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Colonial Cases


Gloucester Journal extracts


Feb 26.  Last Monday evening as WILLIAM CRIPS, of Barnsley, in this county, farmer, was returning home from Cirencester market, he was met near Barnsley by a man disguised in liquor, riding full speed, when both were thrown from their horses, and CRIPS unfortunately killed on the spot. - The Coroner's Inquest was taken - verdict - accidental death.
  Last Wednesday as JOHN DEAN, miller, was greasing one of the wheels of a mill in Woodchester, whilst the same was going, he was unfortunately dragged in amongst the wheels, and instantly killed, his skull was shockingly fractured, and arms broke to pieces.  The Coroner's Inquest was taken - verdict - accidental death.

Mar 5.  Great damage was sustained in all parts of this county buy the high wind on Tuesday. ... But we have heard of one person [MARY CAUDLE] only killed, a woman at Dowdeswell, by the fall of a tree.
  Shooting incident at Bristol in elections: 2 dead: self defence.

Apr 23.  The number of accidents that have happened in this neighbourhood within these three days are remarkable.  On Tuesday GEORGE TURNER, a shepherd to Farmer LINE, of Post Farm, getting over a gate with a pair of sheep sheers in his hand, accidentally fell, and stuck the sheers into his throat, which killed him upon the spot; and about the same time JOHN PALMER, shepherd to Mr MASTERS, fell from a hayrick, and dislocated his neck; and about nine o'clock this morning MICHAEL COWLEY  dropt down dead in the street.  TURNER has left a wife and six children, and COWLEY a wife and two small children.

Jul 2.  A few days ago the body of a young woman was taken out of the river near this city, upon which several marks of violence were conspicuous.  The Coroner's inquest brought in their verdict, Wilful Murder.

Jul 9.  On Tuesday last as four men belonging to the press gang stationed in this city were going up the Severn in a boat, by a sudden squall they were overset, and two of the fellows were drowned.

Nov 19.  On Thursday last the wife of PHILIP SCOT, gardener, who had lost the use of her limbs, being left alone by the woman appointed to take care of her, fell into the fire, and was burnt to death.

Dec 31.  About six o'clock on Friday morning last, in the violent storm, a barge, belonging to Owner YOUNG, of Newnham, laden with timber and barley, bound for Bristol, was sunk at her moorings near Nass Point, and the owner, and one of his men, were drowned.  One man saved his life by swimming on shore.


Jan 7.  On Friday evening last as WILLIAM HEMMING, the distributor of this paper through Chepstow, Cardiff, &c. was returning to his home at Sandhurst, in passing near the river, which had overflowed its banks, it is supposed that he missed the road and fell in, his horse being found the next day, in a meadow on the opposite side of the river.  He was very much dissuaded, as he passed through Gloucester, from attempting to go so dangerous a road in the dark, but he was not to be prevailed upon.  If the body should be found, it is requested that immediate notice be given to the Printer.

Feb 11.  Gloucester.  On Friday the 1st inst. an inquisition was tken before James Rudge, gent. coroner, on the view of the body of WILLIAM MILLARD, of the parish of Mangotsfield, in ths county, labourer, who was found early that morning, most inhumanly murdered in his bed.  The poor man was 75 years of age, and was supposed to have saved some money.  The same morning a pair of leather breeches, and a flannel jacket, the property of the deceased, were offered for sale to a broker in Bristol, by a thin faced man, about 36 years of age, five feet nine inches high, sallow complexion, short strait black hair, had on a light coloured coat, which appeared to have been turned, and wore a round hat.  

Feb 18.  The villain who committed the atrocious murder mentioned in our last is apprehended.   His name is STALLARD, a native of Yatton in Somersetshire.

Mar 4.  STALLARD, who is committed to our castle for the murder of WILLIAM MILLARD, at Mangotsfield, says, that he assisted in breaking open the window of the house, but that the robbery and murder was committed by one JOHN TAYLOR, who entered the house; and that he soon after heard the deceased cry out, the Lord have mercy upon my soul, which so terrified him, that he ran into the garden, and staid there till Taylor came out.

