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Colonial Cases


The Observer, 13 January 1793


An inquest was taken before JOHN SIMMONS, Esq. one of the Coroners for Kent, at the Mitre Tavern, in Chatham, on the body of Robert Cooper, mariner of the Port of Sunderland, and which sat on Monday and Tuesday last.

   It appeared in evidence, that Thomas Hodge and ------ Crockfield, were, at six o'clock in the evening of Christmas-day last, going up the High-street of Chatham, to Evening Service at the Chapel; on passing the Three Tun's public-house, a woman seized Crockfield by the hair of the head, and attempted to pull him into the house; on which, two soldiers of the Third regiment of Foot, called the buffs, came out, and knocked Crockfield down by a desperate blow with the butt end of a bayonet, but missed Hodge, who ran for assistance.  He unfortunately met the deceased, with whom he was acquainted, and telling him the usage he had met with, they both returned to see what state the villains had left  Crockfield in.  They went into the Three Tuns, where a number of soldiers were drinking; and soon after, Crockfield, who had recovered the effects of the blow, and got his wound dressed, came to the same house, in search of his companion, Thomas Hodge.

   Upon Crockfield's entrance, he pointed to one of the soldiers, and declared him to be the man by whom he had been assaulted, but which was denied by the military.  It was, however, determined to let the matter rest, and to put up with the injury; the soldiers being very numerous, and one of them having drawn his bayonet, attempted to stab Crockfield; accordingly, they left the house, and were telling the usage they had met with, to Mr. Robert Chiles and Mr. Thos. Donnell, who happened to be passing at the time, but before their story was ended, the soldiers pursued, and one of them knocked Donnell down, while two or three others as inhumanely fell upon the deceased with their bayonets, and beat him most unmercifully; of which wounds, Mr,. Ruffon, Surgeon at Chatham, proved, that he languished until last Saturday, and died - after being trepanned, and suffering the most excruciating torments for ten days.

   Mr. Chiles deposed, that on seeing the soldiers attack the deceased and Donnell, and having nothing to defend himself, he made his escape, and went for the assistance of Peace-Officers; that he found Mr. Stanton, the High Constable, who charged him to assist, and furnished him with a hanger to defend himself.

   The Constable and Mr. Chiles met the soldiers, and while they were deliberating on the steps to be taken, the villains fell upon some Marines who were peacefully passing at the time, whom they cut and beat so much, that one of them now lies still in a dangerous state.  The soldiers then attacked the Constable and Mr. Chiles; the latter shewing his hanger, was set upon by five or six, and in the scuffle was left senseless on the ground, after cutting one of them down and disabling another in the hand: As soon as he recovered, he got up, and ran to the first house he saw open, followed by one of the soldiers, who made a plunge with a bayonet, which was received in the panel of the door, then only half shut.

   The soldiers then attacked some inhabitants who were assembled together, on hearing the cry of murder, many of whom they cut and wounded in a shocking manner; no less than nine had their wounds dressed within an hour, and near twenty were assaulted, after which the villains escaped to the Barracks.

  Six soldiers of the Light Infantry of the Buffs, had been confined on suspicion, from having been out of their barracks at the time these outrages  happened; One of them, viz. Dennis Curran, was positively sworn to by Thomas Donnell ro be the man who knocked him down, a little distance from the place where two or three other soldiers attacked the deceased, whose cries, as was as blows, he distinctly heard.

   Lewis Dorothy, another soldier, it was proved, on the night of the deceased received his wounds, came to the regimental Hospital and had his hand dressed, which he pretended he had cut by accident with his knife.

   From the darkness of the night, no person could positively swear to the persons of more than one of the soldiers who wounded the deceased, and that only in a way, which induced the Jury to find their Verdict, manslaughter - against Lewis Dorothy.

Melancholy Accident. - Mr. Philpot, of Broadstairs, aged 78, on Tuesday evening returning home from Margate, he mistook his road, and being deceived by the light from the light house, walked over the cliffs, and was dashed to pieces by the fall.


The Observer, 13 January 1793


A poor woman was found dead in a dung hole near the south end, on Tuesday morning; it is supposed she was intoxicated the night before, and had fallen into this place. - Coroner's inquest, accidental death.

The Observer, 17 July 1796



The body of a man decently dressed was lately taken out of the Medway, near New Hythe; his pockets had been cut down, and emptied of whatever they might have contained; but there not being any appearances of violence on the body, the coroner's inquest found a verdict accidental death.  The corpse has been interred, but nothing has yet transpired to lead to a knowledge of where he came from.  His linen was marked W. C.


The Observer, 8 October 1797

   Friday morning the body of a woman, supposed to have fallen from the height, was found lifeless on the Beacon, near Chatham-hill, with nothing on but a petticoat and shift.  The Coroner's Jury brought in a verdict of Accidental Death.  It was supposed the body had been plundered after death.


