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Colonial Cases

Worcestershire

The Times, 8 January 1800
MURDER. - Thursday se'nnight, a Coroner's Inquest was held on the body of Joshua Philpots, of the Parish of St. Clements, Worcester, when a verdict of Wilful Murder was found against Francis Hague, a Sergeant of Marines, and two other persons soldiers) unknown.  We are informed that this unfortunate man, being on his way from Bromsgrove to Worcester on the 11th September last, with his cart and two horses, was overtaken on the Droitwich road, near the Raven public-house, by two soldiers, who wanted to ride in his cart; and, on being refused, they beat and abused him, and struck him with the butt end or a sword, or bayonet, which laid bare his skull, and very much otherwise bruised him about the head; the Serjeant unhooked and mounted the fore-horse, and rode with it in his gearing towards Worcester, but the son of the deceased, a lad about 13 years of age, who was going to meet his father, seeing the Serjeant on the horse, stopped him, and challenged the horse, upon which the Serjeant dismounted, saying he should have left the horse at the turnpike; that a man behind had been much hurt, and that he had run a quarter of a mile to catch the horse, and then  went towards Worcester.
  The boy, and another boy with him, afterwards found the deceased kneeling in his cart, with his clothes bloody, and nearly in a state of stupefaction; he said that he had been hurt by three soldiers, and rendered senseless for some time from a blow he had received from a weapon, and that one of them had taken away his horse.  He was conveyed to Worcester Infirmary, and great hopes were entertained of his recovery; but a fresh collection of matter having formed on his brain, brought about his dissolution.  The Serjeant appeared in public till the day of the inquest, when he quitted his quarters.  The other two soldiers have not since been heard of.

 

The Times, 8 January 1800
MURDER. - Thursday se'nnight, a Coroner's Inquest was held on the body of Joshua Philpots, of the Parish of St. Clements, Worcester, when a verdict of Wilful Murder was found against Francis Hague, a Sergeant of Marines, and two other persons soldiers) unknown.  We are informed that this unfortunate man, being on his way from Bromsgrove to Worcester on the 11th September last, with his cart and two horses, was overtaken on the Droitwich road, near the Raven public-house, by two soldiers, who wanted to ride in his cart; and, on being refused, they beat and abused him, and struck him with the butt end or a sword, or bayonet, which laid bare his skull, and very much otherwise bruised him about the head; the Serjeant unhooked and mounted the fore-horse, and rode with it in his gearing towards Worcester, but the son of the deceased, a lad about 13 years of age, who was going to meet his father, seeing the Serjeant on the horse, stopped him, and challenged the horse, upon which the Serjeant dismounted, saying he should have left the horse at the turnpike; that a man behind had been much hurt, and that he had run a quarter of a mile to catch the horse, and then  went towards Worcester.
  The boy, and another boy with him, afterwards found the deceased kneeling in his cart, with his clothes bloody, and nearly in a state of stupefaction; he said that he had been hurt by three soldiers, and rendered senseless for some time from a blow he had received from a weapon, and that one of them had taken away his horse.  He was conveyed to Worcester Infirmary, and great hopes were entertained of his recovery; but a fresh collection of matter having formed on his brain, brought about his dissolution.  The Serjeant appeared in public till the day of the inquest, when he quitted his quarters.  The other two soldiers have not since been heard of.

 

Carmarthen Journal, 23 October 1829

QUALMS OF CONSCIENCE. - On 7th May, 1780, a labourer, named Gummery, with his wife, and daughter aged nine, and Thomas Sheen, the brother of Gummery's wife, were murdered in their beds at Berrow, in this county.  These murders caused the greatest sensation at the moment, and some persons were apprehended on suspicion, but no evidence could be obtained sufficient to warrant the trial of any one on the dreadful charge; the general impression was, that the murders were committed from motives of revenge, arising out of transactions connected with the enclosure o Malvern Link.

   A circumstance has within these few days occurred the Worcester Infirmary, which seems to throw some light on the dreadful affair: - On 1st August, a man named Geo. Stokes, of Madres-field, 75 years of age, was admitted into the Infirmary, having a complaint in one of his legs; mortification took place, and on Sunday he died.  In the near prospect of death, Stokes's mind appears to have been haunted by a terrible crime of his early years; in moments of delirium appeared frequently to revert to a murder in which he had been concerned; had this idea been confined to the temporary aberrations of intellect, perhaps little stress would have been laid upon the fact; but in a more collected moment, he acknowledged to one of the medical officers. That he was concerned in the murder of Gummery and his family - that he "nobbled" one of them with a bill-hook - and that the others who took part in the murder were now dead.  The instrument alluded to by Stokes, agrees well with that which appeared to have been used, for it was believed at the time, from the evidence before the Coroner, that the poor creatures were "murdered with a hatchet or some such like instrument."  We take it, therefore, highly probable that Stokes's confession was true, & that all the actors in the dreadful tragedy have passed into that unseen world, where they must render an account of the "deeds done in the body." - Worcester Journal.

 

The Observer, 14 February 1802

   Esther Owen, of Broomsgrave, was some days since committed to Worcester Gaol, charged with the murder of her female illegitimate child.

 

The Observer, 23 January 1803

   At Worcester, a child was on Wednesday burned so severely, that it died while conveying to the hospital.

 

The Observer, 13 February 1803

   A girl named Hughes, was last week committed to Worcester gaol, charged with the murder of her illegitimate child.

 

Cambrian, 27 October 1804

The following deplorable circumstance appeared at a coroner's inquest held last week upon the body of a young woman of the parish of King's Norton, Worcestershire:- the bed-fellow of the deceased, an old woman, was awakened by the noise of groans, and discovered the young woman out of bed, sitting in the room, who complained she was very ill; the old woman got up and warmed her some wine, which she drank, said she was then better, and went to bed again, but bin the course of the night she died.  In the morning it was discovered that the young woman had delivered herself of a child, which (from the testimony of a medical gentleman that attended the inquest) was born alive, and it is supposed, that during the time the old woman was down stairs warming the wine, this most unnatural mother took the opportunity of putting the infant between the bed and a straw mattress, where the poor unfortunate infant was found pressed flat under its monster of a parent.

