Skip to Content

Colonial Cases


Whitehall Evening Post, 5 August 1750
  At the Assizes at Exeter, .  .  .   Gabriel Tourain, charged on Suspicion of murdering Bemy, a native of Basque, was ordered to remain until next Assize, for Want of an Interpreter.


The Observer, 15 December 1793


The following singular circumstance has recently occurred here; about a week since the daughter of a respectable farmer of this city absconded from her father's house; the most diligent search for her proved fruitless; on Monday night last a Mr. P----, an acquaintance of the family, dreamt that she had drowned herself at the Quay; this singular idea, made so much impression on his mind that he immediately communicated it to her father, and accompanied him with some other persons to the place where he thought in his sleep he saw the body; the proper instruments were procured, and a lighter removed, but no appearance of the object of their search; Mr. P---- then took the hook into his own hand, and instantly drew out the body: this affair, however singular, was on Wednesday last related on oath before the Jury who held an inquest on the body, and brought in a verdict of lunacy.


The Observer, 24 February 1799

   A soap -boiler's apprentice at Torrington, last week fell through a trap-door into a furnace beneath, and perished before any assistance could be afforded to him.


The Observer, 13 April 1800

PLYMOUTH. - A Coroner's Inquest was held a few days ago on the body of a soldier who had received some blows from one of his comrades in the Courtyard; he was attacked by a fever immediately after, and died, according to the verdict, by the Visitation of God. 

   There was also an inquest held on the body of a soldier of the Pembrokeshire Militia, who was shot by accident, by a comrade, on the Mill Prison guard.  Verdict Accidental Death.


The Observer, 17 June 1801

   Mr. Whitford, Coroner at Plymouth, has within five months taken inquests on the bodies of 13 children burnt to death by the carelessness if their nurses or attendants.


The Observer, 13 December 1801

   A party of Revenue Officers, from Woodbridge and Bawdset, assisted by a detachment of dragoons, on Wednesday evening seized 100 tuns of Geneva, on the coast. - One of the dragoons got so intoxicated, as to occasion his death.  The Coroner's Inquest sat on the body on Thursday; their verdict - "his death was occasioned by intoxication."


The Observer, 14 February 1802

   The body of a male infant, of about a month old, was on Monday discovered near the edge of the river at Exeter; it appeared to have lain for several days in the water. - The Coroner's Inquest gave a verdict of wilful murder against some person unknown.


The Observer, 1 August 1802

   Last Sunday a fire broke out at the house of Mr. Bond, farmer, at Shobrook, which was attended with very melancholy consequences.  When the accident happened, Mr. B. and part of the family were at Church, and at home were two of his daughters, one 18, the other 15 years of age.  After dinner, they had both reposed themselves on a bed, and did not awake until surrounded by flames.  The eldest immediately flew to the window, and descended in safety; the other attempted to follow, but some fire falling before her, she became alarmed, and ran to another part of the house; she soon returned to the window, but overcome with the suffocating flames, she fell backwards, and perished.  Her body was soon discovered, but in a state too shocking to describe.


The Observer, 22 August 1802

  On the 6th inst. a man named Bryane, af Lynp[????] who laboured under a mental derangement, went off [???] that village, and every enquiry was made for him in vain.  A few days ago he was found dead by the sea-side, near Otterton: he is supposed to have been starved.


The Observer, 10 October 1802

   Monday, as a servant of Sir J. Davie was driving a timber waggon through Creedy Park, he fell down, when the wheels went over his neck, and nearly severed his head from his body.


The Observer, 9 January 1803

   Monday the Coroner for Devon, held an inquest at Seaker's bridge, on the body of Mr. Bartlett, the residing Supervisor of Dartmouth:- the verdict was, wilful murder against some person or persons unknown; and two notorious smugglers have been apprehended on suspicion of committing this outrage.  Mr. B.'s head was literally battered to pieces, all the flesh being beaten off, as if by blows from bludgeons.  He retained his senses to the last, and took an affectionate leave of his wife and family a few minutes previous to his dissolution.


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, 15 February 1806

On Sunday night the cooper of the Royal Sovereign hung himself, and afterwards cut his throat in a most shocking manner, at a house in North-corner-street, Plymouth.  During that time he wore the appearance of a melancholy man, and had often been heard to say, that his mess-mates had all been drafted on board different ships, and that he would sooner die than go on boated the Salvador receiving ship, where he was ordered.  An inquest was held on the body, and after several witnesses had been examined, the Jury brought in a verdict of - Lunacy.


Cambrian, 19 April 1806

About two o'clock in the morning of Thursday the 10th instant, as one of Russell's stage waggons, from Exeter, was passing over Finney bridge, about four miles from Honiton, the horses suddenly took fright, occasioned, as it is supposed, by some mortar being left on the bridge, the left hand wall of which being low, and in bad condition, gave way, and the waggon fell off the bridge nearly twenty feet in height.  A man passenger was killed on the spot, and a woman had her arm broken. The wife and infant child of the deceased, with some other passengers, escaped unhurt.


Cambrian, 30 August 1806

On Saturday last, about two o'clock in the afternoon, a poor man, a  sail-maker, of Appledore, whilst reeving out the main-sheet on board the sloop George, Captain Rowe, as they were working out over the bar, unfortunately fell overboard, and was drowned.  He had been on board but a few hours, and intended to go only that one voyage. 


The Times, 7 August 1807
 Last Saturday another instance of savage ferocity occurred at Mill Prison, Plymouth.  As one of the Spaniards was  going into the cook-room, teh man at the door seemed to oppose his entrance, on which, while his back was turned, he drew a knife and stabbed the other in the back so violently that he fell down dead.  The Coroner's inquest found a verdict of wilful murder.


Cambrian, 16 August 1807

Friday se'nnight a melancholy accident happened at Kingsbridge, Devon:- A gentleman of that place, having returned from shooting, left his loaded gun in the kitchen; an apprentice-boy coming in soon after, incautiously took it up, when the piece unfortunately going off, lodged the whole contents in the head of a servant girl at work in the room; her skull exhibited a most dreadful appearance, both eyes and part of the brains being blown out, notwithstanding which, she languished, retaining her senses, for several hours.


Cambrian, 28 October 1809

A fatal accident, by mistake happened near Tor Royal prison, last week; an alarm was given, in the dusk of the evening, that the prisoners were breaking out. - One of the 2d Lancashire was passing the fugitives, in his white working dress, when one of the piquet coming up in the dusk, mistaking him for a prisoner, ran him through the body.  He was wounded so badly, that he expired on Sunday.  Mr. Whitford, Coroner, for Devon, held an inquest on the body, and the jury found a verdict of - Chance medley.


Cambrian, 15 December 1810

A Coroner's inquest sat last week at Dartmoor, on the body of a French prisoner who had destroyed himself, and gave a verdict of- Delirious.  He had stabbed himself with a pair of scissors, which penetrated his heart an inch and a half.


On Thursday last a Portuguese prisoner, coming on board the San Ysidro, at Plymouth (having been taken in a French ship), entered into the English service.  This circumstance so irritated an Italian who stood by him, that he instantly transfixed the unfortunate man, plunging his knife to the handle in his bosom, and, on the Portuguese starting round, he plunged it in the same manner into his back.  The Italian them endeavoured to destroy himself, but was prevented, and when in custody, again endeavoured to choak himself by swallowing half a guinea, and some cloth.


Three fishermen were unfortunately drowned in a cove in Bigbury-bay, Devon, in endeavouring to haul ashore their fishing boat.  By a lurch of the sea, as they were hauling on, they were precipitated off the rock.


