat during the early part of last week, we regret to state, has proved fatal in a great many instances.

   A woman, making hay, in a field near Bath, suddenly expired.

   In addition to the above, inquests have been held by one of the coroners for Somersetshire on five persons who died suddenly on Tuesday evening from the extreme heat.

 

The Cambrian, 28 January 1826

   An inquest was held a few days since at Minehead on James Macarthy and William Ford, two of the crew of the schooner Youghall, who were found dead in their births, in consequence of their having burnt culm in an iron pot, in the night, and closed the shuttle to keep out the intense cold.

 

The Cambrian, 10 June 1825

   A man named Gane was on Wednesday committed to Shepton Gaol, under circumstances exhibiting unheard of profligacy.  His daughter (about 18 years of age) called at a blouse near Cannard's Grave Inn on the night of Saturday se'nnight, very ill, when the mistress of the house ascertained that she had been just delivered of a child, and she confessed that her father had delivered her in a shed near the house, and had tied the infant in a pocket-handkerchief; she also acknowledged that her own father was the father of the child !  On his committal, Gane confessed that he had secreted the child in a pool near the town, where it was found.  On Friday an inquest sat on the child, and a verdict returned of its being still born.

 

Carmarthen Journal, 23 May 1828

THE LATE MURDER AT BATH.

DECISION OF THE JUDGES IN GILHAM'S CASE. .  .  .  .   The Learned gentleman having concluded his argument; and the bar and  public having withdrawn, the judges sat in consultation about half an hour, and then decided that the confession was admissible evidence against the prisoner, and consequently the  conviction against him was according to law.  The prisoner was respite until 4th June, about which time it is supposed his execution will be appointed to take place.

 

Carmarthen Journal, 27 February 1829

DEATH BY STARVATION.

   On Friday se'nnight, a man, apparently in distressed circumstances, dressed in light trowsers and a shabby white hat, who had been seen about the neighbourhood for two or three days previously, entered the Red Lion on Old Down, and took his seat in the tap room, and remained there all day without calling for anything to eat or drink.  In the evening he left, and not having the means of procuring lodging, laid down in one of the fields under a wall, adjoining the road, the whole of the night.  On the following morning he applied at the turnpike-gate for some water, of which he drank greedily, and having obtained a few raw potatoes, he eat them to allay his hunger.  In the afternoon he was seen in the Fuller's-earth house on the top of the hill leading to Fortnight by a poor man, who gave him a penny, and a little food.  On the following Monday, the same poor man who had relieved him, passing by the Fuller's-earth house, heard several groans, and went in and discovered the stranger in a dying state.  These circumstances were immediately made known to Mr. Gorton, the landlord of the Red Lion, and he sent him some wine and a cake: the poor man tasted the wine, but nature was too far exhausted for him to eat the cake.  Information of this truly distressing scene was then conveyed to Mr. Willis of Coombe-hay, who very humanely sent a cart, & had the sufferer conveyed in to the village of Coombe-hay, where bed and bed-clothes, surgical assistance were speedily provided, but too late to rescue the object of their humanity from death. He survived only a few hours.  On stripping him they found his legs in a putrid state through exposure to cold in a place of starvation.  Coroner's inquest was held on the body, and the verdict was agreeable to the above statement.  - Bath Journal.

 

Carmarthen Journal, 17 April 1829

MELANCHOLY ACCIDENT. - On Sunday last, as a boat with two men and four boys, from Bristol, were off Portishead, a heavy squall of wind came on from the S.S.W. and before they could let go their sheets, the boat filled and went down by the head; four of them were drowned and the other two held on by the stern, one of whom was a cripple.  The accident being perceived by ------ Rawless, a Pill pilot, he  humanely went to their assistance and took the survivors off; he like wise took the boat in tow, but it blowing hard, he was obliged to cut her off at the hole's mouth.  None of the bodies have yet been found.

 

Carmarthen Journal, 20 June 1829

FATAL OCCURRENCE. - A fatal accident occurred at Weston-super-Mare, on Thursday last.  About half-past one o'clock, the Rev. Mr. Blackburn, the Rector of that parish, went out in his pleasure boat, accompanied by his boatman. On approaching Bernback island, thy encountered a current, which drove the boat on the fishing-stakes, one of which pierced through the bottom, and caused the vessel to fill immediately.  The boatman stripped and plunged into the water; Mr. Blackburn made the attempt to swim ashore, but without taking off his clothes.  The accident having been observed from the shore by Muggleworth, jun., he very promptly put off in a boat to their assistance, and directed his efforts to save Me. Blackburn.  He put out his ore, which Mr. B. grasped, but being exhausted with swimming he was unable to retain his hold.  The young man then thrust the oar under Mr. B.'s arm, and held him up for some time, but for want of other assistance was unable to accomplish the preservation of the Rev. Gentleman, who was obliged to relinquish the temporary support afforded him, and sun to rise no more !  The body was found about seven o'clock the same evening.  The lamented gentleman was an excellent swimmer, but having been drifted about by the tide and current for half an hour, all muscular power left him when the boat came to his aid.  The boatman reached the shore with great difficulty, and in an almost senseless state.  Mr. Blackburn, who was respected and beloved by all who knew him, has left a wife and eight children.