 

Cambrian, 23 March 1805

On Monday an inquest was held at Worcester, on the body of a new-born female bastard child, found mangled and lacerated in a most shocking manner, in a privy-house in the College-yard, in that part of Worcester, which lies in the county; when after an investigation of four hours a verdict of wilful murder was returned against its unnatural mother.  The unfortunate and wretched mother is a young woman about 19, of the name of Jones, an apprentice to a mantua-maker, who had delivered herself on Sunday morning. - The head of the infant was cut off, and the body literally cut to pieces.  The mother, when recovered, will be removed to the county gaol for trial at the next mid-summer assizes.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 30 January 1830     [1806]

   On Thursday, was found by a man employed to take down a barn at Netherwood, in the parish of Oddingly, Worcestershire, the Skelton of a man buried under the barn floor.  His shoes were nearly perfect, and a two-feet rule by the side of the thigh-bones, not the least decayed. The person who found him is the brother-in-law of Richard Hemming, late of Droitwich, carpenter: and he firmly believes the Skelton to be that of his bother-in-law, Hemming, the supposed murderer of the Rev. George Parker, of the  said parish of Oddingley, who was murdered whilst walking in his own ground, about four o'clock on the afternoon, on the 24th of June, 1806, and a reward of 100 guineas was then offered by the magistrates of the county of Worcester foe the apprehension of the  said Richard Hemming.  The remains have been taken into careful custody, to await the coroner's inquest.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 6 February 1830            [1806]

DISCOVERY OF THE BODY OF A MURDERER NEAR WORCESTER.

   A murder was committed so far back as the month of June, 1806, at the village of Oddingley in Worcestershire.  The victim was the Rev, Mr. Parker, the resident minister; the reported perpetrator of the deed was a man named Hemming, but at the time he was considered only as an instrument in the hands of others, who formed a combination in order to take away the life of the Rev. Gentleman, and his instigators fearing that he could not withstand the temptation of a large reward offered by the county for the apprehension of the guilty person, are supposed to have sacrificed him, in order the better to insure their own safety, and to have buried him in a barn in the same parish, where a skeleton, recognized as that of Hemming,, has recently been discovered.

   The following is an extract from a private letter, dated Worcester, Jan. 25, 1830, which enables us to lay before our readers many interesting particulars relative to this extraordinary affair:-   tbc

 

 

Cambrian, 11 February 1809

Lamentable Effects of the late floods.

   Owner Bouckley, of Stourport, and two of his men, after conveying a passenger from Worcester to Upton-on-Severn, on the same day, were upset on their return, and all the three drowned.

 

Cambrian, 31 March 1810

Suicides.

An inquest was held on Monday last at Worcester, on the body of the son of Mr. Harris, attorney, of that city.  It appears that this youth was on his return to school, after having visited his parents.  While on the road he wept, and said to the female who accompanied him that he would not go to school.  She entreated him to return home; this he also refused to do, and when they arrived at a place called the Ketch, he said, "good bye," and rushing down the steep, plunged into the Severn, and was drowned.  The Jury found in their verdict, that the deceased being under the age of discretion (12 years only) and not knowing good from evil did, in the passion of either grief or discontent, cast himself into the Severn, and thereby caused his death.

 

Cambrian, 1 September 1810

Tuesday se'nnight an Inquest was taken at the Chapelry of Wire Piddle, Worcestershire, by Mr. Hill, Coroner, on view of the body of George Atkins, aged 12 years, whose death happened in the following melancholy manner:- On Sunday evening, about 7 o'clock, the deceased who ivied with his father at Pershore, was returning on the turnpike road at Hill and Moor from taking a brother to his master's, when he was shot by Thomas Izod, and instantly expired.  Thomas Izod had taken from the Hayward of Hill and Moor, the gun used for frightening the birds from the corner, and asking if it was loaded, was answered twice by the Hayward it was not, in the presence of several persons: he then (having belonged to a corps of Volunteers) went through part of the manual exercise; the deceased passing by at the time, pointed his finger at Izod, who immediately levelled the gun, and killed Atkins on the spot.  It appeared in evidence, that the Hayward, who is a very old man, 70 years of age, had loaded the gun with small stones, and imagined he had discharged it at the time.  The jurors, being satisfied there was no evil intention in Izod, who was an utter stranger to the deceased, and that he had been mislead by the old man, brought in their Verdict. - Accidental Death.

   An Inquest was held at Worcester, on Wednesday se'nnight, on the body of a person of the name of Chalmers, who was discovered early on Monday morning lying near a person's door in Foregate-street, in a state of insensibility; when first seen, it was thought that, having been intoxicated, he had fallen asleep; but the circumstances of his remaining in the same position for an hour or two, induced some persons to conclude that he was ill, and they accordingly took him to the Infirmary, where means were used to restore him, but he expired in a few hours after.  On examining the body, it appeared that he must have fallen upon his head in a fit of apoplexy, and the violence of the blow caused the bursting of a blood-vessel in the head.  He was identified by means of the papers which he had about him, and indeed his person was recognized by several people, as it is not more than a month since he publicly recited literary compositions at Worcester.  He was very well known about eighteen years since at Worcester, Hereford, and the adjacent places, being at that time a very popular performer, since when he has visited America in the same capacity.

 

Cambrian, 2 February 1811

RETROSPECT.

   Tuesday an inquest was taken in Redditch, Worcestershire, by J. Fidkin, Esq. coroner, on the body of Mary Reading, burnt to death.  It appeared in evidenced, that the deceased was discovered in her room, by a neighbour, entirely lifeless, her clothes mostly consumed, and her body exhibiting a dreadful spectacle; and it was conjectured that in removing something from the fire, the flames had communicated to her dress.  The jury therefore returned their verdict - Accidental Death.

 

Cambrian, 12 December 1812

Tuesday, as T. Lambert, (son of Mr. R. Lambert, of St. George's Place, Cheltenham,) apprentice to Messrs. Shaw and Son, surgeons, Dudley, was returning home from visiting a patient, the night being dark he missed his way, and was in consequence precipitated to the bottom of a coal-pit, and dashed to atoms.

 

Cambrian, 5 December 1818

SUICIDE. - A gentlemanly-looking man, apparently about 40 years of age, alighted from the Hero Bristol coach, on Thursday evening, at the Star and Garter Hotel, Worcester, and immediately proceeded to a gunsmith's to purchase a brace of small holder pistols, which he requested might be loaded, as he was going forward by the coach.  This having been done agreeably to his direction, he returned to the Star, and, after dining there, desired to be shewn to a bed-room.  He had not been long in the room when the report of a pistol was heard, and on opening the door, the unfortunate gentleman was found lying on the bed nearly lifeless, having shot himself through the heart!  He expired in a few minutes.  From a memorandum in his pocket-book, it appeared that his name was Jackson; but no further account could be collected.  He had indeed written in pencil a few words of a letter to his parents, but they did not lead to a discovery of his family or connexions. He was from London, and slept on Wednesday night at the Talbot, Bristol, where he appeared much distressed in mind, and said he was going to Liverpool.  He was booked by the name of Jackson.  An inquest was held on the body on Friday, and the verdict of the jury was Lunacy.