Cambrian, 9 November 1811


On Tuesday last, six French Officers, who were on their parole at Oakhampton, escaped from that town, accompanied by an English guide.  Having crossed Dartmoor, on Thursday afternoon, they came near Bovey Tracey, where, meeting with a woman, they inquired if there was any other road than through the town. Being answered in the negative, they made a halt; the woman communicated the particulars to some of the towns-people, and four men went in pursuit of them: when they were discovered, three of them surrendered and were secured; but the other three, with the guide, made off, and were followed by two of the men.  The first that came up with them was Mr. Christopher Snell, when the guide, instantly turning round, with a dagger, stabbed him to the heart, and he expired on the spot.  The Right Hon. Lord Clifford soon after ordered a group of yeomen cavalry to go in pursuit of them.  The three who surrendered were examined by the Rev. Mr. Burrington, a Justice of the Peace at Chudleigh, and committed to Devon county gaol.  On Sunday night another prisoner was brought in, and, after an examination before S. F. Milford, Esq. on Monday morning, was committed to prison; the same evening a fifth was taken at Denbury, and brought to Exeter; and since when, we understand, the sixth has been apprehended - so that the guide only has evaded his pursuers.  It is hoped his retreat will be discovered, that he may meet the punishment due to so heinous a crime.  A Coroner's Inquest sat on the body of Mr. Snell, and brought in a verdict of Wilful Murder against the Guide and the three Frenchmen who accompanied him. [Also Carmarthen Journal, same date.]


Carmarthen Journal, 4 July 1812

   A Coroner's Inquest was held on Tuesday before Mr. G. Eastlake, Gent. Coroner and a most respectable Jury, on the bodies of Mr. Hyne and his two children, killed on Monday last by his own hands, at New Town, near Plymouth, when, after a laborious and patient investigation of several witnesses for twelve hours, the Jury were shut up, and soon returned a verdict, - That Mr. Hyne being deranged in his mind, did, with a razor and two pistols, kill his two children and himself. - His poor wife is likely to recover of her wounds.


Cambrian, 31 October 1812


   Saturday se'nnight, a farmer's wife, near Kingsbridge, Devon, was found murdered in the kitchen, and the return of her husband from labour.  The clothes of the murderer were found beside her body, he having with great coolness, put on those of the master of the house.  A close pursuit was instantly commenced by Mr. Lane and others, from Kingsbridge; and on Monday they apprehended him in the passage house at Torpoint, near Plymouth Dock, preparing to go into Cornwall.  He then wore the clothes of the deceased's husband, instantly confessed the fact, and was recognized as a well known pedestrian, who had been in the habit of supplying  the counties of Devon and Cornwall with ballads, &c., &c. - He said that he approached the house in which the deceased lived, and having ascertained the absence of the owner, he entered the kitchen, and found the woman busily employed about dinner, knocked her down with a broom-stick, and finished the business by cutting her throat with a pruning knife.  That he then took 4l. out of her pocket, and on opening a drawer took out the clothes of her husband and put them on, leaving his own on the ground. - Being strongly unsuspected of violating the person and afterwards murdering the female child, Margate Huxtable, of Dadbrook, he declined answering the questions put tom him; said, that he knew he should be hung, and that, if he had any confession to make, he had time on the toad, and should have some conversation with the officers. - Before he quitted Plymouth Dock, he was recognized by an officer, as having been sentenced to two years' imprisonment at Exeter, in the year 1809, for attempting to violate and murder a child.

   A subsequent account states that his name is T. Liscombe, a labourer, and the victim of his barbarity, is Sarah Ford, of North Haish parish, aged 60 years. - He has likewise acknowledged having murdered Sarah Huxtable, whom, on the 2nd January, he met near Ball Cross, and, by the promise of a penny, engaged her to shew him the way to Sentrygate.  As they were passing through a field, he attempted to perpetrate his diabolical intentions; but was prevented by the child's resistance and cries; he in consequence knocked her down with a hedge stake, and while she lay insensible on the ground, beat her skull to pieces between two stones.  He then stripped the body of the clothes., washed his hands and trowsers in an adjoining pool, and returned to his lodgings.  He asserts that he had no associate in the murders.  For the discovery of the last murder a reward of 200gs. was offered in the Gazette.


Carmarthen Journal. 14 November 1812

   Last week, Mr. Thomas Hole, clerk to Mr. Bray, of Tavistock, put an end to his existence, by swallowing a large dose of laudanum.  He was married only on the Saturday previous, to a young lady to whom he had long paid his addresses.


Cambrian, 9 January 1813


 Thursday morning, about 12 o'clock, a most distressing circumstance occurred at the Royal Horse barracks in the city of Exeter, by the premature dissolution of R. Yates, Esq. A captain in the 5th regiment of the line, who fell a lamentable victim to suicide. ... Previous to effecting his awful exit he directed his servant to take some letters to a captain in the same regiment, after which he proceeded to terminate the dreadful scene by placing a soldier's musket to his breast, the butt-end resting on the ground, and with his sword pushing against the trigger, he discharged the contents through his body; the ball entered the left breast, came out at his back, and, ascending upwards, lodged in the ceiling.  It appeared that he experienced some difficulty in the process, as the point of his sword was much bent, and was found in his hand; the report of the gun alarmed some of the privates, and his chamber door was broken open soon after the deed was done, but too late to be of any service, as he died instantly.  A Coroner's Inquest sat on the body - verdict, Lunacy.


Cambrian, 25 February 1815

   Samuel Norton was conveyed to the Devon gaol on Sunday last, charged with the wilful murder of his master's wife, Mrs. Metters, of the parish of Whitchurch, near Tavistock. - It appeared that, on Thursday last, this wretch took a bill-hook, and clove the poor woman's skull.  The body was found in an out-house, covered up with dung.  The murderer was apprehended on Dartmoor, the same afternoon; and the watch, money, and some cloaths of his master's, found upon him.  He confessed the fact; and added, that he had thoughts of murdering the children also. - It is difficult to conceive the state of this man's mind after he was taken; but we are assured that he actually asked for a clarinet, to play a tune, that he might have a dance before he went to prison.


Cambrian, 20 May 1815

   Two boats from Ilfracombe went out last Thursday after the Swansea packet, when one of them, going too near the Rutlidge-point, was thrown by the surf on the rocks, and two men were drowned; - four men and a boy were with difficulty saved.


Cambrian, 9 March 1816

   Tuesday, Wm. Sanford, an eminent attorney, of Exeter, on the 73d year of his age, put a period to his existence, in a paroxysm of frenzy.


Cambrian, 8 June 1816

   Saturday night, about ten o'clock, Lieut. Tremlett, R.N. out an end to his mortal existence at his lodgings in Exeter.  He was sitting by the fire conversing with the mistress of the house, with his usual complacency, when suddenly taking a pistol from his pocket, he placed the muzzle to his temple and discharged the contents into his head.  His hand dropt, the pistol fell to the ground, and he died instantly without the slightest struggle, the body retaining the same position on the chair as before.  A coroner's inquest was held on the body on Sunday - verdict Lunacy.  Pecuniary embarrassment is supposed to have occasioned the rash act.


Cambrian, 2 January 1819

A Female Maniac. - The Plymouth paper says: - We have before alluded to a melancholy instance of self destruction, accompanied by circumstances of a peculiar nature.  The case now being generally known, there is no reason for withholding the particulars from our readers.