 

The Cambrian, 27 June 1829

DIED.

   On the 12th inst. After an illness of nearly 20 years, Mr. Wm. Norris, of Moreland Farm, Shepton-Mallett.  His death was occasioned by a disease that baffled all medical skill, and which, on examination, proved to be a cancer fixed on the liver.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 28 November 1829

MURDER AND SUICIDE. - (From the second edition of the Bath Journal of Monday.)

We stop the press to notice a twofold murder and suicide, of a more horrible nature than it has ever been our unpleasant task to record.  This (Monday) morning, about twenty minutes before six o'clock, a man of the name of Beer, lodging with his wife and  child at No. 1, Williams-place, at he back of St. James's-street, St. James's-square, murdered both the latter by cutting their throats with a razor.

   Just before six o'clock, Mrs. Chapple, another lodger in the house, sleeping in the next room to Beer, fancied she heard something like a gurgling in the throat; she immediately went to the door and called to Mrs. Beer, and asked if she was ill, but having repeated her call two or three times without an answer, she opened the door and went into the room, and again asked Mrs. Beer if she was ill, to which no answer could be obtained. She began then to think that all was not right, and told her husband to strike a light; on entering the room with which, she discovered a sight of horror past he power of words o describe.

   The mother was lying on her back, with one hand across her breast, and her throat cut from one angle of the jaw to the other, dividing some of the principal arteries and windpipe; and the little innocent, about four months old, which appeared to have been lately drawn from the breast for the murderous papoose, was lying on its side, with its head severed, excepting by a bit of skin at the back of the neck.  The bodies were weltering in blood, a pool of which, under the bed, extended across the room.

   It was evidently he result of a cool and deliberate intent, for it appeared that the deed was  committed while the sufferers were asleep, here having been no noise heard by any of the lodgers or neighbours, excepting that described by Mrs. Chapple, which was after the deed had been perpetrated and the murderer had escaped.

   Mr. White, surgeon, of St. James's-square, was called in at six o'clock, too lat of course to be of any service, and the result of his examination tended to show that there was no struggle, and he bed clothes were no disturbed.  There were other points hat seem to pave the deliberateness of h act.  The bloody razor was lying open on a box by the side of the bed, and he cases lying on the dresser down stairs in the kitchen, and with a lath-hatchet, as though intended for use if the murderer had failed o accomplish his purpose with the razor.

   What was the cause of this dreadful act, the most distant ideas cannot be formed. Beer is described by the lodgers as being a very steady man, fond of his wife and home, and dotingly fond of his child, which he was not always caressing when at home; nor have they latterly seen any alteration in his conduct.  All the previous day, Sunday, both Beer and his wife were at home, and apparently as usual, very comfortable and happy, and retired to bed as usual at ten o'clock.  Beer was a journeyman bake, and had been employed as foreman by M. Davies, of St. James's-street, for nearly the last twelve months, during which time his employer had found him attentive to his business, a trustworthy servant in his master's absence, particularly obliging, and apparently happy. Mr. and Mrs. Davies saw no alteration in his conduct up to the latter period, except that when he came on Sunday evening to prepare for the next morning's baking, he was about two hours later than his usual time, but he did his business very properly, and seemed in his manner as usual.

   Immediately after the discovery of the above horrible murder, the officers of justice were apprised of it, and were quickly on the alert to apprehend the perpetrator.  Shortly after daylight a baker's jacket with blood on it was seen lying on the bank of the river near Bedford-street, Walcot; in consequence of which William George, of Bathwick, took a boat to search the river, and found the body of Beer in the water, with life quite extinct, at the bottom of Bedford-street.  The body was thence taken to Walcot workhouse, to await the coroner's inquest.

 

Carmarthen Journal, 4 December 1829

HORRID MURDER, AND SUICIDE!

[The Beer case, background details.] Beer was a native of Bidcombe; and had saved up money enough to apprentice himself to a baker.  His wife came from Frome.  They were married about eighteen months ago; he is supposed to have been about 24 years old, and his wife nearly the same age, - Bath Paper.

 

Carmarthen Journal, 11 December 1829

ANOTHER MOST ATROCIOUS MURDER. - We stop the press to announce the commission of a most horrid murder, the particulars of which have just reached us (Wednesday night), and which has thrown the whole of the town of Chard into a state of alarm and excitement which has not been equaled since the dreadful murder of Betty Trump, on Buckland Hill, near that town, a few years since, which most of our readers probably remember, and the perpetrator of which has never been discovered.