 

Cambrian, 28 April 1821

Melancholy Accident. - On Wednesday, a groom, in the service of Mr. Thomas Hawkins, Stanton Court, Worcestershire, being sent by his master to the Haw, for some live tench to stock a pond, on his arrival proceeded in a boat for the purpose of getting the fish out of a trunk, which was moored in the middle of the river, and, whilst thus occupied, he overbalanced himself, and falling backwards into the river, sunk to rise no more!  ... In about an hour, the body was got up by means of nets, but life of course was totally extinct.  When the corpse was brought out, the attachment of his dumb associate again manifested itself, as the poor creature stretched himself upon his breast and licked his face; and it was not without considerable difficulty that he could be separated from it.  An inquest was since been held upon the body, when a verdict of Accidental Death was returned.  The poor fellow bore an excellent character, as a careful and steady servant.

 

Cambrian, 28 April 1821

   On Friday, in consequence of an anonymous letter received by Mr. Hall, Coroner, of Worcester, that Miss Melicent Neale (whose death occurred some time ago), died from violent means, the body having been buried without an inquest being held, a warrant for disinterring it was issued, and an inquest held at the parish church of Claines, near Worcester, when it appeared in evidence,  from the examination of Doctor Hastings and other witnesses, that the deceased, about eight o'clock in the morning of the 28th ult., was found lying over the fender under the grate in her sitting-room, under which she had fallen during the absence of her maid, in a slight fit, and was so much burnt on her left side that she died on the 1st instant.  The body and head were opened in the presence of several medical men, previous to interment, and were found to be much diseased, but nothing appeared to warrant the report that death ensued otherwise than from accident.  The jury expressed their unanimous decision, that the disinterment and inquest were highly necessary, the death being from burning, and to allay the reports which had been in circulation. - Verdict, Accidental Death. - The above case shews the necessity, wherever the death of any person is occasioned by accident, of having the Coroner always called in.

 

Cambrian, 6 July 1822

WORCESTERSHIRE. - An inquest was held on Thursday, at the Bull-inn, Eckington, on Thomas Pickerill, aged 33, a road-maker, in the employ of Mr. Allen Stokes, of that place, who died early on Thursday morning, in consequence of taking the preceding night half an ounce of arsenic, in a fit of insanity, occasioned by a too well-founded jealousy, having detected his wife in an improper familiarity with Charles Fowler, one of his neighbours.  It appeared in evidence, that the deceased had forbidden Fowler his house, and that, in consequence, disputes had arisen between the unfortunate man and his wife.  The affair was laid before a neighbouring magistrate, who advised the hardened woman to abandon the disgraceful connexion; but to no purpose, the acquaintance continued, and the deceased hearing of their having been together on Monday morning last, upon his returning home in the evening, he questioned his wife as to the fact, when she admitted that Fowler had called; he then asked her for some sugar, and mixing it with the arsenic he had previously bought, took it in her presence. - Assistance was immediately obtained, but to no effect.  The character of the deceased was marked by great eccentricity, but of indefatigable industry and strict honesty.  Verdict, Died in consequence of taking poison administered by his own hand in a fit of insanity, produced by jealousy.

 

Cambrian, 3 August 1822

WORCESTERSHIRE. - Monday week as two miners, Wm. Spittle and Wm. Thomas, were at work  at Dudley Port Colliery, a large quantity of coals giving way, fell upon them, and killed Thomas on the spot, and Spittle died in about a quarter of an hour after he was taken out of the pit.  An inquest was held on the bodies on Wednesday, before Henry Smith, Esq. Coroner, when a verdict of accidental death was returned.

 

The Cambrian, 25 January 1823

SHOCKING OCCURRENCE. - On Monday last, about twelve o'clock at noon, a woman of the name of Dancer, residing in Mill-street, in Stourbridge, nearly severed off the head of her child, about nine months old.  She had so mangled the poor innocent with a large knife that it was a dreadful spectacle.  A coroner's inquest has been held, and she is committed to Worcester gaol on a charge of murder.  It is considered that she is insane.

 

The Cambrian, 31 January 1824

   It is with regret that we have to revert to the disastrous consequences resulting from the late fire at Worcester.  An inquest was summoned at the Infirmary on Wednesday, to inquire into the circumstances of the death of Mr. James Tebay, livery-stable-keeper, of London, and formerly a singer of Covent Garden Theatre.  The deceased had his leg badly fractured near the ancle joint by the falling of one of the galleries, and was conveyed to that institution, where the operation of amputating the limb was performed on Friday, and he died on Monday evening.  After hearing the evidence, the Jury returned a verdict of accidental death, and a deodand of 20s. was directed to be upon the timber used in the erection of the galleries. - We understand the matter is shortly to become the subject of legal inquiry, either by indictment or action.

 

The Cambrian, 11 December 1824

   On Tuesday, at Norton Beauchamp, Worcestershire, a man of the name of Sherwood, bailiff to Mr. Hunt, of that place, in attempting to cross the brook there, which was greatly swollen, with three horses, got into the middle of the stream, when, by the force of the current, the horses were taken off their legs, and driven among the piles which support the foot bridge, and being unable to extricate themselves, they were all drowned.  Sherwood contrived to get upon the bridge, but, unhappily, whilst in the endeavour to assist the struggling animals, he fell into the torrent, and, although several persons greatly exerted themselves to save him, the poor fellow also perished.  The ill-fated man was 60 years of age, and much esteemed as an honest and industrious servant.

   Friday morning, an inquest was held at Alfrick, before Geo. Hill, Esq. Coroner, on the body of Thomas Rice, who on the evening of the above event was drowned in endeavouring to ford Leigh brook, the waters at which place were higher than has been known for 50 years.  Three other persons had nearly met the same fate a few moments previous, but were rescued by a man throwing a rope to them, the velocity and strength of the current here were such as to bear down every thing that resisted it, and bridges, gates, and fences, were swept before it, causing considerable damage in the neighbourhood.

 

 

The Cambrian, 1 January 1825

   Mr. H. Jackson, son of Mr. Wm. Jackson, of Coal Pool, Worcestershire, left home on a shooting excursion on Friday se'nnight; not having returned on the following morning, search was made, and he was found by his father lying dead in a ditch, not far from home, with a small gun-shot wound in his left side, and his gun discharged.  It is supposed that the gun exploded as he was crossing a hedge.

 

North Wales Gazette (Bangor), 3 February 1825

FATAL DEATH OF LADY MOSTYN.

See The Cambrian, 5 February, below.