   It appeared on the inquest, which was held last Saturday at Sr. Anthony Passage, that Mrs. Snowden (the deceased) hired a waterman on the preceding Thursday, to take her, her son, and an infant in arms, up the river to the mills near Anthony Passage, where she occasionally resided.  On arriving near the mills she expressed a wish of being landed, and this being complied with, she discharged him.  This was in the vicinity of Ince castle.  As soon as the waterman was out of sight, she deliberately walked backwards into the water with her infant, and on her son's inquiring why she did so,, and on her replying that, if he did not go with her, he would be burned by fire and brimstone, seized his arm and threw him into the water, at the same time wading deeper until she and her infant were swallowed up in the depth.  The son recovered himself and got on shore, in a state of distraction which cannot be described' and being discovered by a woman who was near the spot, he communicated to her the event in tearful accents.  Some workmen were instantly dispatched to the spot with the forlorn hope of rescuing the deceased, but they came too late. The infant was found dead not far distant from the land, and shortly after the unhappy mother, whose body the receding tide had left on the shore.  The Jury, after receiving this and some other evidence, gave in their verdict - Lunacy.  On Wednesday last the bodies were interred in one coffin, in the burying-ground of the Rev, Mr. Mends's Meeting-house, at Plymouth.


Cambrian, 17 April 1819

   A young man of the name of Woodward, a resident of Exeter, who was present at the execution of the two capital convicts in that city last week, was so shocked at the sight when the men were turned off, that he complained of a sudden pain at his heart.  He returned home immediately, and died a few hours after.


Cambrian, 1 January 1820

   On the night of the 22nd inst. a boat belonging to the Bulmer, lying at Plymouth, bound to Madras, in going off to that ship, from some unknown cause (it is believed the men were intoxicated), upset, when the chief mate of the Bulmer, a gentleman (passenger) who was going out to take the command of a country ship, and four men (all that were in the boat), were unfortunately drowned.


Cambrian, 23 September 1820

Shocking Event. - A coroner's inquest was held on Tuesday the 5th inst. at Newton St. Cyres, on the body of a child that had been killed by a pig. - It appeared in evidence that the mother, a poor woman, went to Exeter market, leaving her three children, (the eldest about five years old, and the youngest, the unfortunate sufferer, about a year and a half,) in a field at play.  During her absence, a pig was seen mangling the child in a hedge-trough, when it was rescued from its dreadful situation; the voracious animal had eaten off the ears, and horribly disfigured the arms ands one of the sides, , but life was not extinct; the poor child, however, survived but a few hours.  Verdict - Accidental Death.


Cambrian, 27 January 1821

   Wednesday an inquest was held at Exeter on the body of Sarah Eales, a servant girl, whose death was occasioned by taking a large quantity of oil of vitriol on the preceding day.  The surgeons who examined the body said, that they never witnessed such a horrid mass as the stomach exhibited, being entirely decomposed by the burning powers of the acid.  It appears that the unfortunate girl, who was about 20 years of age, was the victim of an artful villain, who, under pretence of affection, succeeded in effecting her ruin, and then left her to lament her misfortune and his inconstancy.  Insupportable remorse soon preyed upon her spirits, and the miserable object of seduction, being four months advanced in pregnancy, and worn down by shame and sorrow, ended her life, in a moment of insanity, by the dreadful means we have described.  The bottle from which the fatal draught was poured was marked "Laudanum," and it is supposed she had before swallowed a quantity of that opiate without the intended effect.  The Jury, after several hours deliberations, returned a verdict of insanity.


Cambrian, 13 October 1821

      Melancholy catastrophe, Clovelly, Oct. 5. - About sixty boats, employed in the herring fishery, were yesterday evening, by the suddenness of a gale of wind, obliged to relinquish their nets, in the hopes of gaining the shore in safety, but unfortunately more than forty were driven among the rocks.  The cries of the drowning, thirty five in number, most of whom have left large families, ... A dead body has been washed ashore at Oxwich, on this coast, supposed to be one of the sufferers in the dreadful gale at Clovelly, above narrated.


Cambrian, 27 October 1821

   ... John Morgan, a seaman, belonging to the Peggy and Mary, of Swansea, Edbrook, master, detained at Clovelly by contrary wind at the time the above gale took place, obtained permission to go out in the fishing boats that day, and is one of the number that perished.  He has left a wife and two children at Swansea in great distress.


Cambrian, 27 July 1822

DEVONSHIRE. - - Taylor, the driver of the Plymouth Safety Coach, fell from the box at Kennford on the road to Exeter, last Tuesday, and fractured his skull.  He was conveyed to Exeter, where 14 or 15 prices of broken bones were extracted.  The unfortunate man expired at five o'clock the following afternoon.  On the road he complained of giddiness, supposed to have arisen from a termination of blood to the head.  The wife of the deceased, pregnant of her fifth child, on learning the melancholy fate of her husband, was hurried into premature delivery.


The Cambrian, 19 July 1823

SUICIDE. - An inquest was held last week at St. Sidwell, on the body of Mrs. Ann Mackey, aged 42, who shot herself with a gun on Monday in a fit of disoperation, occasioned by the jealousy of her husband, who was many years older than herself.  She effected her purpose by doubling and tying her garter, one end of the loop being placed on the trigger, the other under her foot, placing the muzzle under her stays, and discharging its contents into her body, causing a large wound, from which a portion of the bowels protruded.  She died in a few hours, and the last words she said to her husband were, "Oh, creek Mackay!" Verdict, - Shot herself, then labouring under temporary derangement.  Mr. Mackey loses an annuity of 70l.  per annum by his wife's death.  [Exeter??]


The Cambrian, 26 July 1823

HORRIBLE MURDER. - A shocking murder was committed a few days since by a monster named John Bright, at Dartford, about nine miles from Southmolton, on the body of a female to whom he was paying his addresses, and who was pregnant by him.  The girl had been missing since Thursday evening last (10th inst.), when the fellow was seen walking with her; and on Saturday evening (12th inst.) her body was found in a river near where they were seen together.  She had a severe contusion on her head, and the string of her apron was tied round her neck.  It is supposed the villain first knocked her down, and then endeavoured to suffocate her by tying the string round her neck to prevent her making a noise; and he afterwards threw her into a deep hole in the river.  A coroner's inquest is now sitting on the body, and the murderer, who had partly confessed the crime, is in custody. - Exeter paper.


The Cambrian, 27 December 1823

   Do the mothers and guardians of children, or any female who dresses herself in combustible muslin, need a public caution at the approach of winter, to guard against their domestic fires and candles?  Two infants died last week near Plymouth, in consequence of their dresses having caught fire.


The Cambrian, 10 July 1824

HORRID MURDER. - On Monday night last, about eleven o'clock, a horrid murder was committed in the road leading  from this city to Cullompton, by Wm. Marshall, a husbandman, about 432 years of age, residing at a place called Millhead, in the parish, and about a   quarter of a mile from the town of Broad Clist, towards Exeter.   The unhappy perpetrator of this dreadful act served in the earlier part of his life in the marines, and was for a considerable period quartered in this city, performing the duties of a corporal in the recruiting service, but was discharged at the peace, and since that time has resided at Broad Clist, where he got married; for the last two years, it is said, he has been subject to fits, and has labored but little, receiving parochial relief from the parish of Broad Clist.  Having a child very ill, he was on Monday last sent to Exeter for some leeches, which had been directed to be applied to the child's head; his stay, it seems, was longer than it need have been, and it was evening before he returned, appearing to have drunk very freely; on entering his house, he said he had brought the leeches, when the deceased, who had then his sick, and evidently dying child on her lap, answered - "I fear, William, it is too late."  Marshall soon went up stairs to bed, and in a short time the child expired.  About an hour had elapsed, when he was heard coming again over the stairs.  At that time  there was assembled below, his wife and a  living child, his brother's wife, a neighbor named Sudan Thorne, and Ann Taylor; they were in the act of stripping and washing the dead infant, and fearing some tumult from the state in which he appeared on going to bed, endeavored to prevent him coming down, but were unsuccessful; - he went through the kitchen to an out-house, in which among other things were kept his husbandry tools, and in a few seconds rushed again into the kitchen, armed with a spade, with which he aimed a blow at his wife, but suspecting his intention, she ran under his arm, and escaped the intended mischief; the other three women seeing this, fled from the house. - Ann Taylor and the brother's wife, ran on the road towards Exeter; they were pursued by Marshall, when, finding he gained on them, Ann Taylor turned with a view, it is supposed, to get into the hedge, thinking that in the darkness she might escape him, but far otherwise was the result; he saw the movement, and bearing down close upon the unfortunate woman, struck her with the spade (which from the length of the handle was a most formidable weapon); the first blow was down across the face, and she was struck to the ground, as her more fortunate companion in flight heard a cry of murder and for help; the blow was repeated, and her cry ceased for ever; the skull was literally clove, and the blood and brains scattered on the road.  The neighbourhood by this time was alarmed, and after some resistance he was secured.

