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Colonial Cases

Isle of Wight

The Observer, 17 January 1802

   A few days ago a woman threw herself, with her infant child about two months old, into the haven at Yarmouth, in consequence of her being importuned for a debt of 4l. 10s. which she was not able to discharge.  Their bodies were not found until the following day.


Cambrian, 15 February 1806

On the 4th instant an inquest was held on the body of Ensign G. Adner, of the 66th regiment of foot, at Newport, isle of Wight.  It appeared that the deceased had undertaken to drink a quart of rum, in consequence of bets being made by other officers, which he nearly accomplished, and immediately retired to bed, where the next morning he was found a corpse!  Verdict - Died by excessive drinking.


Carmarthen Journal, 9 February 1811

   On Friday se'nnight, a servant girl of Lieutenant-Colonel Kent's, at the Army Depot, Isle of Wight, poisoned herself by taking arsenic.  It appeared in evidence she was five months with child, and it is thought she only meant to destroy the child.  She told the surgeon who attended her she took it on purpose to destroy herself.  The Jury, after a few minutes consideration, returned a verdict of Felo de se, and she was buried in the high road, near the barracks.  She was a very fine woman, about 20 years of age.


Carmarthen Journal, 4 July 1812

Murder. - A barbarous murder was perpetrated last Sunday, at Sindgewood Green, in the Isle of Wight, by the apprentice of Mr. Hill, a shoemaker, on the body of his mistress.  The boy, taking advantage of his master's absence at Church, knocked down the woman with a hatchet, and cut her throat.  He then walked to Yarmouth, where his sister lived, to whom he communicated the horrid act he had committed; and on her remonstrating with him as to his motives for so doing, he replied, he did not know but he was ordered to do it.  He was immediately taken into custody, and conveyed to Newport prison until the Coroner's Inquest should take a view of the body. - The jury found a verdict of wilful murder, on which he was committed to Winchester gaol, to take his trial for the crime. [See Carmarthen Journal, 18 July 1812; John James, aged 19.]


The Cambrian, 20 October 1827

DISTRESSING SHIPWRECK.. - Thursday the sloop Happy Return, Woodcock, master, bound from Penzance to London, brought up outside of the Hurst Channel, near the Warden Edge Rocks, to stop tide, and the master went on shire at Yarmouth to obtain professional assistance for a woman, one of the passengers, who was taken prematurely in labour.  John Wavell, Esq. surgeon, of Newport, isle of Wight, went on board in a four -oared galley, and soon after the woman gave birth to a child.  The galley was alongside the vessel waiting Mr. Wavell's return, and at nine o'clock in the evening, at the instant that gentleman was coming up from the cabin, the wind suddenly increased to a gale, the vessel's anchor came home, and she drove on the rocks and sunk, whereby Mr. Wavell, the woman who had been delivered, her infant, two other women passengers, and one child, were drowned.

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