 

The Cambrian, 5 February 1825

MOST AFFLICTING CATASTROPHE. - A few days ago, an infant son of Mr. Edward Mostyn, Bart. Of Spring Bank, near Worcester, shewing symptoms of an attack of scarlet fever, the remainder of the children were, in order to prevent its further spreading amongst them, sent to the house of Mr. Parry, a farmer, living at Red Hill, a short distance from Spring Bank.

   On Tuesday last, Lady Mostyn, their most excellent and amiable mother, walked thither early in the morning, to pass the day with them, and the close carriage was sent to fetch her home at nine o'clock in the evening.  The approach to Mr. Parry's house from the high-road is a short but steep ascent; and at the moment the carriage had cleared the gate, the off-wheel slipped into a water-shoot, when, by the violence of the jerk, the coachman was thrown from his seat to the ground.  He, however, almost immediately recovered his legs, and running to the horses, who had got into a gallop, succeeded in laying hold of the traces, and lastly of the reins.  The near animal now began to kick violently at him, and his leg catching in the coachman's clothes, he was again pulled down and the wheels passed over both his knees.

   Upon this, the horses free from all restraint, set off at full speed towards Spring bank, and, in endeavouring to turn into the road to it, brought the carriage against two posts with great violence, splitting both.  They then took again towards the high-road, and continued their furious career.  Lady Mostyn had to this time kept her seat; but it is supposed, her fright at her situation being increased by the concussion, she took the fatal resolution of jumping out.  Besides the coachman, a footman was in attendance upon her Ladyship.  The latter, who had got down at the gate, to open it, was in the act of stepping up behind when the coachman fell, and ran forward to the coach-door, but was unable to retain hold of it, owing to the rate at which the horses were going.  he then followed the carriage with all the speed he was able, and about twenty yards from the entrance to Spring Bank, he found his mistress, lying  flat on her face, with her eyes closed and bleeding profusely at the nose, and in a state of complete insensibility.  He then took off his coat, and wrapping it around her, placed her on the bank; and she was ultimately conveyed home in a large chair, scarcely shewing the least signs of life.

   Five medical gentlemen from Worcester were promptly at the bed-side of the unfortunately; they found her right shoulder dislocated, and such an extensive injury on the left side of her head, that they immediately pronounced her case destitute of the smallest hope.  She remained through that and the next night in the same state, apparently perfectly unconscious of her situation, and about six o'clock on Thursday morning she expired ! .  .  .   Lady Mostyn, who was about 35 years of age, was the daughter of ------ Blundell, Esq. of Crosby House, Lancashire.  The Coroner's inquest have returned a verdict of Accidental  Death.

 

The Cambrian, 19 August 1826

MURDER AT DUDLEY. - Early on the morning of Tuesday last, a dreadful occurrence took place near the town of Dudley.  It appears that Daniel Grainger, who resided at Netherton, had been drinking with several others on Monday night at the George public-house, which he left between twelve and one o'clock in company with another person.  On their entering the road,leading to Netherton, a man apparently asleep, was observed lying across the footpath.  On being roused he got up  and immediately attacked Grainger, a scuffle  ensued, and they both fell to the ground.  Grainger afterwards exclaimed to his companion, who was at some distance, "I am stabbed," and on going to his assistance, he found the ruffian had inflicted a wound (supposed to be with a common  pocket knife, afterwards found on his person) in the lower part of the abdomen, though which his bowels were protruding to a frightful extent.  On the alarm being given several persons came to the spot; the man did not attempt to escape, and when secured he made no resistance.  Grainger was conveyed to the house of a relative near the place, where he expired on the following day. - An inquest was held on the body by Thomas Hallen, Esq. on Friday last, at the Public-office, where a full and patient investigation of the circumstances took place, which lasted from ten in the morning till five in the afternoon.  The Jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against the prisoner William Durou, who was accordingly committed got Worcester gaol.

 

The Cambrian, 19 August 1826

FATAL EFFECTS OF GAMING. - On Friday one of the servants of a gentleman who resides near the city of Worcester, put a period to his existence, by hanging himself at his master's house.  It appears that the unhappy man was much addicted to gaming; some time since he lost a considerable sum in this way in the metropolis, but his ill success did not deter him from the harmful pursuit; he went to one of the gaming tables during the late races, and after losing 150l.savings while at service, he pledged his watch, and lost that; driven to madness by self-reproach, he soon after committed the dreadful act of suicide.  An inquest was held upon his body on Saturday, and a verdict of temporary derangement returned.  The deceased was a native of Denmark, and it is somewhat singular that his general habits were very penurious.

 

The Cambrian, 31 March 1827

   An unmarried female, named Sarah Bayliss, was committed to Worcester gaol, on Thursday, charged with the murder of her infant child, by taking a noxious d rug to procure untimely labour.  The body of the child was discovered by the parish officers buried in a garden at the back of the house where she resided, and was interred in the church-yard without investigation; but the circumstance being made known to the magistrates, they ordered to body to be disinterred, and an inquest was held upon it, which ended in the committal of the woman for wilful murder.

 

The Cambrian, 1 December 1827

   A very melancholy event occurred at a village a few miles from Worcester, on Sunday se'nnight, when a young man, of respectable connexions, poisoned himself under very distressing circumstances, in consequence of a hopeless attachment he had formed for a female moving in the same sphere as himself, but who had declined receiving his addresses.

 

Carmarthen Journal, 18 April 1828

MURDER. - A deliberate murder was committed on the evening ort Monday week, at Oldbury, in the parish of Hales Owen, and an inquisition was on Thursday held before G. Hinchlciffe, Esq.   The circumstances of this horrid truncation are these:-

   John Horton, the deceased, was one of the serjeants of the Olbury Court of Requests, and the keeper of the Gaol belonging to the Court.  Six or seven executions have been within the last two years issued against Wm. Stevenson, and placed in the hands of the officers of the Court to be executed.  Stevenson, however, had repeatedly threatened to kill the first man who offered to take him.  Several ineffectual attempts were made by the officers and their assistants to take him, but the officers when alone did not attempt it, though they frequently told him of the executions.  It appeared that some time ago Stevenson had provided himself with an instrument about twenty inches long, made of part of a sword,  and fixed in a wooden handle.  About six weeks since he had this instrument ground in the shape of a large carving knife, but directed the end to be drawn into a sharp point, and had it highly polished.  He then declared he would cut off the arms or legs of any Oldbury man who came to take him.