  The atrocious crime which it is now our duty to record, and which is rendered doubly horrid from the cruel circumstances of aggravation with which it was perpetrated, was committed on the body of an amiable young woman named Turner, who had been for some time past engaged in the lace manufactory at Chard, where she distinguished herself by her assiduous attention to her duties, and the kindness of her manner.

   It appears that on Monday evening, after leaving her work, she visited an individual of her acquaintance who has recently undergone the amputation of a leg.  She left his residence for the purpose of returning home about half past eight, since which time she was not heard of until the following morning, when her body was found lying in the Ilminster road, about half a mile from Chard, in too horridly mangled  a state for the power of language adequately to describe.

   The head was almost severed from the body, by a gash that must have caused almost instantaneous death; a deep wound, which was inflicted on the breast passed nearly through the body, penetrating to the very back; and, as if the blood-thirsty purpose of the monster who could perpetrate such a crime were no sufficiently accomplished with this, as if he revelled in the blood of his innocent victim, and could not be satiated even with her life, he severed one of her breasts nearly from the body, to which it was attached merely by the skin, and hanging down over a velvet spencer worn by the deceased.

   The distress of her friends on learning this lamentable occurrence we shall not attempt to portray.  Information was immediately given to the proper authorities, and the body was conveyed o the workhouse, to await the Coroner's inquest.

   Strong suspicion having been excited against a man who had lately assaulted the deceased with a criminal intention, and for which she summoned him before the bench of magistrates, he has been apprehended, and in is lodgings, a pair of stockings and a handkerchief have been found upon which the marks of blood are evident.  He is therefore, detained in custody.  The deceased, who was a native of Marshalsea, Dorset, was a young woman of the most unimpeachable character, and was highly respected by her employers and every individual of her acquaintance. - Dorset Chronicle.

[Monmouthshire Merlin, 12 December: A coroner's inquest has since been held on h body of Joan Tuner; the investigation continued three days without being able to obtain sufficiently clear evidence to warrant a committal of any of the suspected parties, and he jury accordingly returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against some person or persons unknown.]

SUICIDE.

   On Monday morning last, the city of Bath was afresh agitated by the discovery of another suicide: The wife of M. A. Broom, a retail brewer, of Mark's hill, sometime in the course of Sunday terminated her life by strangulation.  It appears her husband was in the habit of staying out late at night.  He had not been home all Saturday night, and Mrs. Broom complained of his conduct to Mr. and Mrs. Child, lodgers in the house, and hen gave particular instructions to the boy to feed the pigs, &c.  This was about half past ten on Sunday morning; but Mr. and Mrs. Child not having seen her from that time until near five in the evening, entered the house, when they found the poor woman lying in the room with a piece of tape firmly twisted about four times round her neck, and life totally extinct.

 

Carmarthen Journal, 9 January 1830

   On Wednesday evening, as the London mail from Bristol was proceeding down Bath-street, the leaders ran against a labouring man, of the name of Hallet, who was crossing the street.  The horses were pulled up as quickly as possible, but the man had sustained so much injury that he died at eight o'clock the same evening, at the Infirmary.  A verdict of Accidental Death was returned on the Coroner's Inquest.  On the examination of the body, it was found that a large artery had been bursted and eight ribs broken.  The man was about 52 years of age, and has left a wife and two children residing in Bath. - Bath journal.

   On Friday morning, about six o'clock, as the workmen at Messrs. Holden and Vining's sugar house, on the Stone Bridge, were necessarily employed in completing the process of the preceding day, a boy, named Walters, about thirteen  years of age, fell from the fourth story to the ground, by which his skull was fractured, and three of his ribs broken.  He was taken to the Infirmary, where he died about nine o'clock the same morning.

 

The Cambrian, 17 April 1830

THE CHARD MURDER. - At the Somersetshire Assizes, the trial of John Russell, for the murder of Joan Turner, at Chard, on the night of the 30th of November last (the horrid particulars of which were given in our paper of the 12th of December) occupied the attention of the Court on Wednesday and Thursday.  .  .  .  Mr. Justice Gasalee then summed up; and in about ten minutes the Jury returned a verdict of Guilty; the Judge immediately sentenced the prisoner to be executed on the following Saturday. .  .  .   On Saturday night information was received at Taunton, from Chard that two persons had been apprehended on suspicion of being concerned in the perpetration of the murder of which Russell was convicted, and it is said they have been taken into custody in consequence of something which he had disclosed since his removal to Ilchester jail.  It is understood that a fresh investigation is now going on at Chard of the circumstances connected with the murder, and some important information is said to have been given by Russell's wife.