The Observer, 18 March 1798


   Giles, foreman of the labourers at Sheerness, having obtained some arsenic under pretence of destroying rats, mixed it with a pint of beer, which he urged his wife to drink.  She being thirsty at washing took a considerable part of it, and was prevented by immediate pain from giving the rest to a child that stood near her.  Giles dissuaded her from medical assistance, and advised her going to bed; but being in extreme agony, on getting up stairs, she called in a neighbour, who brought the apothecary from whom the arsenic had been bought, and who discovered I part of it in the vessel with the beer.  Proper remedies were immediately applied, and there are hopes of the poor woman's recovery.  Giles has absconded.


The Observer, 8 July 1798

   Ensign Warren, of the Glamorgan Militia, was drowned some mornings since, while bathing in the sea at Herne Bay.  He was returning to barracks from a company in which he had spent the night, when, reaching the Beach, he stripped, and after sitting in the water for some minutes, he plunged out, and shortly disappeared.  His servant, who stood on the Beach, giving the alarm, several boats put off, and in about four hours the body was found, lifeless.


The Observer, 29 July 1798

   Yesterday a Coroner's Inquest was held at Rotherhithe Workhouse, on the body of a young man who was killed on Friday, by falling into a dock in Mr. Mestear's yard.


The Observer, 19 August 1798

   On the 14th inst. as Mrs. Waldron, of Chatham, was standing by the fire, inspecting some victuals, she was seized with a paralytic stroke, and fell into the fire.  She died the next day.


The Observer, 3 March 1799

   A man, a woman, and two children, during the last week, died in St. Dunstan's, Canterbury, by excessive vomiting, occasioned by taking some medicines, the description of which the Coroner's Inquest could not ascertain.  The man languished until Thursday night.


The Observer, 31 March 1799

Canterbury. - The daughter of Mrs. Ross, on the Brook, a fine child five years old, was some days since burnt to death in consequence of a spark falling from the fire on her cloaths.


The Observer, 2 February 1800

CHATHAM. - As a man of the name of Crowhurst was caulking the upper works of the Inflexible, the board on which he stood slipped, when he fell and was unfortunately drowned in the presence of several persons.


The Observer, 23 March 1800

CANTERBURY     . - A few days ago the body of E. Gilligan, late a private in the 55th regiment, was taken outrĂ© of the River Stour; from marks of violence appearing on his head, strong suspicions have arisen that his death was not occasioned by accident.  He was seen in company the preceding evening at a public-house with J. Burk, a soldier in the same Regiment, who returned to the Barracks very late, and wet, apparently much confused, giving an unsatisfactory account of the parting with his companion.  On the body's being taken out of the grave, Burk was secured, as suspected of having committed the murder.  The deceased had received some pay and his discharge from the regiment the day the accident happened.



The Observer, 9 January 1803

   An industrious young man, belonging to the manufactory of Messrs. Ismay, at Dover, returning a few evenings since from a Christmas party, finding himself, as is supposed, thirsty, endeavoured to reach some water from a shallow well, but tumbled in head foremost.  The inhabitants of a neighbouring house hearing his groans, searched the adjacent parts, but not making any discovery, returned.  Next morning the unfortunate man was discovered suffocated with his feet against the sides of the well.


The Observer, 9 January 1803

   A few days ago, the body of a new-born infant, with a piece of tape round its neck, was taken up in the River between Rye and Newenden.


The Observer, 23 January 1803

     A child, about four years old, belonging to a person in the employ of Mr. Walker, of St. Lawrence, near Canterbury, being left alone in a room, set fire to its clothes, and was so dreadfully burnt that its life was despaired of.


The Observer, 13 March 1803

   On Sunday morning, a poor woman who resides near Sittingbourne, Kent, having left a tea-kettle of boiling water on a stove, her little boy, about three years of age, drank from the spout, and was so dreadfully scalded, as to expire in great agony a few hours afterwards. 


The Observer, 13 March 1803

   And on Tuesday, a son of Mr. Sandy, of Blean, about the same age[3], being left in a room, set fire to its clothes, and was so severely burnt, that it is not expected to live.


The Observer, 8 May 1803

   On Thursday a Coroner's Inquest was held at Margate, on the body of S. Nunn, aged 17 years, shot by the discharge of a gun from one of the gun-vessels in the roads of Margate.  After a very long investigation, they brought in a verdict of Wilful Murder against Lieutenant Gnoche, Commander of the Basilisk, who, it appeared, fired the gun himself, by which this youth met his death.


Cambrian, 5 October 1805

Murder. - Last week, two Deptford carriers, named Starling and Halsey, stopped at China-hall, Rotherhithe, apparently in liquor.  As they were about to depart, Halsey desired the other, if he thought himself used ill, to take a knife, and stab him, alluding to some altercation they had had in the morning.  The knife which had been cutting bread and butter was removed; but Halsey took a knife from his pocket, opened it, and desired Starling to stab him with it, which he did; and, having drawn the knife out of the wound, Halsey went out exclaiming, "he was a dead man."  He expired the following morning.  After the act, Starling expressed the greatest contrition, went away; and on Sunday morning surrendered himself to justice.  An inquest has since been held upon the body, when the jury returned a verdict of - Wilful Murder against Starling.