   On the 31st ultimo, about s even o'clock, Stevenson was sitting and drinking with a dozen more men in the Whimsey public-house in Oldbury.  The deceased came in and told Stevenson he must go with him, to which Stevenson consented, but got the deceased to permit him to go home and wash himself first.  The deceased went home, and in the meantime Stevenson returned and sat down, but in a short time he pulled the knife from under his coat and brandished it before the company, swore he would stab the first man that came to take him. The deceased also returned shortly afterwards, and went up to Stevenson and told him civilly that he was ready to go with him.  Stevenson immediately rose from his seat, put his left hand against the face of the deceased, and drawing out his knife, he plunged it into the body of the deceased, immediately under the breast, and then saying, "Now I am ready to go with you," he held the knife up and walked quietly through the company out of the house !!    At the door he shewed the knife to a person outside, and he afterwards shewed it to another person, declaring that he had stabbed the deceased, and that he would stab the first person who tried to stop him.

   The deceased walked out of the house, but was immediately carried in again and put to bed, where he died in great agony the next morning, the knife having passed completely through the liver. Stevenson was quite sober.

  A verdict of Wilful Murder was returned against Stevenson, and a large reward offered for his apprehension.  The conduct of some of those who were drinking with Stevenson was highly reprehensible; they made no endeavours to prevent the murderous attack, nor after it was committed did they try to secure the perpetrator, or to follow him after he left the house. The deceased, Horton, was a very quiet, respectable man, and has left a pregnant widow and five children.

 

Carmarthen Journal, 12 September 1828

FATAL ACCIDENT. - On Tuesday, the 21st instant, Mr. Richard Pardoe, of Stoke Prior, near Broomsgrove, accompanied by his brother, and Mr. Henry Brettle, also of Stoke, took their guns, and went out to enjoy the sports of the field.  About mid-day, as they were on their return the dogs made a point at a bird, and all three prepared to fire, on the bird's rising, however, it proved to be a pheasant, when, mist unfortunately, Mr. B.'s gun went off; and Mr. R. Pardoe, who was a few paces in advance, received the whole contents: it struck, and carried away, part of his hip bone, and then entered his body.  He had only power to exclaim - "I am killed ! - I am killed !" and expired without a sigh or a struggle.

 

Carmarthen Journal, 12 September 1828  

SUICIDE. - At a lone cottage, four miles from Malvern an amiable and accomplished girl, named Bateman, a respectable farmer's daughter in the neighbourhood of Tewkesbury, took Prussic acid on the night of the 256th ult., and its fatal power produced almost instantaneous death.  The tale of this young woman's sorrow is but short:- She had admitted herself to the embraces of a young gentleman who was on a visit at Tewkesbury; and becoming operant by him, he removed her, to save her from disgrace, to the neighbourhood of Malvern.  He visited her several times, but was married on the 17th ult. to another, and this is the only cause that can be assigned for the rash girl's frantic conduct.

 

The Cambrian, 18 October 1828

   The following truly melancholy event occurred near the Hundred House, about midway between Worcester and Tenbury, on Thursday afternoon.  Mr. Prosser, a respectable surveyor and architect, of Worcester, was returning to his home in a gig, accompanied by his wife and another female.  At a short distance from Stanford, he descended to adjust some part of the harness, placing the reins in the hands of Mrs. P. and whilst thus engaged, the horse became restive, by plunging got away from his hold: Mr. P. was knocked down, and the wheel passed over him.  The animal then set off at full speed, the ladies keeping their seats, until reaching the Stanford Turnpike.  The approach of the horse had been observed by the aged woman who attended the gate, but before she could open the gate, the animal ran against her, struck her to the groaned, and bringing the gig in contact with the post, literally dashed it to atoms, hurling the two females a considerable distance. The result was the death of the poor gate-keeper, who received such injury as to survive but a very short time; and Mr. and Mrs. Prosser were so much hurt, that they are both confined to their beds.  The other female sustained some slight bruises only.

DIED.

Mr. Wheatley, of the Golden Lion Inn, Bromsgrove.  The deceased had for some time been labouring under severe illness, producing mental phrenzy, in a fit of which he precipitated himself from a two-pair of stairs windows of the house into the street, and was taken up a corpse.

 

 

The Cambrian, 31 January 1829

   On Tuesday night, a dreadful instance of suicide occurred at Worcester, where Mr. J. Knight, for many years clerk in the banking establishment of Messrs. Berwick, Lechmere, and Co. cut his throat with a razor, in a most determined manner, after two ineffectual attempts to shoot himself with a pistol, in this shop of Mr. Biggs, seedsman.  The coroner's jury returned the verdict of Felo de se.  The cause of the shocking act was not stated at the inquest.

 

The Cambrian, 6 June 1829

   A man named Bishop, a retailer of coal, living in Lowesmore, is now under detention in Worcester gaol, to await the event of the recovery of a lad, about 16 years of age, whose skull he fractured last week, by striking him with a shovel.

 

The Cambrian, 12 September 1829

CHARGE OF MURDER. - Michael Toll was on Wednesday lodged in Worcester County Gaol committed by Mr. Hallan, Coroner, on a charge of causing the death of Anne Cook, by pushing her into a coal-pit, at Lye-on-the-Waste, near Stourbridge.  The parties were seen sitting together near the pit on Monday se'nnight.  The body was found on Friday.

 

Carmarthen Journal, 23 October 1829

QUALMS OF CONSCIENCE. - On 7th May, 1780, a labourer, named Gummery, with his wife, and daughter aged nine, and Thomas Sheen, the brother of Gummery's wife, were murdered in their beds at Berrow, in this county.  These murders caused the greatest sensation at the moment, and some persons were apprehended on suspicion, but no evidence could be obtained sufficient to warrant the trial of any one on the dreadful charge; the general impression was, that the murders were committed from motives of revenge, arising out of transactions connected with the enclosure of Malvern Link.