   According to the report the murder was committed by three persons, one holding the feet of the deceased, and another her hands, whilst a third cut her throat.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 8 May 1830

ANOTHER MURDER NEAR CHARD. - An inquest was held a few days ago, at the Castle Inn, Neroche Hill, on the body of John Lane, aged 12.  It appeared from many witnesses that the father of he deceased, who is a small farmer, had for a long time treated him with extraordinary brutality.  On Friday, the 23d ult. Deceased was seen in the morning churning butter.  In the afternoon, at three o'clock, he was seen assisting his father planting potatoes.  At six in the same evening the father hailed a person whose name was John Ball, and informed him that there as a dead boy there.  On inquiry who it was, he said it was "Jack," meaning his son.  Ball went into tee field where the unfortunate boy was lying under the hedge. 

   Ball asked him to get up, the sufferer said, "I can't."  The father then took him, and  without hesitation threw him from off the bank wren he as standing into the ditch; after which Ball got over and lifted him out of the ditch.  The father then shook his son, and desired him stand, but he was unable to d so.  The father then struck him a violin blow on the forehead.  Deceased never spoke afterwards.  Two other persons came up about this time, one of whom saw the blow inflicted.  The other, George Bryant, of Carland, said, "Farmer Lane, you have used this boy cruelly bad, and I think he'll die before morning."  Upon which the wretch said, "I hope he will."  The farmer carried him home, and threw him carelessly on the floor.  The deceased never spoke from the time of receiving the blow on the forehead, but languished until Saturday morning, when he died.  The jury returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against James Lane, who was committed to llchester gaol to take his trial. - Taunon Courier.

 

The Cambrian, 8 May 1830

THE CHARD MURDER. - John Russell, who was convicted at the last Somerset Assizes of the murder of Joan Turner, and who was to have been executed on Wednesday last, has been again respited until the 12th of May. . 

 

The Cambrian, 19 June 1830

FATAL TERMINATION OF THE LATE AFFRAY AT FROME. - Benjamin Butcher, the unfortunate man who was so seriously wounded in the head by an Irishman at Frome (as stated in our last) died on Sunday night of the injury he then received.  The man who inflicted the blow is in custody, awaiting the result of the Coroner's inquest.  The deceased has left a widow and three children.

 

The Cambrian, 26 June 1830

THE FROME MURDER. - On Wednesday last, an inquest was held at Frome by Mr. Ashford, on the body of Benjamin Butcher, the young  man who was so dreadfully injured in the ferocious attack made by the Irishmen at the Angel-and-Crown Inn (as stated in a former paper) and who expired on Monday last, in consequence.  The Jury returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against one of the Irishmen named Tekin, it appearing that he commenced the attack without any sufficient provocation.  Tekin was committed to take his trial for the offence. - The unfortunate deceased has left a widow and three children.

 

The Cambrian, 26 June 1830

THE CHARD MUDER. - John Russell, convicted at the late assizes for the murder at Chard, has been pardoned on condition of his being transported for the term of his natural life; and an order to that effect has been received by Mr. Hardy, the Governor of Ilchester gaol, for his immediate removal to Devonport.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 4 September 1830

   On Saturday evening an inquest was held by Mr. Uphill, coroner, at the Dolphin public-house, in the parish of Weston, on the body of a female, about 40 years of age, which had been found in the river Avon on that day.  It is supposed the deceased had been in the water a week.  At the inquest, her identity could not be ascertained.

 

The Cambrian, 11 September 1830

THE LATE MR. STUCKEY OF CHARD. - The disappearance o Mr. Stuckey, about which so many contradictory statements have been made, is now stripped of all the mystery which has attached to it, and the melancholy fact pf his having been murdered is fully established.  The body was found in a wheat field near Chard, by some reapers, in a frightful state of decomposition, having two severe wounds on the head.  In the pockets cash to the amount of 13l. 12s. 6d. was discovered, and around the body some halfpence were scattered.  An inquest was held on the body on Wednesday, when the Jury returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against some person or persons unknown.

 

The Spectator, 25 September 1830 (7)

CARELESS HANDLING OF FIREARMS.

   A POOR WOMAN WAS KILLED ON Sunday last at Taunton, by the accidental firing of a gun.  A young man called at the house where she did, to borrow it; and trying the lock, not know the gun was loaded, it went off, and the contents were lodged in the head of the poor woman, who was killed on the spot.  She was pregnant; and an attempt was made by some medical men to perform the Caesarean operation, but a mob of women collected and would not have it.  The child was afterwards extracted, but it was then dead.