Cambrian, 8 February 1806

A few days since, as a serjeant and a party of the Royal Cardigan militia were going from Dungeness to Maidstone, ...  A private in the same regiment was lately found dead on the guard-bed, having suddenly expired without indicating any previous symptoms of dissolution.


Cambrian, 14 June 1806

Miraculous Escape.

On Wednesday the 21st of May, as Capt. Jones, of the Royal Flintshire Fusiliers, quartered at Hythe, who had that morning accompanied the regiment to exercise on the heights, near Folkestone, was standing with several officers near the edge of the cliff, the earth suddenly gave way under him, and he was instantly precipitated to the distance of 21 yards in an oblique direction from the top, but was most providentially, stopped in his fall by a small abutment on the surface of the rock. ... Scarcely, however, had this distressing circumstance occurred, when T. Roberts, a private in the regiment, alarmed at the truly perilous condition of his officer, endeavoured, at the obvious risk of his own life, to extricate him; but unfortunately, in the attempt, literally fell from the top to the bottom of this tremendous precipice, being a distance of 549 feet, of which  .... Regimental hospital at Hythe, where (to the utter astonishment of every bone) he is now able to walk about and is declared by the surgeon of the regiment out of all immediate danger.


Cambrian, 28 October 1809

On Friday morning last, Jethro Miller, late master of a gun-brig, was found, in his bed-room, at the Crown and Thistle, Margate, with his throat cut, and dead; he perpetrated the act with a razor, which was found in the blood.  On Saturday, the Mayor of Dover took an inquest on view of the body.  It appeared in evidence, that the deceased had previously been in a distracted state of mind, and had been discharged from the navy, on account of epileptic fits; the jury, therefore, returned a verdict of Lunacy.


Cambrian, 30 June 1810

A private belonging to the Royal Marines destroyed himself on Tuesday, while on guard in the barracks at Chatham.  The unfortunate man loaded his musket with buttons which he cut off his coat, place the muzzle of the piece in his mouth, and by means of a string fastened to the trigger, contrived to discharge it.  A Coroner's Inquest returned a verdict of felo de se on Thursday, and the body has in consequence been buries in a cross road.


Cambrian, 10 November 1810

A fatal accident happened at Dover on Wednesday night.  A young man of the name of Robinson, super-cargo of the West Indian shop Croydon, which put in there on Monday last in consequence of having been run on board of by a 74, by which means she was so much damaged as to be thought unfit to proceed to London with her cargo; after spending the evening at the ship inn, was returning on board, when he had the misfortune to mistake his way, it being very dark, and fell into the harbour.  He was heard to cry out and struggle in the water, but no boat being near the spot, before one could be procured, he sunk; he was, however, very soon picked up, but too late for the restoration of life.


Cambrian, 29 December 1810

On Friday last, during a sudden gust of wind, a barn belonging to Honey Hill Farm, on Blaen Common, Kent, was blown down, when the wife of the waggoner at the Farm, and a young lad about twelve years old, the son of Mr. Pedwell, the occupant of the Farm, were unfortunately killed on the spot, by the doors of the barn falling upon them.  Seven others in the barn escaped unhurt.


Cambrian, 10 November 1810

A fatal accident happened at Dover on Wednesday night.  A young man of the name of Robinson, super-cargo of the West Indian shop Croydon, which put in there on Monday last in consequence of having been run on board of by a 74, by which means she was so much damaged as to be thought unfit to proceed to London with her cargo; after spending the evening at the ship inn, was returning on board, when he had the misfortune to mistake his way, it being very dark, and fell into the harbour.  He was heard to cry out and struggle in the water, but no boat being near the spot, before one could be procured, he sunk; he was, however, very soon picked up, but too late for the restoration of life.


Carmarthen Journal, 16 March 1811

   On Tuesday se'nnight a bargeman, near the floodgate on the river Lea, at Bromley, discovered part of a human head above the surface of the water.  He immediately hastened in his skiff to the spot, and exclaimed "Here is poor Mr. Flight!"  The feet and legs being deep in the mud, with some difficulty he got the body into his boat, and conveyed it to his disconsolate family at Stratford.  Mr. Flight was an eminent miller and mealman of that place; and nearly a month ago he spent his evening at the sign of the Harrow, which house he left late in the night, and is supposed to have fallen into the river.


Carmarthen Journal, 17 August 1811

   On Tuesday week, as J. Tuyter, a private in the 1st West Yorkshire Militia, was led to the halberts at Chatham to be punished, agreeably to the sentence of as court-martial, he took out a razor which he had concealed in the sleeve of his coat, and in the presence of all whose duty it was to see the sentence carried into execution, cut his throat.


Carmarthen Journal, 28 September 1811

   A most melancholy accident happened on Sunday at Sheerness, being the Anniversary of His Majesty's Coronation.  The guns on the battery (42 pounders), as usual, were preparing to fire a Royal Salute, when John Brown and James Tramp were in the act of loading the same, and ramming home the wadding, one of the guns unfortunately discharged its contents, and the un fortunate men were blown almost to atoms.  Two other men, named Springate and Godwin, who were assisting at the guns, were most dangerously wounded; what adds to the calamity, the unfortunate sufferers have left wives and families.