Apr 1.  On Saturday at our Assizes, RICHARD EYNON, for the murder of his wife, and THOMAS STALLARD, for the murder of WILLIAM MILLARD, of Mangotsfield, were ordered to be executed this day, but Eynon has been since respited to the 22d of April.  Stallard is to suffer.
  JAMES BROWN, the coachman at the Hotwells, who killed Mrs HEWSON, by driving over her, was found guilty of Manslaughter, and fined 20 l. and to be imprisoned six months.  THOMAS HASKINS, for killing WILLIAM SMITH, was fined 1 s.

Apr 8.  On Monday last THOMAS STALLARD was executed here for the murder of WILLIAM MILLARD of Mangotsfield, in this county.  This man was a deplorable instance of the shocking hardness to which the human heart is to be reduced by long habits of vice and profaneness.  His behaviour before he was taken to the place of execution was like one that defied the Almighty to punish; but when he was brought to the gallows the dreadful apprehension of eternal torments could no longer be concealed, and he died in the greatest agonies of fear.

Apr 15.  The alarming depravity of the lower class of people in this part of the country seems to demand some extraordinary exertions in those who have any regard for its credit, or the lives and properties of its inhabitants. - Two shocking murders have been committed within these few days in the neighbourhood:  The one by JOHN HARRIS, of Whaddon, on the body of his own son, a

boy about 11 years of age, who, having been sent out to steal some wood, did not bring home so much as his barbarous father required; the inhuman wretch tied up the poor child by the hands, and with a doubled cord beat him 'till he was a spectacle too shocking to behold.  The villain is committed to our Castle. - The other was perpetrated at Aure, a village on the banks of the Severn, where one MATTHEWS, a fisherman, was found lying murdered upon the sands, with his head most dreadfully bruised.  Suspicion immediately fell upon one PHELPS, another fisherman, in the same parish.  However, when he was apprehended, and brought before a Justice, no proof could be brought sufficient to warrant his commitment, and he has been discharged.

Apr 29.  On Friday last were executed near this city, pursuant to their sentence, RICHARD EYNON, for the murder of his wife, .....  They behaved with a decency becoming their unhappy situation.

Aug 5.  On Tuesday evening WILLIAM LEWIS, a young man who was learning to swim in the river Leddon, near the mill at Over, going out of his depth, was unhappily drowned.
  A few evenings ago, one GEORGE GOUGH, who had been committed to our castle for a breach of the peace, attempted to leap from the top of a high tree in the court yard of the prison, over the wall; but not jumping far enough he fell down upon the pavement in the court; and was taken up so much bruised that there are little hopes of his recovery.

Sep 2.  Wednesday last WILLIAM FRANCIS, suspected of the murder of EVAN DANIEL, on Durdham Down on Friday, the 23d inst. was taken near Neath.  And on Saturday morning a lad, brother to the above Francis, was taken here.  From the boy's story it appears that the murderer and the deceased had stolen two oxen, and having sold them at Bristol, they retired to the quarry to divide the money, when the devil suggested to the one, that by murdering his comrade, he might possess the whole booty.  The boy said he left them together in the pit.

Sep 9.  Cirencester, Sep 4.  This morning a melancholy accident happened to a female child, about seven years of age, belonging to one SAVORY, a poor labouring man of this town.  The child was playing with several others in a timber yard, where a parcel of boards were carelessly placed in a pile, which suddenly tumbled down, and crushed it to death.

Sep 30.  Tuesday last was committed to our castle, by James Rudge, Esq: Coroner for this county, JENKIN WILLIAM  PROTHERO, charged with the wilful murder of EVAN DANIEL, in August last, in the Westbury upon Trim, in this County.