   A circumstance has within these few days occurred the Worcester Infirmary, which seems to throw some light on the dreadful affair: - On 1st August, a man named Geo. Stokes, of Madres-field, 75 years of age, was admitted into the Infirmary, having a complaint in one of his legs; mortification took place, and on Sunday he died.  In the near prospect of death, Stokes's mind appears to have been haunted by a terrible crime of his early years; in moments of delirium appeared frequently to revert to a murder in which he had been concerned; had this idea been confined to the temporary aberrations of intellect, perhaps little stress would have been laid upon the fact; but in a more collected moment, he acknowledged to one of the medical officers. That he was concerned in the murder of Gummery and his family - that he "nobbled" one of them with a bill-hook - and that the others who took part in the murder were now dead.  The instrument alluded to by Stokes, agrees well with that which appeared to have been used, for it was believed at the time, from the evidence before the Coroner, that the poor creatures were "murdered with a hatchet or some such like instrument."  We take it, therefore, highly probable that Stokes's confession was true, & that all the actors in the dreadful tragedy have passed into that unseen world, where they must render an account of the "deeds done in the body." - Worcester Journal.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 9 January 1830 - An accident of the most heart-rending nature occurred on Saturday afternoon last, in Charles-street, Blockhouse.  Mrs. Ann Caulfield, the wife of an exciseman stationed in this city, a young woman, 25 years of age only, was putting in the pelisse of the eldest of her two children, preparatory to sending it upon an errand, when in stooping down to fasten the dress, her back being to the fire, the draught of the chimney drew her clothes to the bars, and she became instantly enveloped in flames.  In her alarm she hastened down stairs, hoping to find assistance, but unfortunately the person in whose house she lodges had shortly before left home; and in this appalling state she remained some minutes, when a neighbour chanced to call in, by whom the flames were extinguished.  The poor creature, however,  was most dreadfully burnt in every part of her body, and she was immediately conveyed to the Infirmary, where, we learnt, on inquiry this morning, that she staid in a very precarious state.  To add to the [     ]  of her situation, the unfortunate woman was, at the time of the accident, far advanced in pregnancy, and the fright and terror of which h brining on premature delivery, she on Monday gave birth to twins, which died soon after.  - Worcester Journal.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 30 January 1830   

   On Thursday, was found by a man employed to take down a barn at Netherwood, in the parish of Oddingly, Worcestershire, the Skelton of a man buried under the barn floor.  His shoes were nearly perfect, and a two-feet rule by the side of the thigh-bones, not the least decayed. The person who found him is the brother-in-law of Richard Hemming, late of Droitwich, carpenter: and he firmly believes the Skelton to be that of his bother-in-law, Hemming, the supposed murderer of the Rev. George Parker, of the  said parish of Oddingley, who was murdered whilst walking in his own ground, about four o'clock on the afternoon, on the 24th of June, 1806, and a reward of 100 guineas was then offered by the magistrates of the county of Worcester foe the apprehension of the  said Richard Hemming.  The remains have been taken into careful custody, to await the coroner's inquest.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 6 February 1830        

DISCOVERY OF THE BODY OF A MURDERER NEAR WORCESTER.

   A murder was committed so far back as the month of June, 1806, at the village of Oddingley in Worcestershire.  The victim was the Rev, Mr. Parker, the resident minister; the reported perpetrator of the deed was a man named Hemming, but at the time he was considered only as an instrument in the hands of others, who formed a combination in order to take away the life of the Rev. Gentleman, and his instigators fearing that he could not withstand the temptation of a large reward offered by the county for the apprehension of the guilty person, are supposed to have sacrificed him, in order the better to insure their own safety, and to have buried him in a barn in the same parish, where a skeleton, recognized as that of Hemming,, has recently been discovered.

   The following is an extract from a private letter, dated Worcester, Jan. 25, 1830, which enables us to lay before our readers many interesting particulars relative to this extraordinary affair:-   tbc

 

The Cambrian, 6 February 1830

Hemming's skeleton and the Odingley Murder.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 13 February 1830

THE MURDERS IN WORCESTERSHIRE.

 

The Cambrian, 13 February 1830

THE MURDERS IN WORCESTERSHIRE.

A summary of the case.

 

The Cambrian, 20 February 1830

   On the arrival of the Ludlow and Tenbury Mail at the latter town, on Tuesday, the only inside passenger, a gentleman named Bernall, who was on his way to visit some friends in the neighbourhood, was found a corpse !

 

The Cambrian, 6 March 830

THE ODDINGLEY MURDERS.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 13 March 1830

   Michael Toll, convicted of the murder of Ann Cook, (with whom he cohabited,) by throwing her into a coalpit at Oldwinsford, is ordered for execution on Friday.

 

Monmouhshire Merlin, 13 March 1830

WORCESTER ASSIZES.

THE ODDINGLEY MURDERS.

 

Carmarthen Journal, 19 March 1830

THE ODDINGLEY MURDERS.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 20 March 1830

THE ODDINGLEY MURDERS.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 20 March 1830

   The Assizes at Worcester occupied five clear days. .  .  .  Besides Toll, who has been executed, judgment of death was recorded against twenty-two criminals.  When the body of Toll was opened it was found that he had swallowed (probably on the day before his execution) some pieces of blanket with the intention no doubt of committing suicide.  The stomach was so inflamed that he could not have survived many days.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 20 March 1830

THE ODDINGLEY MURDERS.

 

Carmarthen Journal, 26 March 1830

THE ODDINGL MURDERS.

 

The Cambrian, 10 April 1830

DIED.

   At Litchfield, aged 74, Mrs. Parker, reluct of the Rev. G. Parker, Recto of Oddingly, Worcestershire, whose murder, in 1806, has lately excited so much attention.

 

Carmarthen Journal, 4 June 1830

MELANCHOLY AND FATAL ACCIDENT. - On Monday, the 10th inst. as the two Misses Bradley, of Brant-hill, (daughters of the late Mr. Bradley, surgeon, of Kidderminster), were returning from Chadwich House, near Bromsgrove, in the car of their friend, Miss White, they were met in a narrow lane leading from the house to the turnpike-road by a cart and three horses, the man and boy belonging to which being at the time riding in the cart.  The second horse, it appears, was a young one, and the moment the cart cam in sight set off at a gallop; the cart horse, alarmed at the rapid approach of the others, instantly backed; the consequence was, the shafts of the cart entered between the spokes of the car-wheel, and dashed it with great violence to the earth; the cart at the same time falling on its side.

   Miss Bradley was very seriously bruised by the vehicle falling on her, and Miss Elizabeth Bradley received such dreadful internal injuries, that she died the next morning.  Mr. White, who as driving, escaped without any serious hurt. .  .  . 

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 5 June 1830

DIED.

At the Old Wood, near Tenbury, aged 60, Mrs. Hill, relict of Mr. M. Hill.  Her death was occasioned by her wedding ring being almost overgrown in the flesh, which she complained of giving her pain; a surgeon filed it off; a mortification followed, and caused her death.

 

Carmarthen Journal, 11 June 1830

INFANTICIDE. - On Monday an inquest was held at Ombersley, Worcestershire, on the body of a new-born illegitimate child of Sarah Higley, who resided with her father and mother, labouring people, at Oldfield Common.  On Friday last, her father went to the Assistant Overseer to ask for medical aid for his daughter, saying she was very ill.  A medical gentleman from Stourport attended in the evening, and having no doubt that she had been delivered, charged her with the fact, but the girl positively denied it.  The premises were searched that night, but no child was found.  The girl remained in bed all this time, and it was suspected that the body might be concealed in the bed; she was therefore gotten up, when the body of the child as found sewed up in the bed under the place where the mother lay !  A string was round the neck, whence it is concluded that the child was strangled.  The Jury returned a verdict, charging Sarah Higley with the willful murder of the child, and Thomas and Mary Higley (her father and mother) as accessories before the fact.  The two latter are now in the County Gaol, but the girl cannot yet be removed.