   An inquest was taken yesterday before Charles Dally Pugh, Esq. coroner, at the Red Lion public-house, in Broad Clist, when, after viewing the body, and hearing the evidence, the jury returned a verdict of Wilful Murder, and the miserable man was, about weight o'clock that evening, brought into the Devon county gaol, under the coroner's warrant.  His behavior while being taken to prison (during which he was recognized by many persons) was very proper, and exhibited no symptoms of hardihood or ferocity.  Ann Taylor, the deceased, was about fifty-six years of age, the wife of a husbandman, and mother of six children, residing at Burriton, in Broad Clist, and had kindly lent her assistance on the illness of Marshall's child, by which she has so unfortunately lost her life. - Exeter Flying Post, June 30.


The Cambrian, 2 October 1824

   The following melancholy circumstances have taken place within these few days at Devonport.  Several men belonging to the Dock-yard, who had been slightly bruised, or had accidentally cut themselves in the progress of their work, became alarmingly ill, mortification ensued, and seven shipwrights and two sawyers died.  These effects were by some medical men attributed to atmospherical influence.  To ascertain the probable cause, Dr. Bell, the surgeon, opened the body of George Nicholls, a shipwright, who had died on the preceding day, and in the course of the dissection happened to scratch one of his fingers.  This passed unnoticed at the time, but in the afternoon Dr. Bell became alarmed at perceiving it, thinking he might have imbibed some of the morbid matter.  Shortly afterward a shivering fit came on, and he was obliged to be put to bed and bled.  The best medical aid was administered, and the most rigid attention paid to his case; but in spite of all, , the symptoms daily became worse, and on Friday he died.


The Cambrian, 16 October 1824

   As the Ilfracombe fishing-boars were on Thursday last, returning to that place, before the heavy gale that was driving them, for shelter, a sea struck one of them, upset her, and precipitated the crew into the water, two of whom were happily saved by the exertions of a boat's crew in company, but the third, named Thomas Fosse, unfortunately perished.


The Cambrian, 11 December 1824

   Letters have been received at Penzance containing the melancholy intelligence that the schooner Shamrock, Jordan, master, belonging to that place, was wrecked to the westward of Dartmouth, during the dreadful storm of the 22d and 23d of last month.  The whole of the crew, including the master and his two sons, have perished.


The Cambrian, 8 April 1826

   Saturday se'nnight a basket was sent by one f the Exeter coaches to a gentleman at Teignmouth, which was found to contain the dead body of a new-born infant.  An inquest has been held, and the jury returned a verdict of wilful Murder against some person or persons unknown.


The Cambrian, 10 June 1826

   Tuesday evening a miner named Roberts, of Colebrook, Devon, in a dispute with his wife, aimed a blow at her, which his daughter, about 13 years of age, observing, rushed between her parents and reviving the blow from her father, fell a corpse at his feet !


The Cambrian, 31 March 1827

   Tuesday as the North Devon coach was proceeding on its journey to Barnstaple, a little boy, son of Mr. Isaac Taylor, a respectable farmer, was playing in the street at Tiverton, when, it being market day, and a feat number of people about, the boy did not perceive the approach of the vehicle, the wheels of which event over him, and killed him on the spot.


The Cambrian, 31 March 1827

HORRID MURDERS IN DEVONSHIRE. - Two persons were murdered on Monday night, on a common called Wayland-down, near Beaworthy, under circumstances of peculiar atrocity.  Mrs. Glass, who occupies a farm in that parish, had left her home on a visit to some part of her family at a short distance and on her return was to have been met by Edward Glass (her grandson), aged 14, and Sarah Glass (her daughter), 24. Not meeting them, she concluded that they had been prevented by some unforeseen circumstance from their usual exercise of kind solicitude; but on arriving at her house, she was alarmed at finding they had set out for that purpose.  The night was passed in the most anxious state of suspense, rendered additionally painful by the absence of a servant man, named Thomas Field, who, it appears, had tendered his addresses to her daughter by whom they had been constantly rejected, and who had lived in the family eleven years.

   On the following morning, Mrs. Glass's worst fears were realised by the discovery of the murdered remains of her daughter and grandson on Wayland-down, their throats having been cut, apparently with a sharp knife.  The bodies presented a horrid spectacle: the wound in the neck of the young woman was three inches in length, and two in depth, the carotid artery and jugular vein being also divided; on her left hand there were also several dreadful wounds, probably caused by her attempts to ward off the knife from the most vital parts.  There was a similar wound on the throat of the boy, only that it was not so deep; on his hand was lying a handkerchief, cut in two, which circumstance is supposed to have been occasioned by the murderer having used the handkerchief to stop the boy's mouth, and in the attempt to release himself from it, the handkerchief had come in contact with the knife while the assassin inflicted the wound. 

   The knife with which the dreadful deed was perpetrated was lying near the bodies, and it appears that both the weapon and the handkerchief are the property of the man-servant, Thomas Friend.  An inquest was held on the bodies on Tuesday, when a verdict was returned of Wilful Murder against tomes Friend, who has absconded.  Friend is about 39 years of age, dark hair and whiskers, about five feet nine inches high, black eyes, a bruise on the fore finger of his right hand, and the nail almost off; has a cut across his left hand, occasioned by a reap-hook.


Carmarthen Journal, 12 September 1828


A feeling for intense anxiety, succeeded by the deepest sympathy and grief, has provoked all minds in this town, arising from the absence, and it is not concluded, the total loss, of the Custom-House Boat with Mr. Charles Cornish, Comproller, and the two Boatmen on board.  It is supposed the boat was upset by a sudden gust of wind.


The Cambrian, 13 September 1828


[A more detailed account.]  It will be some consolation to the friends of the lamented Mr. Cornish to know, that his body was picked up on Tuesday last, to the southward of the Mumble Head, by Capt. Truscott, of the happy return, of Fowey, and landed at the Mumbles, on the evening of that day.  On the following morning an inquest was held before Charles Collins, Esq. on the remains of the unfortunate gentleman, and, though much disfigured by the length of tick they had remained in the water, were immediately identified by Capt. Irwin, of Ilfracombe; the name "C. Cornish," also appeared inside of a glove found in one of his pockets.  Verdict - Found Drowned.


Carmarthen Journal, 26 September 1828

   In the parish of Cullompton, a blind man named Endicott, about fifty-five years of age, observed to an acquaintance, on the burial of an old lady, who had resided opposite his dwelling, that he heartily wished he could be a substitute for her, being weary of existence.  Melancholy to relate, the next day he fell down stairs, dislocated his neck, and expired immediately. - Plymouth Journal.