Dec 16.  Last week were committed to our castle, the following persons: ... WILLIAM UNDERWOOD, weaver, of Bisley, charged with starving to death SARAH DARNSELL.


Feb 17.  3d  On Tuesday a boy belonging to a farmer of Longford coming with a horse in a cart to this city, the waters being out, the boy rode on the horse, and mistaking the road, fell into a ditch, where the boy and horse were drowned.

April 28. 3d  On Tuesday last Mr JAMES BROWN, of Whaddon, in this county, was seized suddenly at a parish meeting with a shivering, and in going to a farm house near at hand to warm himself, he fell down and expired immediately.

May 5.  3d  On Thursday evening, one ANNE BARNES, a poor beggar-woman, was murdered near Cainscross.  Two legs of a stool were found lying near the body, which are supposed to be the weapons with which the deceased was knocked on the head.

May 19. 3d  On Saturday also was committed, WILLIAM PAVEY, of Millborough Heath, for stabbing his uncle, DAVID BROWN.  It seems the uncle had struck Pavey for some fault he had committed; Pavey, who was eating his dinner, fell into a violent passion, and with his knife in his hand struck at his uncle, and stabbed him between the two lower ribs on the left side.  The surgeon is of opinion that the wound is likely to prove mortal.  The contrition of the poor unfortunate young man, renders him an object of great pity.

Jul 28.  3d  On Thursday evening, WILLIAM PUGH, a bargeman, being a little elevated with liquor, attempted to swim through the Westgate bridge with his cloaths on, but as soon as he had passed the bridge, his strength failed him and he was drowned.  He was a fine active young fellow, whose conduct in general was remarkably sober and industrious; and his death is the more to be regretted as he kept to school, and maintained by his own labour a little brother and sister that were entirely dependent on him for support.

Oct 20. 3d   On Wednesday last, JOHN JEFFERYS, a mason, being employed to repair a well, in Stroud, which had not been opened for 15 years, went down without taking one precaution, and was suffocated.  Others were going down, who would have shared the same fate, had they not been prevented; but by throwing down several buckets of water, after a kettle of live coals had been let down, the air was rendered fit for respiration, and two men then descended, who brought up the corpse.  Had JEFFERYS been properly secured by cords fixed round his body, he might have been drawn up, tho' insensible, and his life recovered.


Feb 9. 3d   On Friday last died, Mr THOMAS BONNER BISHOP, one of the Coroners of this County.

Feb 16.  Yesterday morning died here of a malignant fever, Mr THOMAS POWELL, in partnership with Mr MILLS, Apothecary.  This valuable young man had engaged in the care of the sick confined in our county gaol, where a dreadfully malignant fever at present rages; and it is presumed he has fallen a sacrifice to the contagion; of which Mr GILES, the Keeper of the prison, lies also now dangerously ill.  The number of sick in the prison is very great.

Feb 23.  Mr GILES, the keeper of the prison, is nearly recovered.

Apr 5.  On Wednesday last Mr WILLEY was elected one of the Coroners of this County, in the room of Mr Bishop, deceased.

Jul 19.  On Friday evening died at the Bell Inn, in this city, JOSEPH LOSH, Esq., an officer in the 7th regiment of Light Dragoons.  This amiable young gentleman fell a sacrifice to his notion of the use of strong exercise; for in one of the late hot days, he quitted his horse, when upon a journey, and walked from Evesham to Burford, which heated his blood to so violent a degree, that when he arrived here he was seized with a fever, which, after a few days illness, carried him off.


Jan 17.  On Saturday night one BROWNING, of Nailsworth, being very much in liquor, set out from a public house in this city, and at the end of the Bell lane, instead of turning to the left to Barton street, turned to the right for Constitution walk; where his horse fell with him into the Langet.  The horse by the fall broke its back and died; the man was not hurt, but the horse falling upon him, he lay for two hours under the beast, before he could, drunk as he was, extricate himself.