Carmarthen Journal, 10 October 1812


Wednesday morning, between one and two o'clock, a person of the name of Wm. Gwin, threw himself from the window of an attic chamber, at the George Inn, in the High street of this city, and fractured his skull, of which he immediately died.  The following are the circumstances, ads related before the Coroner, by a young man whom slept in the same room:-  That he was awoke by a man huzzaing, which alarmed him so much, as no person was in the other bed when he retired to rest; that he listened in fear, and heard him repeating prayers for nearly half an hour, in his bed; the man then got up, went to the window and opened it; he soon returned from thence, sat himself down upon the foot of the bed, and drew a table near to him; in this situation he prayed for some time;  then got up again and went to the window, put his knees on the window board and with his hands held each side of the frame, still praying and blessing his family, and concluded with exclaiming - Here goes! Here goes! And here goes! throwing himself out at the last exclamation.  The young man immediately went to the window, and saw him lying apparently lifeless on the ground, and alarmed the family.  The latter part of the evidenced was confirmed by a woman who heard the last word, and saw him throw himself out.  - The Jury had not the least doubt of Insanity, and returned a verdict accordingly. - Canterbury Paper.


Cambrian, 31 October 1812

   A letter from Deal says:- A murder of an atrocious nature has just been committed on board of a ship lying in the Downs.  From the best information I can collect, it appears that the deceased was serjeant of marines, and for some cause was ordered by the Lieutenant, commanding in the absence of the captain, to walk the quarter-deck, with a musket on his shoulder, like a private; this, it appears, he refused to do, remarking to the officer, that he might put him in irons, or bring him to as Court martial if he chose, and if he should happen to be broke, it would then be time enough for him to carry a musket.  This reply seems to have irritated the son of Neptune so much, that he went down below for his dirk, and, coming again on deck, ran the unfortunate serjeant through the body, and he expired almost immediately.


Carmarthen Journal, 5 December 1812

  Melancholy Catastrophe.

On Tuesday morning last, Sophia Edwards and Mary Nest, two female servants of the Rev. John Gibbons, of Brasted, Kent, 9ine aged 22, and the other 19 years), were found drowned in a pond in the garden belonging to the Parsonage-house at that place; and the same day an inquest was taken on their bodies, when the following circumstances were disclosed:-  ... Search was made for them about the house, garden, and neighbourhood during the whole night; and early on Tuesday morning the same pond was dragged which had so recently been the watery grave of Martha Viner, when both their bodies were found in it, lying close to each other.  The Jury returned a verdict of - Found drowned.


Cambrian, 28 August 1813


On Friday Philip Nicholson was tried at Maidstone for the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Bonar.   ... On being asked for his plea, he said, that he had already made a full confession of all the circumstances of his guilt, which confession he was ready to confirm, but as it appeared to be the general wish that he should take his trial, he would plead "Not Guilty."

   Mr. Roberts, and after him, Mr. Serjeant Shepherd, stated the case, and, in support of the facts, were examined, Susannah Cumack, house-maid to the late Mr. Bonar; Mary Clark, Mrs. Bonar's maid; Penelope Gold's, the laundry-maid; Thomas Foy, a police constable; Eleanor Thomas, cook to Mr. Bonar; Stephen Lavender, the police officer, and Mr. Wells, the Magistrate. ...

   Mr. Ryland, the surgeon of Bromley, stated, that he had seen the body of Mr. Bonar, on the morning of the murder.  he said that the deceased had evidently received several wounds, his skull was extensively fractured, the bones of his nose crushed, and all his right teeth broken in.  Had no doubt that the murder was committed with the poker produced in court. [Nicholson about 26 years old.]