The Cambrian, 4 October 1828

   An accident of a most singular nature and attended with fatal consequences, occurred on Friday last, at Drewsteignton, Devon.  Miss Ann Knapman, about fourteen years of age, daughter of Mr. Knapman, of Drascombe, in that parish, was returning from school in company with her brother, riding as they had been accustomed, on two donkies; when nearly arrived home, Miss K. incautiously fastened the halter round her waist; and alighting, the animal gave a sudden spring which brought her to the ground, and after being dragged a considerable distance, the infuriated animal kicked her so as to cause instant death.


Carmarthen Journal, 17 October 1828. -

DEATH BY A BEEF-STEAK ! - An inquest was holden, a few days since, at the White Ball Inn, Tiverton, on the body of Thos. Vaugh, an Irishman, aged 82.  It appeared that the deceased had lived entirely on broths and soups' for the last three or four years, but being prevailed on to eat of a beef-steak, it caused his death by choking him. - Verdict, Accidental Death.


Carmarthen Journal, 24 October 1828

   On Friday se'nnight, a melancholy accident occurred at Heale Bridge, near Hatherleigh.  John Acland, the guard of the North Devon Coach, whilst in the act of dragging the wheel, fell under the coach, and the wheel passing over his body, caused immediate death.  A coroner's inquest was held at the George Inn, Hatherleigh, before Francis Kingdon, Esq. and a verdict of Accidental Death returned.  No blame whatever was attributed to the coachman, as the deceased had been drinking at Torrington Fair.  He has left a wife and  family of seven children to lament his loss.


The Cambrian, 13 December 1828

SHOCKING SUICIDE. - A  dreadful case of suicide has occurred in the neighbourhood of Teignmouth, in the case of a Clergyman, the father of ten children; and who was possessed of a rectory worth 800l. a year, which was given to him by his relative, the late Bishop Pelham.  In the course of the night of the 23d November, the unhappy gentleman rose from his bed, and inflicted several wounds in his right side with a carving-knife, of which he died on the 29th.  At the inquest, the Jury, conceiving that his death was occasioned by a determination of blood to the head, rather than by the self-inflicted wounds, returned a verdict of "Died by the visitation of God, in consequence of a phrenitis."


Carmarthen Journal, 19 December 1828

ILFRACOMBE. - On Tuesday morning a large Dutch ship coming in sight, the pilots of the port were instantly on the alert; two boats were presently manned and  sent out, vieing with each other which should first reach the ship;  .  .  .   but with the evening tide the ship made the port, having seen nothing of the pilot-boat, which, it is now concluded, swamped in the surf, and the whole of the crew perished.  By this deplorable catastrophe five widows and 16 children are deprived of their only earthly support. The names of the unfortunate sufferers are Tweedy, Groves, Radmore, Colman, Thomas and three others, whose names we have not been able to ascertain. - North Devon Journal.


The Cambrian, 24 January 1829


   It is our painful duty to record a most calamitous accident which occurred in the river on Monday last; on the flow of the morning tide, W. Oatway, the owner of one of the regular passage boats from Appledore to Barnstaple, left Appledore with three passengers, and his son, a lad who assisted in managing the boat, and laving passed Heanton Court and arrived at Basset's Sands, in the midst of a strong gale, a sudden gust of wind caught the sails, and in an instant capsized the boat, and all on board perished.  Besides Oatway, who, for his civility and attention, was universally respected, and his son, there were on board a female of the name of Mary Pile, Capt. Green, master of the Swallow, of Appledore, and a lad of the name of Keen.  The bodies of poor Oatway and the female are not yet found; the other three have been picked up, and carried to Appledore, where a Coroner's Inquest has been taken.  Captain Green, it is stated, was an excellent swimmer, as was the boatman Oatway, but through the severity of the cold, their skill became unavailable. - North Devon Journal.


Carmarthen Journal, 27 March 1829

   On Saturday last as some persons were on the track of a fox on Dartmoor, near the Teign -Head, the dog suddenly stood at bay, and it was found that the remains of the body of a man crossed their path.  It had evidently lain in its then situation for some months; all traces of features had been destroyed by dogs or birds of prey, and so extensive had been the progress of putrefaction, that, together with the rotten state of the clothing, a separation of the limbs took place on the slightest touch.  The hat was on the head, which was nearly separated from the body; but it was impossible to ascertain whether death had been occasioned by violence.  From the remains of clothing, as the body lay, it is imagined the deceased was a farmer's servant, the jacket being short and of fustian, with a common blue waistcoat, corduroy breeches, blue stockings, and  a pair of shoes, which had been mended.  On Sunday an inquest was held on these remains, before Joseph Gribble, Esq., one of the coroners for Devon, when nothing further could be elicited than from the evidence of a person who attended, and stated that, in November last, he met a person on the moor, who inquired the road across it to Okehampton, when he advised him as being a stranger, to return and take the public road, and, from his recollection of the dress, he thought it highly probable these were the remains of that person. Under these circumstances the jury found a verdict of Found Dead.

   The inquest was held on the desolate spot on which the body was found, the snow lay thickly around, and so intense was the cold that the coroner could merely record the verdict and procure the signatures of the jury, leaving an rider that a shell be procured and the body interred in Prince Town. - Exeter Flying Post.


The Cambrian, 23 May 1829

POISONING. - An inquest was held at Whipton, near Heavitree, Devon, on Wednesday, on the body of a man named Westcombe, of Heavitree, who died from having taken poison in some broth which was prepared for him by his wife.  After a long investigation, which lasted for two days, the jury returned a verdict that the deceased died in consequence of poison administered by his wife, who has been committed for trial, together with a man named Quaintance, charged as accessory before the fact.  The female prisoner it appeared had officiated as doctress in the village, and had administered deleterious drugs to several young women.  One witness said she knew the prisoner was a bad woman because she used "to read the Lord's Prayer backwards."


The Monmouthshire Merlin, 6 June 1829

   On Monday night two commercial gentlemen, Mr. J. Gilbert and Mr. John Carlin, who were staying at the Royal Hotel, Plymouth, and who were on the most friendly terms, went out to walk together, and after making a call or two, were on their return through Queen-street, between eleven and twelve o'clock, when Mr. Gilbert, putting his hand into the pocket of his travelling great-coat, and finding there his pistols, which he had forgotten to put by on coming in from his journey, and which were loaded with ball, said jokingly, "Let us fire a salute."  He accordingly took out one of the pistols, and was in the act of cocking it, when the cock, which (being a detonating one) had a remarkable strong spring, slipped from his hold back upon the cap, and produced instantaneous explosion, and Mr. Carlin, who stood close by him, received the charge in the left side of his abdomen.  The report called the attention of the inhabitants; and Mr. John Pearce Beedle ran into the street, where he found Mr. Carlin on his knees, and Mr. Gilbert endeavouring to raise him; and being requested, assisted in conveying the wounded gentleman to the hotel.  The Dr. Magrath and Mr. John Fuge were sent for, and attended promptly, but their efforts were in vain, for the wound was mortal, and Mr. Carlin, after lingering about 18 hours, during which time he was anxiously attended by Mr. Gilbert, expired in great agony, at half-past five on Tuesday afternoon.


Carmarthen Journal, 24 July 1829

DEATH OCCASIONED BY A BULL. - Saturday se'nnight, an inquest was held in the parish of North Molton, and the body of Mr. G. Westcott, yeoman, of Lanscombe, who, while returning home on the day preceding, was met in the road by a bull; a woman, who lives in a cottage near the spot, saw Mr. Westcott with his legs on the horns of the bull, and his head on the ground; she got on the hedge and made a noise to drive the bull away; the deceased called out to her, "do my dear soul come to me;" he again repeated the same words, and then turned his face to the ground and was not heard to speak again.  John Smith, blacksmith, saw the deceased lying on his back in the hedge - and the bull tumbling hum about; he threw a pitch-fork at the bull, which drove him away.  They then went to the body, which they found bruised from head to foot, two of the ribs broken, and life extinct.  The bull was shot soon after the above disastrous occurrence.