 

Carmarthen Journal, 1 October 1830

SHOCKING ACCIDENT. - On Sunday morning last, about 11 o'clock, Betsey Jackson, (the wife of a labourer,) who had a few days previously arrived at Taunton from Newton Bushell, to attend the funeral of her father, went into a house in Holway-lane, in the former town, for the purpose of writing a letter to her brother at Bath.  Whist thus engaged, Philip Summers, a young man in the employ of Messrs. Reeves, of North-street, came in and asked to borrow a gun, which he and a young man, the brother of Betsey Jackson, took down from over the fire-place, without making inquiry whether it was loaded.  Summers was examining the lock, and was cautioned to be careful with it. This admonition had not been uttered more than a few moments, when the gun went off, and lodging its contents in the head of the unfortunate woman, killed her on the spot, and she fell from the chair without uttering a word or sigh.

   Bing considerably advanced in pregnancy, Mr. Standert, and several other medical gentlemen who were present, were about attempting the Caearean operation with a view to save the life of he child, but they were violently opposed by some friends of the deceased, and a promiscuous assemblage of women, and the lapse of an hour frustrating hat intention, the life of the child could not be preserved. - An inquest was held by Mr. Caines on Monday, when it was clearly proved that Summers had never before seen the deceased, and the occurrence was quite accidental.

   The Coroner reprimanded Summers for the manner in which he was spending the Sabbath, and advised him never again to meddle with a gun.  The jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death, with a deodand of 5s. on the gun, which was directed to be delivered over by the constable to the Steward of th Manor.  It was in fact a worthless article, and ought never again to be used.  The grief of Summers, as he author of this melancholy event, has been distressingly great, and he remains inconsolable.

 

Carmarthen Journal, 29 October 1830

DREADFUL ACCIDENT. - In removing the roof of an old building in Bath, on Wednesday morning, six men fell down a height of thirty feet.  One of them, of the name of Bennet, from Bristol, having a wife and two children, had his skull dreadfully fractured, in consequence, it is supposed, of a large stone falling upon him, and was taken to the United Hospital, without any hopes of recovery.  The remainder were all more or less seriously bruised and injured, but are now likely to do well.

 

Carmarthen Journal, 31 December 1830

DEATH BY SUFFOCATION. - On Friday night last, about ten o'clock, two young men - Joseph Jones, aged 22, and Wm. Jones, aged 18 - plasterers and tilers, inhabiting s house in a court in Kingsmead-street, were found dead in their beds.  It appeared that the elder brother, finding it cold on Thursday evening, ignited some charcoal to heat the room, and the other coming home late at night went to bed in the dark, and either did not discover the charcoal or deemed it unnecessary to remove it.  The two young men lived in the house alone, and were no discovered until the late hour the following evening, as above stated, when, being called to attend a Christmas eve party, the neighbours went in and found them both dead in their bed, evidently suffocated. - The Mayor held an inquest on the bodies on Christmas day. Verdict accordingly. - Bath Journal.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 1 January 1831

   On Wednesday morning, the body of Francis Fear, farmer, was found in a brook at Chew Magna.  It is supposed that in crossing the bridge, near the place where the body was found and which has no fence to it, he missed his footing, fell into the water, and was drowned.  His wife, on the lifeless body of her husband being brought home, was so much affected, that she is not expected to long survive him.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 18 June 1831

FATAL ACCIDENT. - On Saturday morning, about half-past seven o'clock, when the men were at work building some new houses in Queen-square, Bath, a gust of wind dislodged some stones from an adjoining wall, just over their heads, which fell with such force upon them, as to crush two of them, Philip Osborn and John Reed, to death, and severely injured another.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 13 August 1831

SUICIDE OF A BOY, THROUGH GAMBLING.

   On Monday se'nnight an inquest was held by Mr. Cartar, the coroner for Kent, at the Leather Bottle, at Northfleet, on the body of a fine lad, aged 15.  It appeared that the unfortunate kid was in the service of Mr. Law, of Northfleet, and up to a short period he always conducted himself in the most exemplary manner; but latterly he had become the associate of a party of lads, about his own age, who were much addicted to gambling, &c.  On Saturday afternoon his master and his family happened to go out, and during their absence he joined his old companions, with whom he lost about 17s.  His ill luck acted so powerfully upon his mind, that he went home and hung himself by his neckcloth to a beam in is master's stable.  The jury returned the following verdict - Deranged and distracted.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 13 August 1831

LONDN AND COUNTRY NEWS.

SUDDEN DEATH. - On Saturday evening last a most awful occurrence took place at the banking-house of Sir T. Farquhar, Halliday, and Co., in St. James's-street, which threw the whole establishment into the utmost confusion.  Just before the close of business Colville Bolton, Esq., a gentleman who kept ash there, presented a check for payment and appeared in perfect health, when just at the moment the cashier was about to give him the cash, the unfortunate gentleman suddenly fell backwards and expired without a groan, notwithstanding medical aid as called in immediately, and copious bleeding resorted to.