Mar 21. On Thursday last one GOODENOUGH, a bricklayer, getting into an oven at Littleworth to repair some defects, the oven fell in upon him, and crushed him to death.
 On Wednesday last an inquest was taken at Batesford, in this county, by Mr Daniel Willey, coroner, resident in this city, on the body of WILLIAM BEEZELY, who was working in a quarry belonging to Thomas Edwards Freeman, Esq; which fell in upon him, and killed him on the spot.
  On Wednesday, STEPHEN HOPE, a taylor, who lived near Newent, from which place he scarcely ever returned sober, fell into a brook near his house, and was drowned.

Mar 28.  Last week an inquest was taken by Mr Phelps, coroner, resident at Rodborough, on the body of a child burnt to death at Stonehouse; and another inquest on the body of WILLIAM GARDNER, who was killed by the falling in of a quarry at Salperton, where he was at work.

Apr 4.  One day last week a shoemaker [JOHN ETHERIDGE], at Newnham, was killed in a boxing match with a brother of the craft.

Aug 8.  On Monday last died at the Duke, in this city, Mr RICHARD SKIPP, of the Old Grange, in the parish of Dymock, who was unfortunately kicked a fortnight ago by a vicious horse as he was mounting to return home from market.

Sep 12.  Boat from sandhurst sunk at Longford (from Maisemore) and 7 drowned; inquest Daniel Willey.  Also boy at the bridge.

Oct 3. On Tuesday the 27th of September last, was committed to our castle, by Daniel Willey, Gent. Coroner, (and resident in this city,) SARAH ROBERTS on suspicion of the murder of a male child, that was found dead in the parish of Sevenhampton the 24th of that month.

Oct 10.  On Thursday last an inquest was taken by William Phelps, Gent. Coroner, resident at Rodborough, near Stroud, on the body of JAMES SARDIN, a chimney sweeper.  This unfortunate man was in the top of a chimney, which fell with him to the ground. Some of the stones fell upon his head and fractured his skull, and he died on the spot.


Sep 9.  Glos D 1086, F117, At Bristol.  I hear that a small Boat was lost at the Old Passage this morning but no Acct. how many lost their lives.

Sep 11.  A man who came to this city yesterday afternoon, relates, that in the stormy weather on Friday evening the small passage boat, in attempting to pass at Beachley, was by a squall of wind overset, and five passengers, with four boatmen, were lost.


Jun 21.  Hereford Journal XVIII, 881.  The Gloucester coach, having 15 inside and outside passengers, was unfortunately overturned last Tuesday morning, about one o'clock, when most of the passengers received material injury; three ladies lie at this time without hopes of recovery, at the King's Head, in the Corn-market, Oxford; one of whom had three of her ribs broke, and the other two were greatly hurt.  A child, who accompanied her parents on the outside, was thrown some distance from the coach, and fortunately saved her life by falling into a heap of mortar, where she was discovered almost suffocated.  The accident was occasioned by a quantity of rubbish which had been shamefully left, in the course the day, by some labourers, and the night being dark, and there being neither light nor watch to caution the driver from the unwarranted impediment, the poor fellow's own life was endangered, as well as those of his passengers.


Mar 10.  On Sunday the 2d instant, seven young men of this city, on a party of pleasure, attempting to pass thro' Maisemore Bridge, the mast not being sufficiently lowered, the boat was upset, by which accident two of the party, Mr PULLEY, one of Mr Watson's company of comedians, and Mr BOWER, a taylor, were unfortunately drowned.

Apr 14.  On Monday last, the body of Mr BOWER, the taylor, who was drowned at Maisemore bridge, on Mid lent Sunday, was taken up near the bridge at Over.  Yesterday the body of Mr PULLEY, the comedian, was taken up near Minsterworth.