Carmarthen Journal, 14 August 1829

   On Tuesday, a farmer, named Longman, 60 years of age, was found dead in a passage at Exeter.  It appeared from the evidence given at the inquest, that he had spent some hours in a house of ill fame, in a very drunken state, and that after rifling his pockets, the inmates carried him to the passage, where he died from the effects of liquor.  A man named Baker, his wife, and two other women, have since been committed to prison, charged on suspicion of being concerned in the murder. - The verdict of the Inquest was, Found dead, and that he died of a cause unknown to the Jury.


Carmarthen Journal, 2 October 1829


  An inquest has been held at the above place on the view of the body of a newly-born illegitimate child, of which Anne Smith, Lord Rolle's cook, was delivered on Sunday last between the hours of three and four o'clock.  From the evidence, it appears that Anne Smith, who is about twenty-five years of age, has always been in a respectable service, and having lived with the Earl Howe, she on the 6th of April last entered into Lord Rolle's family as cook, with an unexceptional character, and pursued her employment with the greatest diligence until Saturday last, without the least suspicion of her being with child until the last day or two.  Early on Sunday morning strong suspicions were entertained that she had been delivered of a child; and Mr. Caddy, a surgeon, was called in to investigate the matter; and on examination, he told her she had been delivered of a child, which she admitted, but observed that she had been with child but four or five months, and that it was in the water-closet, which was immediately searched, but no child could be found.  Lord Rolle immediately ordered that a general search should be made about the house and premises, when a full-grown male child was found, wrapped up in a gown belonging to Anne Smith, in a charcoal house, near the kitchen.

   The child was hen placed before Mr. Caddy; on which on examination, he found a wound, one inch in length, and two inches deep, on the left side of the lower part of the neck, and an appearance of a ligature or cord having been tied round the neck, and a fracture of the skull.  He opened the body, and found, upon investigation, that the wound had the appearance of having been made by a sharp pointed instrument, which had divided the carotid artery; the lungs were in a healthy state, and had been inflated; Mr. Caddy was therefore decidedly of opinion that the child was born alive.  Upon dividing the scalp, there was some coagulated blood on the skull, and a fracture of the upper part of the left parietal bone, about an inch in length.  He thought that the death of the child was occasioned by the wound on the neck.

   Smith refused to give the name of the father of the child, but said he was a young man residing in London.  Lord Rolle, with another magistrate, attended the inquest, and gave every facility to the investigation of the case.  The jury returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against Anne Smith, who was then committed for trial to the Devon county gaol, but the execution of the commitment was suspended until she could take the journey with safety. - Exeter Flying Post.


Carmarthen Journal, 2 October 1829

   A fatal event took place in Plymouth Sound last Thursday evening, which has plunged he relations of the unhappy sufferers in the deepest affliction.  A boat having gone from shire, for the purpose of conveying some wince on board the Britannia 120 guns, lying in the Sound, with a Custom-house officer, named Oxlen, and two watermen, named Jobe and Markem, arrived alongside with her cargo, which being discharged, the boat was about to return, when Mr. Barker, a midshipman, with Messrs. Curgenven, Cummings, and Scott, clerks, and two or three others, engaged with the waterman to take them ashore.  It was at this time nearly seven o'clock, and blowing fresh, with a heavy swell from the S.W.  The party named having seated themselves in the boat, another was coming down the accommodation-ladder to join them, when a heavy swell carried the boat under the ladder, and the ship rolling heavily at the same time, the ladder struck the gunwhale of the boat, which it instantly upset,  plunging the whole of the party into the sea, with the exception of Marlem, who was holding on the ladder, to which he clung after the boat went down. 

   The alarm being instantly given, Lieutenant Hawthorn with Mr. Carrol, the second master, Mr. Hughes, midshipman, and one seaman, got into a small gig and succeeded, after much exertion, in picking up Messrs. Curgenven, Barker, Cummings, Scott, and the Custom-officer Jobe  went to the bottom, and the body has not yet been picked up), who were nearly exhausted.  The gig having by this time drifted considerably from the Britannia, and the weather being very tempestuous, with a strong current setting up the harbour they were obliged to steer for Plymouth, at the imminent hazard of being swamped by a heavy sea, which broke continually over them, and nearly filled the boat with water.

   Medical assistance was procured for the sufferers as soon as they landed, but although it was but t20 minutes after the accident, and all the usual methods of resuscitation were sedulously employed by Messrs. Baldy and Roberts, their efforts to recover Messrs. Curgenven and Cummings proved in vain, life having fled before they reached the shore; with the others, happily, they were more successful.  Mr. Curgenven has left a widow and five children to deplore his loss, and Mr. Cummings a widow and six children; Jobe, a widow and three children.


The Cambrian, 14 November 1829

MURDER IN DEVONSHIRE. - George Cudmore, and Sarah Dunn, have been committed to the Devon County Gaol, from Great Torrington, on a most serious charge.  It appears that the wife of Cudmore had been suddenly taken ill, had died, and was buried; but reports getting abroad that she had not come by her death fairly, an exhumation of her remains at the end of several weeks took place, when poison was detected in the stomach.  The female prisoner has confessed that Cudmore had had the poison in the house several weeks, and had once out some of it in his wife's tea, which caused sickness, for which the Doctor sent her some powders; when Cudmore asked his wife if she did not think she could take them better if they were made up into pills; she replied she thought she could; he made some pills of the arsenic, and gave her one which caused her death.  It is rumoured that the husband of Dunn was to be taken off by the same means.  The prisoner, Dunn, has had four illegitimate children.


Carmarthen Journal, 20 November 1829

AN AFFECTING CIRCUMSTANCE. - In the early part of July last, two sons of a labouring man, of South Zeal, named Beer, the one 13 years of age, and the other 6, were sent with a donkey to a part of Dartmoor, near Sticklepath, to gather heath, which they had often done. [Youngest lost.]


Carmarthen Journal, 20 November 1829

MURDER IN DEVONSHIRE. - George Cudmore, laborer, of Rob rough parish, and Sarah Dunn, have been committed to Exeter jail, charged with the willful murder of the wife of Cudmore, who died on the 19th ult. O a violent sickness.  An inquest was held on the body, when it appeared that Cudmore, having quarreled with his wife, who was jealous of Sarah Dunn, their lodger, he swore that within three weeks she should never see his face again.  She was taken ill on the 14th, when he husband gave her an infusion; shortly after, she began vomiting, and died on the 19th.  A quantity of arsenic was found in her stomach.

   Sarah Dunn confessed that Cudmore had had the poison in the house for several weeks, and that he had given it to his wife in a pill.  Cudmore did not deny the charge, but said that Sarah Dunn had long pressed him to get his wife out of the way. - Verdict, willful murder, against both.

   The woman Dunn (says the North Devon Journal) has had four illegitimate children; and report says, that she is now with child by the prisoner Cudmore.