   A dreadful accident occurred on Wednesday night, about six o'clock, at the ruins of Messrs. Stuart and Co.'s sugar-house, destroyed by fire in Dock-street, East.  A strong scaffolding having been ejected outside the walls, a number of labourers had commenced pulling down the bricks, and lowering them in baskets; at the above period a considerable portion of the gable end nearest the docks gave way, and fell into the interior, with two men named Sims and Leary, who were precipitated to the bottom, a distance of six stories, and buried in the rubbish; they were soon taken out, but life was quite extinct.  Their bodies were conveyed to the Hampshire House in Rosemary-lane, where they will remain till after the inquest.  Sims has left a wife and four children, who were dependent on him for support.

MELANCHLY OCCURRENCE.

   Wednesday evening, between seven and weight o'clock, as Capt. Dancefield, a gentleman between fifty and sixty years f age, residing in Baker-street, York-terrace, Portman-square, was driving his wife in his gig along York-terrace, Regent's Park, he was suddenly seized with an apoplectic fit, and instantly fell out, apparently in a lifeless state. He was immediately assisted into the house of ---- Jenkins, Esq. in York-terrace, a surgeon was procured, and after bleeding him copiously, signs of re-animation appeared, and he was so far recovered as to be enabled to be removed to his residence in Baker-street, in a coach.  The sufferer is at present entirely deprived of the use of his left side.  There are but slight hopes of his recovery.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 3 September 1831

DANGER OF BREAKING BOUNDS. - A large boa constrictor made his escape one day last week from the menageries exhibiting near Bathwick bridge.  It was found drowned in the Avon two days after. - Bath Chronicle.

 

Carmarthen Journal, 25 November 1831

   Monday se'nnight, a respectable man, named Mr. Joseph Garraway, of Batheaston, near Bath, land-surveyor and schoolmaster, entered a small cottage near Bathwick New bridge, for the purpose, as he sated, of writing some memoranda; he was left alone in an inner room (a bed room) foe about half an hour, during which time he hung himself to the bed-post, to effect which, being very tall, he was compelled to throw himself on his knees.  On the return of the cottager, who was of course excessively alarmed, he was instantly cut down, but life was wholly extinct, as an attempt to bleed him very son proved.  Embarrassed circumstances are supposed to have occasioned this dreadful act.  An inquest was held on the same evening, when a verdict of Lunacy was returned.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 24 December 1831

   Extract from a private letter, dated Bath, Dec. 18. - A melancholy occurrence took place in our chapel this morning.  The clergyman, in the course of a sermon on the necessity of repentance, exhorted his hearers to make the best use of their time, as none of them could safely rely on the ensuing night as third own.  Scarcely had he delivered these words, or something to the same effect, when a gentleman, named Palmer, sitting in the same seat near me, dropped down, and instantly expired - an awful illustration of the sermon.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 25 February 1832
SUDDEN DEATHS. - On Tuesday se'nnight, two men, one named Singer and the other Biwood, suddenly fell down and instantly expired, at Frome.  These two individuals were but a short distance from each other at the period of this awful visitation.

Monmouthshire Merlin, 3 March 1832
On Tuesday se'nnight, while a man was attempting to stop a cow in Walcot-street, Bath, the furious animal ran its horns into his side, and tossed him.  He died in the evening.

Monmouthshire Merlin, 20 October 1832
MELANCHOLY DEATH BY GIVING LAIDANUM INSTEAD OF ANOTHER MEDICINE.
  On Friday an inquest was held at the London Inn, Chard, on John Symes, aged about two years, the son of James Symes, of the same place, millwright.  It appeared from the evidence of the father, that the deceased had been a strong healthy child, but that for a few days previous  to the preceding Monday he had been relaxed in his bowels, which was attributed to teething; and on Monday morning a little girl, sister of the deceased, was sent with a phial to a druggist's for two-pennyworth of tincture of rhubarb, instead of which the shopman put up what was afterwards ascertained to be laudanum, but he labeled it "Tincture of Rhubarb," and it was administered as such.  In less than half an hour the fatal error was discovered, a medical gentleman was called in, and he usual antidote was given, but unhappily without effect; the little victim died of the poison on the following day.  After deliberating nearly an hour, the jury returned a verdict of manslaughter against the shopman, who has absconded.