 

The Cambrian, 19 June 1830

   A love-sick swain aged sixty drowned himself in the Severn at Worcester last week, in consequence of his charmer, a pauper in the House of Industry, and forty years his junior, having slighted his attentions.  It appears that his disappointment had for some time past determined him to destroy himself, and he had consulted with a fellow workman as to the easiest mode, which was decided in favour of drowning.  The coroner's jury returned a verdict of Temporary Derangement.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 10 July 1830

ACCIDENTS.

   As the Wellington coach from Birmingham to Bristol was passing along Broad-street, Worcester, one of the doors burst open, and a child eight years of age, named Laura Vernon Grounds, who was leaning against it, fell out, and the wheel passing over her body, she was so much injured, that although immediately conveyed to the Infirmary, she did not survive above an hour. The child's mother was in the coach, and witnessed this dreadful accident.  Verdict - Accidental Death. Deodand 1s.  This fatal accident should be a warning against permitting children to lean against coach doors, the fastenings of which frequently give way.

 

 

The Cambrian, 17 July 1830

ACCIDENTAL HANGING. - An inquest was held on Wednesday at Tallow Hill, near Worcester, on the body of Samuel Coombs, aged ten years, who amused himself while left alone at work, in trying the effect of hanging, and hung himself on the baluster of the stairs.  The Jury brought in a verdict, that the deceased "wantonly and in play" accidentally hanged himself !

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 18 September 1830

COACH ACCIDENT - CORONER'S INQUEST.

   The following evidence was given at the inquest held on Monday afternoon at the Boar's Head Inn, Severn Stoke, before Mr. Smith, coroner for Worcestershire, on the bodies of the unfortunate sufferers who lost their lives by the upsetting of the Aurora Worcester coach on Saturday last, as related in our third page:-

   Elias Jackson, servant to the Rev. A. Luders, being informed that an accident had happened, went to the coach to render assistance.  When he asked the coachman how the coach was upset, he replied that one of the horses had shyed at the top of the hill; where the coach was upset there is a little descent and the road is wide, but with a curve; the coach was in the middle of the road.

   Thomas Gayley passed the coach before it came to the top of Stoke Hill, when it was going so far that in witness's opinion the coachman could not stop his horses before he got to the hill.  Both lamps were lighted.

   The Rev. A. Luders stated that the coach was upset near his house. He assisted in conveying Hughes to the Boar's Head; he complained of violent pain in his head; he had several wounds on it, and was bleeding very much.  Witness told the coachman that he ought to have dragged down the hill; he replied, that as there was a heavy load, and he was very late, and knew that he had a bad road to go over near Worcester, and as he felt satisfied that he could get down the hill safely without dragging the wheel, he determined to go on, to save a little time; he doubted whether, if he had dragged, the horses would have brought the very heavy load down the hill; he had lost all command of the horses on coming down the hill.  He stated that one of them had become restive.  Witness stated that the coachman was sober, and seemed very sorry for what had happened.

   Wm. Atkins, Esq., an outside passenger, stated that he rode on the box by the side of the coachman; the coach was very heavily laden; there were four behind the coachman in front, and the luggage was above witness's head.  Before the coach got up to the top of the hill, the coachman pulled up a little, and the horses slackened their pace.  Witness asked the coachman if he was going to drag down the hill; he could not exactly tell his reply, but it was to the effect that he did not intend to do so.   Witness was of opinion that he might have stopped the horses for the purpose.  In coming down, the coach went very near a bank, and a lady cried out, but the coachman said, "don't be afraid, there is no danger."  In witness's opinion the horses could not help going the pace they did down the hill, the coach was so heavily laden - it was too much for them to hold back.  The coachman did all he could o stop them; he was quite sober;; he drove all the way from Oxford, and did no dive so fast as the man who drove from London.

   Mr. Francis Cramer (a musical professor) stated that he, with Mrs. Cramer and Miss Cramer, and a fourth person were inside passengers; on leaving London the coach was very heavily laden with luggage, which was much too high on the top; more was put in at Cheltenham and Tewkesbury.  Witness expressed to Mrs. And Miss Cramer his fear that there would be some accident, the coach swung so much; the horses went at a steady pace until a few minutes before the accident happened, when there was a sudden decrease in the speed; witness had only time to say a few words, when the coach was overturned.

   Mr. Ella (a musical professor) was an outside passenger; when the accident happened there were eleven outside passengers bedsides the coachman; there were twelve from Cheltenham to Tewkesbury; the luggage was so high that when the witness stood up behind he could not see the passengers in front; it was about a yard above the roof; the night was very dark.  Witness was of opinion that if the drags had been put on the accident would not have happened.  Witness asked the coachman if he was hurt, as he seemed to be in pain, but he replied that he did not care about himself, he did not know what would become of him.

   Mr. Seymour (professor of music) concurred in the statement of the last wines, but thought the luggage was higher than was stated by him.

   When the evidence had been gone through, Mr. Smith addressed the Jury; he directed their particular attention to the evidence of Mr. Luders, from which it appeared that the coachman was determined to risk going down the hill with-out dragging; this was neglecting a precaution he was bound to take.  Referring to Mr. Atkins's evidence, Mr. Smith observed that that evidence showed that the coachman was asked whether he intended to drag; this proved that the propriety of doing so had been suggested to him by a person who had never before seen the hill.  It was also plain, from Mr. A.'s evidence, that one of the horses did not become restive, as the coachman had told Mr. Luders.

   In alluding to the law of the case, the Coroner observed, that if through a coachman neglecting the precaution of locking or dragging a wheel, an accident happened, and death ensued (although such coachman had no evil intention), the person thus causing death by negligence was liable to a charge of manslaughter.  Now, it did appear that, when the coach [was so heavily] laden, the wheel should have been dragged.  If the Jury war of that opinion, they ought to find a verdict of manslaughter.

   After deliberating some time, the foreman of the jury informed the Coroner that they could not find a verdict of manslaughter, though they did no acquit the coachman of blame.  The Coroner then again adverted to the more martial parts of the evidence and begged them to re-consider their verdict, which they did, and again stated that they could not find a verdict of manslaughter, as it was it proved that any of the passengers requested the coachman to drag down the hill, or that it was usual for other coachmen to do so.  The Coroner then called their attention to Mr. Atkins's evidence, which shewed that a caution had been given to the coachman; but in point of fact, it was not necessary that the passengers should make such request as the Jury alluded to, the coachman being bound to use due caution in every part of the road which was dangerous, and that the other coaches not dragging down the hill, was no excuse on the present occasion.  Besides, it had been proved, that the coachman had dragged down a hill on the other side of Cheltenham, not so dangerous as Stoke hill. The Jury again retired, and the foreman returned and  said that they continued of the same opinion, but wished to know whether they could not fix a fine upon the coachman ! - Upon being informed that they could not do this, they retired again, and returned a verdict of Accidental Death, and a deodand on the coach and horses of 30 Pounds in each case.