Cambrian, 27 November 1819

Fratricide. - A most inhuman murder, which, for atrocity, exceeds any in the annals of crime we have lately seen, was committed on Sunday evening last, on board the Aurora fishing smack, of Dover, then off the coat of Sussex, a short distance from Rye, on the body of John Pater, mate of the vessel.  It appears that early in the morning of that day, the smack fell in with a smuggling boat, from which they had a present of two gallons of gin, with which the crew made very free, particularly the captain and the deceased; that between nine and ten o'clock at night, the former declared he saw an enemy alongside, and desired Benjamin Denford, the only person on deck, to fetch him powder and ball to shoot him. - Denford told him there was no enemy, or any person near him; upon which the master fell into a most dreadful passion, struck him a violent blow on the breast, which knocked him down, and threatened instantly to kill him; upon which Denford leaped over the stern of the vessel into the boat, cut her adrift, and made off to the land, and reached Dungeness between two and three o'clock next morning.  It does not appear whether any provocation was given by the deceased, but it is supposed he went on deck for the purpose of expostulating with his brother, (the master) on the impropriety of his conduct towards Denford.  At this time, besides the brothers, there were only two persons on board, a man named Meadows, and the son-in-law of the master, a boy of eleven years old, who were both to bed, and the first they heard of any noise was the deceased falling into his cabin, his brother following him, and taking up a pair of bellows, beat deceased about the head and face until the bellows were literally dashed to atoms; not content with this, his passion not yet being satiated, he stooped down under the bed, took up an[iron] maul with a wooden handle, sharp at one end, the other being like a hammer, and with both hands, with all the violence of an infuriated man, beat the deceased again over the head and face, until his strength was exhausted, and his victim had long before  become senseless; the boy had fled to the deck at the onset, but Meadows, who had lain and seen this dreadful work of destruction from beginning to end, paralysed with fear, and conceiving his turn would come next, leaped out of bed and ran up the cabin stairs, but the wretch following him, he made his escape up one side of the rigging and down the other, and concealing himself under the bowsprit; the master calling to the boy to fetch a musket from below to shoot him.  He then desired the boy to fetch some straw from the hold to make a fire, to being a boat to their assistance, and upon the boy telling him there was none, he said unless he (the boy) brought some instantly, he would fetch some, cut him through the middle, and burn him.  Afterwards, however, he became calm by degrees, and the vessel was brought into Dover harbour on Tuesday morning.  It was the intention of the criminal to have destroyed himself, and for this purpose had brought some pigs of iron ballast, with spun yarn affixed, in order to tie to his feet, and if he could have accomplished it, to have taken the deceased in his arms and thrown himself overboard.  He was committed to Dover gaol the moment he landed from the vessel, and an inquest having been held on  Tuesday (which lasted five hours), the bury, after consulting two minutes, brought in a verdict of guilty of murder, against James Pater, the brother of the deceased.

   The prisoner is 56 years of age, and has a wife and five children, the former now pregnant; the deceased was 59 years of age, and has left a wife and three children. Both were natives of Torbay.  It appears that the prisoner has been subject to occasional fits of phrenzy, from having had his skull twice fractured, whilst serving on board a man-of-war. - Kentish Gazette.


Cambrian, 13 May 1820

   Nesbit, the person committed to Maidstone gaol, on the charge of murdering Mr. Parker and his housekeeper, had given information against two artillerymen at Woolwich, one of whom has been secured.


The Observer, 1 January 1821

   A young man, named James Bigg, of [Lenham}, recently met his death by a melancholy accident.  In the exercise if ringing, the rope of the treble bell hung up, and Bigg went amongst the bells to rectify it, when the sixth bell, weighing 16 cwt, came down, and the poor man was instantly crushed to death against the frame.  Three men had great difficulty in extricating the body.


Cambrian, 16 June 1821

Murderous Affray at Folkestone. - Between one and two o'clock on the morning of Thursday last, a number of smugglers armed with duck-guns, &c. assembled in Eastware bay, Folkestone, for their illegal purposes; but being discovered by the officer of the naval blockade stationed there, and the alarm being fired, they wheeled round, and discharged repeated volleys upon the King's officers, in consequence of which, Richard Wooldridge, quarter-master, was killed; his body being perforated in several places.  Lieut. David Peat was severely wounded, having been shot in various parts of his body with musket and pistol balls and buck-shot, eight of which have been extricated. - We are happy to add, however, that hopes of his recovery are entertained, notwithstanding the number and severity of his wounds.  R. Hunter and John walker, both petty officers, were also severely wounded.  A Coroner's inquest was the same day held upon the body of Wooldridge, by the Mayor of Folkestone, which, after several hours' deliberation, brought in a verdict of wilful murder against persons unknown.  The deceased was a man of brave and most exemplary character, having served in the navy, and was universally respected by his officers.  It appears he did not fire until his officer had fallen by his side; and after having fallen himself, was repeatedly fired on while lying on the ground, as well as Lieut. Pratt by these ferocious men.  The villains did not effect the landing of a single package of goods.


Cambrian, 7 July 1821

Melancholy Suicide. - We regret to announce the death of Dr. Andrews, an event aggravated by the circumstance of his having fallen by his own hand.  The late catastrophe took place on Friday last at Albion House, Ramsgate, where he had arrived only a few days before, on a visit to his friend, Mr. Leader, of Puney, now residing there.  About eleven o'clock on Friday morning the Doctor was found dead in his chamber.  There were a large cut and a deep stab in the upper part of the thigh, near the groin, which divided the main artery.  The floor and the bed was covered with blood.  Two razors were found in the bed; one of them was open and bloody.  The other was nearly closed.  The body when first discovered, was stiff, from whence it is concluded that he committed the rash act soon after he had retired for the night. ... At two o'clock on Saturday an inquest was held on the body, when, in addition to the above circumstance, ... The Coroner having summed up the evidence, accompanied with some appropriate remarks, the Jury returned a verdict - Insanity, owing to distress of mind at the time. Dr. Andrews was a tall handsome man, about 40 years of age, mild in his manners, and of a very easy amiable disposition.