Carmarthen Journal, 21 May 1830

   On Thursday, T. Colley, farmer of Harland, near Bideford, aged 45, cut his throat in a most horrible way, having tuned he razor round in the wound.  It seems his father left a considerable estate, of which he was to have the principal part, but the other members of the family requiring a sale of the property, he committed the dreadful act on the morning of the sale.  He had before shown symptoms of derangement, and the coroner's jury returned a verdict to that effect.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 5 June 1830

MELANCHOLY AND FATAL EVENT. - On Monday evening, the daughter of Mr. Thomas Anthony, merchant, of Bideford, being on a visit to the worthy family of Samuel Crocker, Esq., of Bickington, accompanied by his two eldest daughters, in taking an evening walk on Bickingon Marsh, Barnstaple river, unfortunately from the high and rapid spring tide they got surrounded.  Death staring them in the face, Mr. Crocker's second daughter attempted to cross the channel, followed by Miss Anthony and her sister, in which attempt she lost her life; their dreadful shrieks and distressed situation were heard by two respectable lads, as a distance, of the names of Loder and Lovering; Lovering not being able to swim, young Loder gallantly dashed into the river, whilst the former ran for a boat.  Before they could arrive, Miss A. Crocker had sank to rise no more; and to the heroic conduct of Mr. Loder do the two survivors owe their preservation.  He had beheld the fate of one of the three; he then directed his attention to the two survivors, - Miss Anthony sunk twice with him, at each time clasping him and pulling him under; his undaunted ardour increasing in his scene of peril and danger, though he was seen to sink with the two surviving ladies, he providentially got Miss Anthony into shallow water, by grasping her by the hair of the head; he with another effort secured Miss Crocker.  Between both ladies he remained cheering them till Mr. Lovering and a boat's crew arrived from Framington Pill.  Young Loder is but 16 years of age, the flower of a most worthy and respectable family, by whom the bereavement is most bitterly lamented, and who possess the sympathies of the whole village. - North Devon Journal.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 1 January 1831

  Lieutenant E. B. Sutherland, died at Saltrim, in an attempt to get off a Dutch galliol, which the crew had abandoned.  Th vessel was struck by a sea while Lieutenant Sutherland was on board, and thrown on her beam-ends/  The gallant officer clung to the mast, within sight of the people on the shore, which was only about one hundred and fifty yards distant, for nearly an hour and a half, when he was struck by a falling yard, and sunk.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 16 July 1831

DISTRESSING CASE. - A coroner's inquest was held at Plymouth on Sunday, on the body of a man who committed suicide; and the Jury having returned a verdict of felo de se, the own clerk took possession of the deceased's effects, which became forfeit to the Crown.  The deceased has left a widow and three children !

   Deprived of all they possessed, by government, after being deprived of their protector by an act of insanity; and this according to English law !  If it were Turkish law, books would be written in detestation of such barbarism.


The Cambrian, 28 January 1832
SUICIDE OF THE RECORDER OF EXETER. - Exeter was thrown into the deepest consternation on Saturday morning, in consequence of a rumour that the Worshipful the Recorder, T. Stevens, Esq., had died suddenly.  On Saturday morning the report was confirmed, and the additional fact was related that his death was caused by his own hand.  It appeared that he rose on Friday morning as usual, and proceeded to his dressing-room, where, after a short time had elapsed, the inmates of the house were suddenly alarmed by the report of a gun proceeding from the room.  His lady hastened thither, and met him staggering towards the door; his throat presented a most terrific gash, and in this horrible condition he sunk into her arms and immediately expired.  The domestics rushed on the heels of their mistress, who fell lifeless beneath her dreadful burden; they immediately conveyed the deceased to a couch, but life was perfectly extinct.  No rational cause can be given for this dreadful catastrophe.   .  .  .  Verdict, Temporary Derangement.

Monmouthshire Merlin, 24 March 1832
SUICIDE. - An inquest was yesterday held by R. J. Squire, Esq., on the body of Mary Myers, formerly an apprentice of Mr. Peter Teo, and lately a servant of Mr. Marks, druggist.  The coroner sat from half-past twelve to five examining witnesses, and the inquest was then adjourned to this day at three, in order to admit the hearing of further evidence, and to receive the deposition of the faculty as to the analysis of the contents of the stomach.  From the evidence already given, we think that not a shadow of doubt can be entertained of the deceased having willfully taken a considerable quantity of arsenic; and it is our opinion that she was induced to the act by a great depression of spirits arising from a species of religious hypochondria.  The deceased, it appears, was what is commonly called "convinced of sin," and had by some means conceived the unaccountable notion "that the devil was sure of her, and that she was not born for heaven but for hell," which idea so preyed upon the mind of the deceased that she eventually put an end to her life. - Plymouth Journal.

The Cambrian, 9 June 1832
On the 30th ult. At the Red Lion inn, Newport, the Rev. Edward O. Hollwell, Rector of Plympton, Devon, and formerly Major in the North Gloucester.  He was found dead in his bed.  Verdict at the inquest, - Sudden Death by Visitation of God.


Cambrian, 1 June 1833
LATE DUEL AT EXETER. - Dr. Hennis, who was shot in a duel with Sir J. Jeffcoat on the 10th inst., died on Saturday.  An inquest was held the same evening, which adjourned to Monday, ending in the committal to the Devon County Gaol of Charles Mulford, Esq., Robert Holland, Esq., and Captain Halsted, charged as being present, and aiding and abetting in committing a Felony.  Bail to any amount was offered, but the Magistrates signified that they did not think it a case in which they should be warranted in admitting to bail, and that if they (the prisoners) desired this they must make application to a higher quarter. - Officers were despatched to Plymouth to apprehend Sir J. Jeffcott, but he had sailed in the Britomart for Sierra Leone.


Glamorgan Gazette, 1 June 1833
DEATH OF DR. HENNIS. - We regret to record, in this death of this gentleman, another victim to that defect of moral courage, which, by a strange perversion of language, is called honour.  Dr. Hennis, after lingering in extreme pain, expired on the evening of the 18th ult.  The wound of which he died penetrated eleven inches into the body, and was aggravated by the circumstance that the flint of a pistol was upon a post mortem examination, found to be in the wound. . .  .  

Monmouthshire Merlin, 15 June 1833
  A MAN KILLED WITH A CANDLE. - An inquest was held at Clewes, on Friday last, on the body of a man named Charles Horne, who was unfortunately killed the same morning in the following thoughtless manner: - It appeared in evidence that the poor fellow had been engaged the previous evening as an extra waiter at the Cavalry Barracks, and had returned home early in the morning with a friend, with whom he was laughing and joking, and, as he walked down the yard at the back of his house, the other loaded a gun with powder and put in half a rush light, and fired with the intention of covering him with grease.  The poor man instantly dropped down, and died in less than two hours afterwards, the candle having passed through his kidneys.  He has left a wife and five small children destitute.
EXETER. - MELANCHOLY EVENT. -  As Captain Keats, R.N., nephew of Sir Richard Keats, Governor of Greenwich Hospital, was sailing in an open boat in Batticombe Bay, on Sunday last, a squall off the land took her so suddenly, that before the sheet could be cast off she capsized and sunk.  There were Mrs., Keats and two of her sisters, Miss Diana and Miss Louisa Pitman, and a boatman; also in the boat.  Captain Keats instantly laid hold of Miss Louisa, and swam with her a considerable distance towards the shore, till a preventive service boat put off and rescued them both from their perilous situation, when he learnt the melancholy fact that his wife and her sister Diana were both lost, together with the boatman.  The body of Mrs. Keats and that of her sister were found entangled in the gear of the boat, but the boatman has not yet been found.  Both of these ill-fated ladies were young and accomplished; they were the daughters of a very wealthy and active magistrate of the neighbourhood, Major Pitman.  Mrs. Keats had not long been married, and her sister was betrothed, it is understood, to a gentleman to whom she was shortly to have been united.  The affliction of the parents may be readily imagined.  .  .  .  