Page 3.  Dead: Mr. Joseph Hughes, maltster, Sidbury, Worcester, and Mr. Frederick Bennett, organist of Christ Church and New Collage, Oxford. Mr. Hughes, though he had a dreadful fracture of the skull, in consequence of pitching upon his head, remained sensible for some time, but died at three o'clock on Sunday morning. He has left a widow and foe children.    Mr. Bennett appears  to have received his injuries by the luggage falling upon him; he remained in an insensible state until noon on Sunday, when he died.

  [ ... Editorial comment on the verdict.]

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 3 December 1831

SUDDEN DEATH. - A person named Buchan, about 60 years of age, head gardener, we understand, to Walter Wilkins, Esq. arrived at the Unicorn Inn, Worcester, by the Hereford coach on Wednesday se'nnight, for the purpose of going on to London by the Telegraph nigh coach.  He had quitted the coach, and on proceeding down the yard, he told the bar maid that he should be soon in the house to dinner, he being, to all appearances, in excellent spirits.  He returned, and was in the act of entering the house, when he suddenly fell to the ground, at the same time putting his hand to his head, and exclaiming, "O God ! what can this be?"  Surgical assistance was immediately procured; he was placed in bed, and soon afterwards he became so much recovered, as to express the hope of being able to resume his journey the next morning.  But it was ordained otherwise by Him "in hose hands are the issues of life and death." At eight o'clock the deceased was left by the servant in an apparently comfortable state, and seemingly about to go to sleep.  A few minutes after, she again entered the room, and found him a corpse !  An inquest was held upon the body, and a verdict if Died by the visitation of God was returned.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 21 July 1832
  A dreadful occurrence occurred at Bromsgrove, on Wednesday se'nnight:- a man, named Wm. Crawford, 34 years of age, was working at nail-making, with his daughter-in-law, Eliza Smallwood, aged about 14; a man and woman were also in the shop; the latter were working with their backs to Crawford and his daughter; they heard the former say to her, "d--- you, you b----, you have burnt me," and immediately after the girl  screamed out - the woman ran to her, and perceiving a rod of iron sticking in her back, pulled it out, and carried her into the house, where she died in about five minutes.  
  Subsequent examination shewed that the iron rod, which was about the thickness of a quill, and was probably red hot at the time, had passed through the poor girl's shoulder blade, and entering the lungs, produced death.
  On Friday an inquest was held on the body, before Thomas Hallen, Esq., coroner.  Craword's statement was that he desired the girl to lay on her work, and as she turned from the fire in which they were heating their iron for making nails, her back caught against the nail-block, and she fell against the hot iron he had in his hand, which entered her back.  The evidence of the man and woman who were in the shop was not given in a very satisfactory manner. There was no evidence to prove that Crawford was in the habit of using the girl ill., - The Jury returned a verdict of Manslaughter, and the coroner immediately made out his warrant for committing Crawford to the county gaol to take his trial.

Monmouthshire Merlin, 20 October 1832
  Last week, as a man was digging in a field near the village of Bishampton, in this county, the bones of two human beings, with a dagger and knife, were discovered a little below the surface of the earth; the bones appear to have been lying in the earth for a long time.  No information can be obtained relative to the deaths of the persons whose remains have thus been discovered. - Worcester Herald.

 

Glamorgan Gazette, 10 October 1840

SHOCKING DEATH. - CAUTION TO DRUNKARDS. - Last night a woman named Greenway, wife of a boatman residing in the Blockhouse, was so shockingly burnt that she died this morning.  It seems that the husband of the deceased had been drinking at a public-house, and on coming home between eleven and twelve o'clock, he fell asleep in the kitchen from the effects of the drink he had taken.  His wife, who was also overcome with liquor, was lying asleep with her head reclining upon a table, and which was a lighted candle; and the husband states that he was awoke about one o'clock by the screams of his wife, whom he found in flames.  He attempted to extinguish the fire, but the woman was most horribly burnt, and soon became insensible, in which state she was conveyed to the Infirmary, where she ,lingered a few hours, when death ensued.  Mr. Hyde held an inquest on the body this afternoon, when a verdict of Accidental Death was returned. The deceased had a very narrow escape from death on a former occasion from her clothes taking fire. - Worcestershire Guardian.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 5 December 1840

CRIMES ANSD CASUALTIES.

DREADFUL EFFECTS OF SOLUTARY CONFINEMENT. - On Thursday se'nnight, an inquest was held in Worcester County Gaol, on view of the body of a young man, aged 21, who had been sentenced at the Michaelmas Quarter Sessions to one month's imprisonment, the last fortnight being in solitary confinement.  Whilst undergoing the fortnight's imprisonment, which was that of the ordinary kind, with hard labour, it was perceived that the fear induced by the contemplation of the approaching solitary confinement, had caused so great a debilitation of his nerves that he became utterly spiritless; and shortly before the expiration of the fortnight he was filled with horrible presentiments that something dreadful would result from his being shut up in a solitary cell, and these symptoms, so visibly and alarmingly increased as the time approached, that Mr. Woodward, surgeon to the gaol, recommended its abrogation, which was granted.  Notwithstanding this, however, the poor fellow was on Monday se'nnight seized with violent vomiting, headache, and relaxation of the bowels, followed by low fever, which terminated his existence on the following Wednesday, as we have before related, although every possible medicinal aid had been rendered him.  At the inquest it was stated that  when the deceased was brought to gaol he was in excellent health; and Mr. Woodward gave it as his decided opinion that "these symptoms, and the low fever under which he sank, were produced by the apprehension  of the solitary confinement to which he had been sentenced."  A verdict of Natural Death was recorded. - Hereford Times.

The Observer, 2 February 1845. -  An inquest was held at Bushley, Worcester, on Monday, on the body of Thomas George, aged thirty-three, who, while engaged in felling trees on Mr. Dawdeswell's estate, held a cord attached to one tree to cause it to fall in a certain direction.  Unexpectedly it fell in a different one, and the deceased being thus jerked forward with great violence, he head struck against a tree fifteen yards distant, and he was killed on the spot.  Verdict - Accidental Death.  He has left a widow and three children.

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