 

Glamorgan Gazette, 9 February 1833
  The Taunton Courier gives the following account of the discovery of a murder committee near that town twenty-four years ago, and of the apprehension of the alleged perpetrators of the horrid deed:- In June, 1808, the body of Patrick Chatsey was found in the river at Creech St. Michael, about three miles from this town.  The deceased was a drummer in the 19th Regiment of Foot, commanded by Captain Lockyer, and had suddenly disappeared on the second or third of December preceding.  An inquest was held on the body before the then Coroner for this part of the county, and after a long investigation, rendered more than ordinarily difficult by the decomposed state of the body, which had evidently remained several weeks in the water, a verdict of "found drowned" was returned. Some suspicious circumstance connected with the death of the deceased transpired at the time, and four persons - John Brooks, Charles Way, Anthony Jerrard, and John Monk, alias Monkton, were supposed to be implicated in the alleged murder of the deceased; but after a slight investigation, the imputation was not persisted on, although at various periods since insinuations of their guilt have been made by different persons.  On Thursday last, Jerrard, who now is, and was at the time of Chatsey's disappearance, landlord of the Black-boy public-house, in Black-boy-lane, in this town, was drinking at the George Inn, when a wrangle ensued between him and Mr. Ricketts, Veterinary Surgeon, in the course of which a person present, in an under tone, suggested to Mr. Rickets that he should ask Jerrard "what had become of the drummer's money?"  Upon this Jerrard observed that 'he neither stole the money, nor did he kill him, but he knew who did.' This expression was followed by a detail of particulars, which led to further inquiry, and induced the magistrates to issue a warrant of apprehension against the prisoners before mentioned.  A diligent and strictly secret examination of various persons likely to throw light on the affair has been continued fort two days, at the Wilton Gaol, where the prisoners are in custody, and the investigation is to be resumed.

Monmouthshire Merlin, 24 August 1833
FEMALE HOMICIDE. - On Wednesday se'nnight an inquest was held by Mr. Caines, at the Borough Inn, Wiveliscombe, Somersetshire, on John Sibley, aged 35.  It appeared that on the preceding Monday evening the deceased, with several other persons, was employed in a field belonging to P. Hancock, Esq., some were mowing wheat, others gathering, and some were binding.  About half-past seven o'clock some angry words passed between the deceased and Sarah White, who was one of the gatherers, and as Sibley was passing by her, he struck her with his hand, and knocked off her bonnet and cap; at which the woman became enraged, and having a gathering hook in her right hand, she made three blows with it at him, the last of which penetrated between the second and third ribs, on the left side of the breast; and in the post mortem examination by Mr. A. F. Edwards, Esq., surgeon, it appeared that the point of the hook had passed through the left lung into the pericardium, and into the upper part of the right ventricle of the heart, and that the depth of the wound was five inches and a half.  After the blow was given the woman let go her hook, and the poor man drew it out himself.  Some blood issued from the wound, and the deceased becoming faint, a surgeon (Mr. Tudball) was sent for, who immediately attended.  Early on the following morning deceased became worse, and Mr. Tudball was again applied to, who sent some medicine, and soon after followed the messenger, but before he came to the house where the deceased lay, (at Ford, more than a mile distant,) he had expired.  After an investigation of six hours the coroner adjourned the inquest to the following afternoon at six o'clock, when several other witnesses were examined, one of whom stated that after the man had said, "Sarah White, I did not mean any harm by what I said of your sons; you have done for me; I am a dying man, but I forgive you, and I hope God will. "  About nine o'clock the jury were left to consider their verdict, and in a few minutes they pronounced the same, viz. Manslaughter against Sarah White, against whom the coroner issued his warrant, and on the following day she was committed to Wilton gaol, for trial at the next assizes.

Cambrian, 9 November 1833
LAMENTABLE ACCIDENT. - FIVE LIVES LOST! - On Saturday morning, at about eight o'clock, the boiler of a new steam engine recently erected at the Tything Coal Works) the property of Messrs. Blacker, Collins, and Co.) at Radstock, near Bath, exploded, and destroyed nearly the whole of the premises, parts of which, together with detached portions of the machinery of the engine, were scattered to an almost incredible distance.  Eight men, including the three engineers, were hurled in different directions.  One man was killed on the spot, his head being nearly blown off; a second died whilst being conveyed to his place of residence; . .  .  Bath and Cheltenham Gazette.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 15 February 1840

SUICIDE AT GLASTONBURY.

A suicide of the most afflicting nature took place at this town on Monday week.  The unfortunate man was a Mr. Bullhied, formerly, we understand, in business, in Wine street, in this city, but who, having amassed a considerable property, had retired to the country.  It appears that trusting to the respectability of a firm in Glastonbury, which has lately failed to a large amount, he had become security for one of the parties for £1700.  Negotiations for the repayment of this sum having failed, a writ was issued against Mr. Bullhied, which preyed so much upon his mind, that he went to the sexton of the church and borrowed the keys, assigning as a reason for ascending the Tower (which is 150 feet high) that he had some land in the neighbourhood, and he wished to ascertain if it was flooded by the late rains.  A boy accompanied him to the church, whom he desired to wait below whist he went up; a few minutes only had elapsed when he was found to have precipitated himself from the top of the Tower.  When taken up he was quite dead, and his corpse was horribly mangled.  A coroner's inquest was held on the body, and evidence adduced that the deceased had been subject to violent paroxysms, which occasionally rendered restraint necessary; and no doubt the immediate loss he had sustained acting on his nervous temperament, had brought on one, which led to the commission of the dreadful act.  The Jury accordingly returned a verdict of Insanity.  [See also The Cambrian, 15 February, re examination at the inquest of Messrs. Reeves and failure due to the Glastonbury canal.]