Cambrian, 12 January 1822

   Dreadful Suicide. - It is our painful duty this day to record the perpetration of a crime, which unhappily too often stains our pages.  Mr. J. Slade, who has for many years held the high and responsible [line creased] office at Chatham, having lately become backward in making up his accounts, and being in arrears to Government to a large amount, an order was sent on Tuesday last to Commissioner Sir Robert Barlow to inspect his accounts.  On that gentleman acquainting Mr. Slade with his business, the latter opened his desk, and pointing to several bags, said they contained the sum due to Government.  The bags, it was intimated, held each 1000 sovereigns, and on Sir Robert's proceeding to count their contents, Mr. Slade left the room, and in a few minutes afterwards the report of a pistol was heard.  On inquiry it was found to proceed from the stable, adjoining the house, whither Mr. Slade had  gone, and who was there found lying on some fresh littered straw,  weltering in his blood and lifeless, having shot himself through the heart.  The cause of this dreadful act was apparent, when it was found that the greater part of the bags contained only silver instead of golds, and it is said the defalcation amounts to between 8 and 9,000l. The deceased was nearly 60 years of age, and has left a family of seven sons and daughters to deplore the sad event.  A Coroner's Inquest was taken on view of the body on Thursday. Verdict - Insanity. - Maidstone Journal.


Cambrian, 15 June 1822

TO POACHERS. - A notorious poacher, of the name of Little, well known in the neighbourhood of Maidstone by the nick-name of Diddler, was early on Sunday morning discovered lying on Cox Heath, near Hunton Woods, quite dead.  When found he presented a shocking spectacle, the lower part of his face and throat being much lacerated, and he was covered with gore.  On tracing the blood to a hedge a few yards distance, a gun was perceived lying on the opposite side, which appeared to have been recently discharged.  From this circumstances and the nature of the man's wounds, it is conjectured that he was following his pursuit, and on getting over the hedge, he was in the act of drawing the gun after him when it went off, and lodged the contents in his throat and lower part of his face.  He appears to have staggered a few yards before he fell.  The body was conveyed to Coxheath work-house.


Cambrian, 6 July 1822

   Lieut. Wm Hopwood, on the half-pay of the army, aged 35 years, suddenly dropped down dead in the street, in Strood.  It appears he had left his house, in Troy town, in the morning, in apparent health, and signified his intention of returning with something for dinner.  The deceased was subject to fits.


Cambrian, 11 January 1823

MURDER. - The murder of John Smith, Esq. of Blackheath, was thus described to the Coroner's Jury, by the widow:- On Sunday morning, the 22d ult. about three o'clock, I was in bed with my husband in our usual sleeping room, and was awoke by a very strange noise in or about the house; being unable to understand what it was, I awoke my husband, and told him directly my suspicions, when he immediately got up and put on his coat, and  went into an adjoining room; I followed him as fast as I could, but before I could get into the room, I heard him raise the sash of the window, and at the same time I heard the report of a pistol or gun.  The deceased immediately screamed out5, and said, I am shot! I am shot through the heart!  He then walked into the bed-room, and I observed a great deal of blood had flowed from the wound he had received, as well as in the room where he was shot.  He presently told me that he had seen a man in the garden, who must have discharged a gun or pistol at him, and also another man under the window at which he was wounded, and that both immediately ran away.  He said he did not know either of them, but one appeared to be dressed in a pepper and  salt coat.  Alarm was immediately given in the neighbourhood, and proper medical assistance was obtained.  The deceased languished from the time he was wounded until Saturday night last, and then expired. - A man, of the name of Coleman, has, upon strong circumstantial evidence, been committed to Maidstone gaol, to take his trial for the murder.


The Cambrian, 26 April 1823

PARRICIDE. - A Coroner's Inquest was held at Deal, on Monday, on the body of the late Mr. Joseph Bell, who was shot by his son, against whom the jury returned a verdict of wilful murder, and he has been committed for trial.  Although warned by the Coroner of the consequences, when tried, of any confession he might now make, he freely disclosed every particular connected with the melancholy transaction.


The Cambrian, 19 July 1823

A SINGULAR AND FATAL OCCURRENCE. - Last week, a poor woman, with an infant at her breast, employed in the grounds of Mr. Bailey, of Swanscombe, Kent, in podding pease, previous to the commencement of her daily labours, suckled the child, and left it in a hedge near the place where she was at work; on her return some time after to look for her child, she was struck with horror at finding it dead.  On her communicating this dismal intelligence to her fellow work-people, they, suspecting that she had made away with the poor infant, compelled her to accompany them with the dead child to a neighbouring surgeon (Mr. Chivers, of Greenhithe,) to ascertain the cause of its death, when he immediately satisfied them that there was not the last appearance of its death having been caused by any unfair means; and having obtained the wretched mother's consent to open the child, he found, to his utter astonishment, a SNAKE IN ITS STOMACH !  It is supposed, that soon after the mother had suckled the infant, the snake, attracted by the milk remaining on the child's lips, had entered the mouth and suffocated it.