Jun 2.  On Wednesday last, an unfortunate stranger, supposed to be a little deranged in the intellects, who, from some papers found in his pockets, appears to have been a clergyman of the name of WILLIAM BAILEY, was murdered near to an ale house at the Flat, in the parish of Westbury, in this county.  The stranger came in the evening to the ale house, and called for a pint of beer.  JOHN GLOVER and WILLIAM ETHERIDGE, two fishermen, were drinking in the kitchen: Mr BAILEY sat down between them, and, from some improper behaviour, gave GLOVER reason to suspect that he would pick his pocket.  This occasioned some altercation; when the stranger went out and GLOVER  followed, asking whether he was not going to pick his pocket; the stranger denied such intention, and said, "Are you going to kill me?"  The other then struck him several blows, and at last knocked him down. The cry of murder brought MARY GODWIN, who ran into the ale house and called the people; when they came out they found the stranger on his knees begging for mercy; GLOVER then left him, and the people helped him up; he then told them he would go an acquaint Mr Colchester of the treatment he had received.
  He set off towards Mr Colchester's house, and was got into a field about 100 yards from the public house, when GLOVER, followed and gave him a desperate blow in the throat, which brought him to the ground, and he never spoke after.
  GLOVER has absconded, but many are gone in pursuit of him.  He is thus described: about 21 years of age, five feet ten inches high, well made, rather round in his shoulders, small eyes with large eyebrows, palish complexion, and brown hair; had on when he went away, a pair of corduroy breeches, and a waterman's frock.  He has been in the 20th regiment.
 GLOVER was much influenced with liquor at the time.  Is not drunkenness the cause of most of the murders of this kingdom?  Mr Willey, one of his Majesty's Coroners for this county, has taken an inquest on the body, and a jury brought in a verdict Wilful Murder.
  A few days ago, RICHARD HOBBS, of the parish of St George, was committed to our county gaol, for killing SAMUEL MILLSOME at an ale house, being both very much in liquor, they fought, and MILLSOME was killed.

Jul 7.  A lad, named GEORGE HARRIS, fell into the river Severn, on Wednesday last, and after floating some time, sunk twice or thrice, but upon his rising within a foot of the top of the water, WILLIAM LEIGH, employed as a Clerk to the building of the New Gaol, with a humanity singularly great, instantly plunged into the stream, and took him up, and with the assistance of his brother, brought him on shore in a state of total insensibility, after some time he was recovered.

Aug 11.  On Saturday evening after 10 o'clock, Farmer HEALING, of Staunton Court, went through the turnpike at Over, which leads to Maisemore, but he never passed the bridge, and on Sunday, his horse was found grazing in the meadows. - Search has been made, but Mr HEALING cannot be found: It is apprehended, that he has been robbed, and thrown into the river. - How many valuable lives might be saved, among the yeomanry of this country, if self preservation could teach sobriety?

Aug 18.  Conjectures respecting the murder of Farmer HEALING appear to have been ill founded; his body having been taken up out of the river without marks of violence, or the pockets rifled.  It is likely, therefore, that he fell asleep, and his horse going to drink, fatally tumbled him into the river.

Sep 15.  On Monday last JOHN GLOVER, who murdered a clergyman in May last, in a drunken frolick, near a public house at the Flat, in the parish of Westbury, was taken up at Birmingham.  He appears very much affected for the crime he has committed, and says, he never since enjoyed a moment's peace.

Oct 6.  On Monday last, Mr NAISH, auctioneer, of Bristol, going home very intoxicated, was thrown from his horse between Melksham and Axford, and killed on the spot. - This death makes up the number forty, who have lately been killed in this manner.


Jan 5.  On Friday last a shocking accident happened at Pull court, the seat of Thomas Dowdeswell, Esq. in the county of Worcestershire.  SARAH BURGES, a very old servant in that family, who was upwards of 100 years of age, sitting by the fire in her bed chamber, it is supposed a spark fled out upon her apron, which took fire, and communicated to a large handkerchief, that was round her neck; and although discovered before the handkerchief was entirely burnt, yet her neck and throat were scorched in such a manner, that she expired immediately.