Monmouthshire Merlin, 21 September 1833
TTHREE MEN SUFFOCATED. - On Monday fortnight, as eleven miners were proceeding to their work in a lead mine, called the Red Soil miner, at Sheldon, Derby, they encountered a horribly suffocating sulphurous vapour proceeding from an opening communicating with the Magpie mine, which the proprietors and workmen of which a dispute had originate, owing to the proximity of the two mines.  Eight of the men with the utmost difficulty were rescued from the fatal effect of the vapour, but the remaining three, all of whom had wives and families, were suffocated.  A coroner's inquest has been held upon the bodies, and, after one or two adjournments, a verdict of Wilful Murder has been returned against twenty of the workmen of the Magpie Mine.  Mr. Wm. Wyatt, one of the proprietors, and Mr. John Green, agent of the said min e, were also found guilty of being accessories before the fact.  These two gentlemen have absconded; an active police officer of Derby has been despatched in pursuit of them, but hitherto without success.  Seventeen persons, charged with the perpetration of this most inhuman act, have, however, been safely lodged in the Derby county gaol, to take their trial at the next Assizes.  Three of the twenty men, against whom a verdict of wilful murder has been returned, are still at large, but, as their persons and circumstances are well known to the public - and as descriptions of them have been sent to the different ports at which they might be likely to embark, in order to leave the kingdom, the probability is that, ere long, they will also be in custody. .  .  .  


Monmouthshire Merlin, 2 May 1840

DEATH FROM FRIGHT. - An inquest has been held at Kingsbridge on Ann Burgoyne, servant to the Rev. Mr. Smith.  Deceased had slightly cut her finger, and from the evidence of Mr. W. C. Ford, the surgeon, there was no doubt that she died of fright, caused by that trifling accident. - Western Times.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 9 May 1840

FATAL ACCIDENT. - On Wednesday last, a seaman belonging to H.M.S. Aetna, which arrived that day in the Sound, came by his death on the following singular manner. - About three o'clock in the afternoon, the ship's launch, manned by eight men, and under the charge of Mr. Stag, senior mate, was dispatched from the shop, to convey a number of invalid soldiers, seaman, and marines to the Royal Naval and Military Hospitals.  After landing ten invalids at the Naval Hospital at Stonehouse, the boat was pushed across the creek to the landing place of the military Hospital, for the disembarkation of the soldiers.  Not being able to obtain admittance at this entrance, Mr. Stag proceeded round to the front gate, and, while absent, the men began skylarking, by wrestling and throwing mud at each other.  One of the crew named Walter Walker appeared to be generally made the object of attack.  Among others, one very fine young man, named Charles Davis, attacked Walker, and from the position of his arms and hands at the moment preceding the accident, it would appear that he intended to rub some mud over Walker's face.  Walker retrograded several paces; but David still continued to press closely on him, when he swung his knife, which was attached to a lanyard, and which he had just before unties from his waist, round his head for the purpose of warding off the attack.  As Walker swung it, the lanyard came in contact with the person of Davis, and coiling round his body, the blade of the knife, which had become partly open by the jerk in swinging, inflicted a wound about an inch below the naval.  The incision was immediately examined by Dr. Cullen, assistant surgeon of the Aetna, who was present in charge of the invalids; but on a cursory examination, not thinking it of a dangerous nature, the man was embarked, and the boat was pushed off with the intention of proceeding to their destination.  Before they had [proceeded far, however, David got worse, and he was landed at the Royal Naval Hospital, where, in spite of the skill and unwearied attention of the medical officers of that establishment, he expired on the evening of the following day.  A post mortem examination of the body was made, when it was found that the wound, which was about three quarters of an inch long, perforated the rectus abdominus into the cavity of the belly.  It was the opinion of medical men that this wound was the case of death. 

   There was no ill-feeling between Walker and the deceased, noir had any previous animosity existed, and all the witnesses concurred in representing the occurrence as purely accidental.  Walker was much affected when the deceased said that he was wounded, and shed tears before it was known that the wound was dangerous.  After a patient investigation, the coroner's jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.  It came out in evidence that Walker had untied his knife from his waist, not to defend himself from Davis, but to arrange his clothes, which had been disordered in wrestling with his shipmates. - Devonport Independent.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 5 December 1840

SUPPOSED POISONING. - COMMITTAL FOR MURDER. - Rumours were in current circulation in this city yesterday morning, that a woman had poisoned her husband and another man at Lapford, through jealousy.   We made inquiry, and found that the report was correct as to a case having occurred at Lapford of that nature, both being dead; and that an adjourned inquest was then holding on the bodies.  We have since ascertained that it appeared from the evidence given at the inquest, that the men were both taken ill on the morning of Sunday week, soon after breakfast, and that all the symptoms of the effects of poison followed with much violence.   The husband of the accused (Richard Tucker a malster) died on the following day; and the other, who was her brother, named William Partridge, died on the succeeding Wednesday.  Suspicions were excited, and it was deemed necessary to have an inquest on the bodies, which was accordingly held before Mr. Partridge, the coroner, and adjourned to yesterday (Thursday), a post mortem examination of the bodies having been made and poison discovered, according to the medical evidence.  After a long inquiry the jury returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against Mary Anne Tucker, and she was accordingly committed for trial.  The circumstance has caused the greatest sensation in the neighbourhood.  The prisoner has been lodged in the Devon County Gaol.  She is a good looking young woman of very respectable appearance; she has a child, but has not yet attained her 20th year, and she walked into the prison smiling and apparently quite unconcerned, although her mother, who came up with her, was in the greatest distress of mind. - Exeter Gazette.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 26 December 1840


ALLEGED MURDERS AT LAPFORD, DEVON. - Mary Ann Tucker, the young woman who has been committed to the county gaol by the coroner's warrant, on the charge of murdering her husband and brother, by administering arsenic to them in their foods, manifests the most perfect composure in prison. .  .  .  .   It was stated by one of the witnesses that Tucker and his wife had had a quarrel, but this was not borne out; and if true, it seems to have been one of the most trifling nature, scarcely warranting the use of that term.  The arsenic which caused the death of the two unhappy individuals was purchased by little Agnes Partridge, who was directed to procure it by the father of Tucker for the purpose of poisoning rats.  The verdict of "Wilful Murder," which was returned by the coroner's jury, greatly astonished all who heard the evidence adduced.  Of the fact that the deceased had come by their death from the effect of arsenic there was no doubt; but in what manner that had been administered, there was not the slightest evidence to shew.


Sydney Morning Herald, 6 September 1856


  The ship Runnymede, Captain Burrows, now at anchor in Plymouth Sound, bound with 248 convicts to Swan River, on the afternoon of the 41st, at three o'clock, was the scene of a deliberate murder, committed by the second military officer in command, corporal William Nevan, upon his superior, Acting Serjeant-major Bingham Robinson, both belonging to the local pensioners, of whom there are 30 on board.  Robinson, who was on the poop, sent for Nevan, and ordered him to fetch Private Sullivan for parade.  While Sullivan was submitting his firelock for examination, Nevan descended to the main deck, and out a cap on his loaded firelock,.  He then went part of the way up the larboard poop ladder, and, stooping, fired at the serjeant, who was standing on the starboard side of the poop.  The shot broke the stock of Sullivan's forelock in two pieces as he held it in his hands, knocked off two of Robinson's fingers, and then entered the abdomen.  Robinson, in falling, cried out, "Oh God! I am shot; Oh God! I am dead," and in a few minutes expired.  It appears that recently, when on duty together at the Dartmoor prisons, Robinson and Nevan did not agree, and that the latter, when in charge of the police, said that Robinson had threatened to have his pension taken from him.  The serjeant leaves a widow and four children, and the corporal has a wife and five children.  An inquest was held on Monday, when the jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against Corporal Nevan. It appears that the bullet had severed one of the main arteries, and lodged itself in the rectum.

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