The Cambrian, 27 December 1823

   Joseph Bell, a youth of 19, was indicted for murdering his father at Deal, on the  16th of April last, by shooting him with a loaded gun.  The case stood over from last Assizes, on account of the apparent imbecility of the prisoner.  He was now put on his trial again.  The evidence adduced on the former occasion was repeated.  It was proved that, although the prisoner was a person of weak intellects, yet that he was perfectly sane, and knew right from wrong.  Mr. Justice Park summed up the evidence for the Jury, who found the prisoner Guilty. [... ordered for execution on Monday.]


North Wales Gazette (Bangor), 18 March 1824

   On Saturday an inquest was taken at Smarden, before James Ottaway, Esq. on the body of a little boy, seven years old, named John Wood, son of Mr. Richard Wood, a farmer at that place.  It appeared that the deceased, who was a fine lively little fellow, on Friday, being a wet day, was prevented from going to school, and therefore amused himself in a cove attached to the dwelling house, by playing at hanging, and actually suspended himself with a piece of small cord from a cross pole in a cove, and was found quite dead.  He was alone, and seen in the yard only ten minutes before.  All efforts to restore animation were ineffectual.  The Jury returned a verdict - Accidental Death.


North Wales Gazette (Bangor), 8 April 1824

SHOCKING ACCIDENT AT LEWISHAM. - On Tuesday night last, an inquest was held at the Lion and Lamb, Lewisham, before T. CARTAR, Esq. Coroner for Kent, on the bodies of Henry and Thomas Large, two brothers, who were confined in the cage at Lewisham, on Tuesday morning.

   The Jury proceeded to view the bodies, which lay in the stables of the Lion and Lamb, and presented the most horrid spectacle that can be imagined; scarcely an inch of flesh on the bodies but was scorched to a cinder. A shilling, sixpence, halfpenny, and farthing, which had been found in the cage, were also exhibited, which, while in the pocket of one of the deceased, were burnt quite black.  The jury-room was crowded with persons of respectability.

   Mr. Cartar observed to the jury, that one of the deceased had been committed by Mr. Constable, the magistrate, for throwing vitriol on two gowns, the property of his fellow-servant, Sarah Longhurst, but not on the person.

   James Pople, conductor of the Bow-street patrol in the Sydenham district, deposed, that by virtue of a warrant signed by Mr. Constable, he apprehended Henry Large on Friday evening; he was charged with throwing vitriol over two gowns belonging to Sarah Longhurst, who, as well as himself, was in the service of Miss Brookes, who keeps an academy at Sydenham. - This witness went to view, but they were in such a dreadful state he could not identify Henry Large.

   William Lund, a patrol, stated Henry Large was given into his custody by the last witness on Saturday, and he took him on that day before Mr. Constable, by whom he was remanded back to the cage until Tuesday, when it was expected he would have been discharged.

   Thomas Burchepp, ostler at the Lion and Lamb, deposed, that from the contiguity of the inn to the cage, the keys were kept there for convenience; he locked the deceased Henry up when the last witness brought him in custody on Saturday, and since then witness supplied him with the county allowance, and a truss of straw to lie on.  On Monday the deceased complained of being nearly starved with cold, and begged witness to lend him some money to purchase coals. He in consequence supplied him with some; and on that night his brother Thomas was admitted to him to keep him company all night.  About two o'clock in the morning, witness heard cries of murder proceeding from the cage; and having dressed himself, and obtained the assistance of the watchman, they found the cage enveloped in flames - the cage door was then opened, and Thomas was lying at the door burned to death.  He and some others went in and brought out Henry, also dead, and lying under the seat.  Witness did not take any pipes, tobacco, or candles, into the cage.  He did not conceive there was any foundation for the rumour that they had intentionally set fire to the straw.

   John Abbot, a watchman, stated that about two o'clock on Tuesday morning he heard the cry of 'fire," and on going to the cage he saw it in flames.  Thomas Large was at the window, crying most piteously, "Oh Lord, save me ! save me." Witness requested him to keep his head to the window until he could obtain the keys; having got them he attempted to enter, but the flames prevented him; but in a short time Thomas was got out; he then ran for a doctor, not knowing that any other person was in the cage, and when he got back Henry had been brought out; they were both dead.

   James Fowle deposed,, that when the door was opened the watchman went in first and he followed, laying hold of his coat.  In this way they groped about until they reached Thomas's hand, which was in an extended position; it was twenty minutes before Henry was got out, not knowing two persons were in there.

   The Jury returned a verdict, "That the deceased persons died by suffocation, produced by the ignition of the straw."

   The Jury expressed their decided opinion that the lives of the two unfortunate persons had been sacrificed from the want of a necessary building in which prisoners might be kept.  If a building was erected, in which the Conductor of Police, or some other person might reside, the lives of prisoners in case of accident might perhaps be saved.


The Cambrian, 28 August 1824

MURDER. - On Wednesday afternoon an inquest was taken on the body of Thomas Morgan, under-gardener to Emanuel Goodhart, Esq. of Langley Park, near Beckenham, Kent.  From the evidence it appeared that on Tuesday morning Morgan was found in the peach-house covered with blood, and appeared to be dying.  He said he had been shot by two men.  His own gun was found at some distance from hymn, at full cock, but without a charge.  He languished till half-past two on Tuesday, when he died.  The verdict was, The deceased died by short wounds, inflected by some persons unknown.  The deceased bore a most exemplary character.  Mr. Goodhart has offered a reward of 100l. for the discovery of the murderers.  We hear that one man is in custody on suspicion of having committed the murder.