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 15 February 1840

HORRIBLE TRAGEDY AT DUNKERTON, NEAR BATH.

Silcox, 35, murder?

   The latter stood upon his defence, and having disabled the constable he ran and threw himself into a pool of water, having previously cut his throat.  He was dragged to shore, but not before he was quite dead.  There is no hope whatever of the recovery of Jordan and his wife.

FURTHER PARTICULARS.

.  .  .  .   The body was then taken to the aisle of the church; on it an inquest has since been held by R. Uphill, Esq., county coroner, and a verdict of felo de se returned.  Silcocks was a single man, above the middle stature, and of great muscular power.

 

Glamorgan Gazette, 23 May 1840

WILFUL MURDER. - On Tuesday morning, we regret to say that the body of a female infant child was found in the canal, under circumstances which leave strong grounds for suspicion that it has been murdered.  It was first discovered in the tunnel, near Sydney Gardens, by a bargeman, named Emanuel Masters, who was taking his boat through the tunnel between eight and nine o'clock in the morning.  Having passed the spot where he saw the body, he did not return, but gave notice to policeman Furnice, who immediately went to the spot, and a boat being passing at the time, the body of the infant, having its head tied up on a sort of linen bag, but the rest of the body exposed, was seen floating on the surface of the canal, as described by Masters.  No time was lost in getting it a shore, and it was taken to the Crown Inn, in Bathwick-street, in order that it might be examined.  In the evening of the same day an inquest was held before A. H. English, Esq., Coroner, when evidence as to the finding of the child having been given to the above effect, the jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against some person unknown. - Bath Chronicle.

 

The Cambrian, 22 August 1840

THREE LIVES LOST AT BATH. - A melancholy and fatal accident occurred on the river Avon, at Bath, on Sunday.  An old man, named William Rawlings, a painter, residing  at Walcot, and two of his sons, James and Henry Rawlings, with a grandchild, and a young man named King, went out for an excursion of pleasure.  Theory had not proceeded far up the river before the old man, who held in his hands his grandchild, about5 17 months old, got from his seat, and it is supposed lost his balance and fell one side, by which means the light craft in which they were seated was swamped.  The whole of the party were at once plunged into the water, where James Rawlings, the father of the child, got hold of it, and supported himself above the water upon the boat until assistance was procures.  He and the child were saved, while the other three unhappily perished.

AFFECTING CASE OF MURDER.

   On Friday, at the Somersetshire Assizes at Wells, Edward Garrett was indicted for the murder of his son Edmond Garrett, at Bath, on the 25th of June last.  On the prisoner being placed at the bar he appeared overcome by the deepest anguish, and hung his head over the bar absorbed in the most heartrending grief.  It appeared that the prisoner was a shoemaker, bearing the most exemplary character for honesty, industry, and affection for his family; but he had been suffering from the cruellest want and misery.  He had three children, whose cries for food as they went hungry to bed night after night drove him mad; he had only one resource - the poor-law union, - and rather than see those he loved parted from him, for ever perhaps, he preferred that they should all die together.  Phrenzied by these feelings, he procured a bottle of laudanum, and administered it to his two children and himself.  He was found in a state of stupor; antidotes were administered to him and the two children, but one of them, Edmond, the younger, died at ten that night.  The prisoner was committed to prison, and a coroner's jury at the inquest returned a verdict of temporary insanity.  A letter from the prisoner to his sister was read, stating that his horrid sufferings and dreadful act, and attributing them to his hopeless misery.  The wretched man received the highest character for humanity and affection to his family.  The jury after a quarter of an hour's deliberation, returned a verdict of Guilty, but recommended him to mercy on account of the distressed state of his mind.  [See also Monmouthshire Merlin, 29 August 1840.]

 

The Monmouthshire Merlin, 12 September 1840

   Wednesday afternoon, as a girl named Clark, with a child in her arms about two years old, was witnessing Batty's collection of wild beasts, exhibiting in the Castle market, Bath, she incautiously approached too near one of the cages containing a leopard.  The animal caught at her clothes, and on the girl turning round it grasped the child's face near the eye, lacerating it in a frightful manner, and making several indentations with its teeth about the jaw and neck.  The poor little creature was taken to the United Hospital, but it was found to be do dreadfully injured that recovery is hopeless.

 

Glamorgan Gazette, 12 September 1840

Edward Garrett, who was convicted at the Somerset assizes for poisoning his son, and sentenced to be hung, was reprieved on the 28th of August, and is now sentenced to be transported for life.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School