Feb 3.  On Wednesday the body of a man was discovered floating near Mr Wakefield's yard at the Quay.  It is supposed he had been some time in the water.  In his pocket was found a letter, signed ROBERT FERRIS, sealed up, and addressed to Oliver Toulmin, navy agent, Lisle street, London.

Feb 23.  Lately, died suddenly, in a field near Alderly, in this county, on his way home to Kingswood, Wiltshire, MOSES HAINES, aged 73, formerly a day labourer, but of late years a pauper of that parish.  He had 2 s. per week allowed him, by the parish, for his support, besides what he obtained from the bounty of the benevolent and charitable in the neighbourhood, by importunate begging, to whom he usually delivered a tale of pretended distress, to excite their compassion, and at the same time, bitterly complained of the rigid economy of the parish, in granting him only, the small trifle above mentioned.  Having been suspected, in his lifetime, of being possessed of some money, notwithstanding his constant and solemn protestations to the contrary, a few days after his decease, his house was searched, when to the astonishment of all present, concealed in a large bag of wool, in several parcels, were discovered the following sums, viz.
                         Guineas      42 l.
            248 Half crowns      31 l.
                     361 Shillings         18 l.  1 s.
                                                   91 l.  1 s.

Mar 16.  At our Assizes, which closed on Saturday, ... JOHN GLOVER, who was the cause of the death of an unhappy clergyman, at the Flat, near Westbury, was found guilty of manslaughter only, and fined one shilling; ........

Jun 29.  On Saturday, as WILLIAM GABB, smith, was measuring a trow for some iron work, near the Westgate bridge, he fell into the river, and was unfortunately drowned.

Jul 20.  A few days ago, as Mr THOMAS COLLINS and THOMAS RUSSELL DOBBINS, of the parish of Littleton upon Severn, in this county, were drinking together, some words arose between them, and they proceeded to blows; when the latter, finding himself too weak for the other, took up a stone, and threw it with such violence at Mr COLLINS, that striking him on the side of the head, it fractured his skull, and he is since dead.  The coroner's inquest sat on the body, and brought in the verdict wilful murder.  The deceased has left a wife and five small children.

Jul 27.  On Wednesday next the assizes for this county will begin, at which few prisoners are to take their trials; amongst whom are, CHARLES BRASSINGTON for murder ....

Aug 3.  At our Assizes, CHARLES BRASSINGTON, for the murder of  MARTHA HUNTLEY,  was found guilty, and received sentence to be executed this day, and his body dissected.  BRASSINGTON, being in liquor, went to the house of MARTHA HUNTLEY, and asked for some cyder; but she refusing to give him any, he threw a stone and struck her on the temple, which caused her death.
 WILLIAM WEAVIN, for killing JOHN PRIDDIE, was found guilty of manslaughter, and ordered to be imprisoned three months.

Aug 10.  On Monday last was executed, pursuant to his sentence, CHARLES BRASSINGTON, for the murder of Mrs HUNTLEY.  His behaviour, when at the awful place of execution, was truly penitent; and after hanging the usual time, his body was delivered up to the Surgeons for dissection.

Aug 24.  On Thursday evening, as the son of Mr D SPENCER, of this city, was bathing in the river near the Westgate, he suddenly got out of his depth, and not being able to swim, he would have been drowned, had not THOMAS WEBB instantly jumped into the river, without waiting to take off his cloaths, and as the lad was sinking, caught him by the arm, and brought him safe to shore.

Sep 14.  Advice has been received, that the Cornwall brig, belonging to Mr William Joiner, of Berkeley, caught fire, and was totally consumed, on the coast of Africa, where she was discharging her cargo.

Dec 7.  OBITUARY.  On Saturday morning died here, in a fit of apoplexy, Mr JOHN FIELD, music master, in the College Court.  A few days ago died also, no less unexpectedly, Mr COTHER, a respectable farmer, at the Sheep house, near this city.

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