The Cambrian, 26 February 1825

   A distressing accident occurred at Newgate station, near Margate, on Wednesday evening last,; John Burke, a seaman of the blockade service, had taken the two infant children of Lieut. Nightingale, to play in the garden, which is situate near the edge of the cliff.  One of them, a fine little boy, named Alfred, eighteen months old, was in his arms; and whether the child made a spring, and the man tried to save it, or whether the cliff gave way, or the man slipped from the grass being wet, is unknown, but both man and child were precipitated over the cliff, and fell from a height of 40 feet.  The other child, a little girl, was the only person who saw the accident, and , by her shrieks, alarmed the parents and others.  Burke was found with his neck dislocated, and the infant died almost instantly after being picked up.


North Wales Gazette (Bangor), 21 July 1825

   At Cliff-house Academy, near Dover, a most distressing circumstance occurred on Wednesday week.  The house being infested with rats, with a view to destroy them, some bread and butter was steeped in arsenic by Mrs. Temple, who unfortunately, only put it out of her hands for a few seconds, preparatory to placing it in the rat holes; then three or four of the lads, who were waiting for their friends to fetch them, conceiving the bread and butter was left for their supper, partook  of it, and were soon taken ill.  Every remedy was had recourse to, but one fine little boy, named Fuller, of London, died on Thursday morning, and to add to the distressing scene, his father arrived to take him home in about an hour after the unfortunate event had taken place.  The other boys are likely to recover. - Kent Herald.


The Cambrian, 25 March 1826

BARBAROUS MURDER AT BROMLEY. - An inquisition was taken on Friday, at the Rose and Crown public-house, on view of the remains of an Irish labourer, named Dennis Sullivan.  In eliciting the circumstances connected with his death, the Jury had a difficult task, as the witnesses not only came forward reluctantly, but gave their testimony in a very contradictory style.  The body, which lay at the house of the deceased, presented the most appalling spectacle, and exhibited marks of the severest personal violence.  It appeared that the deceased had been beaten by some of his countrymen with a bludgeon and other weapons, when going home on Saturday night, at a late hour, from the house where the inquest was held, and that there had previously been a quarrel among them.  The Jury brought in a verdict of Wilful Murder against Florence Carthy, Dennis Carthy, and Florence Bryant.  The two former are in custody, but the latter has absconded, and the police are in pursuit of him.


The Cambrian, 1 December 1827


Drowned, on the 19th inst. by the upsetting of a boat off Stillness Point, near Whitstable, Mr. Hugh Hartland Ainsworth, fourth son of the late Harland Ainsworth, Esq. of Swansea.


The Cambrian, 8 December 1827

   On Wednesday evening, an inquest was taken before Mr. Cartar, at Scot's-hole, on Blackheath, to inquire into the death (by drowning in a pond) of a fine boy, named Henry dale, aged four and a half years, said to have been murdered by his mother, Elizabeth Dale, under circumstances revolting to human nature.  After an elaborate examination of witnesses, the Jury returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against Elizabeth Dale, the mother; and she was committed to take her trial at the next Maidstone Assizes.  The unhappy woman did not appeared, on hearing the result of the inquiry, to feel the dreadful situation in which she stood.


The Cambrian, 26 January 1828

   Four boatmen were drowned last week at the entrance of Dover harbour, on their return from giving assistance to a brig wrecked on Sandwich Floats; their voices were heard by the blockade men, but the sea was too tremendous to allow the least assistance to be given them,.


Carmarthen Journal, 29 February 1828

   On Saturday the sloop Mary, of Pwllheli, with a cargo of lead, went on shore near Mockbeggar.  The captain's wife and son took to the boat alongside which went adrift, and they were unfortunately drowned.  The bodies were found in the evening.


Carmarthen Journal, 9 May 1828

EXPLOSION OF A POWDER MILL. - On Tuesday se'nnight, in the afternoon, Tunbridge and its vicinity was thrown into the greatest state of alarm, by the explosion of the corning house at Ranshurst powder mills, two miles from Tunbridge, at which place several windows were broken by the violent concussion. - The remains of two poor men engaged in the mill, were scattered in various directions, in a state so mutilated and scattered as not to be recognised.  A third was thrown over some very high trees, to a distance of 150 feet, and, shocking to relate, fell upon a hedge, a stake of which entered his back. He died about four hours afterwards.


Carmarthen Journal, 1 May 1829

HAM-STREET, APRIL 14. - A fearful circumstance occurred here last night.  It would seem that two or three persons, living in the neighbourhood, have occasionally been on the "look-out" for smugglers, and have represented themselves, with the view of obtaining easy possession of any contraband property, as excise-men.  On the night in question one of the party stopped a cart, in which he supposed smuggled property was concealed; the driver assured him he was under a mistake - still the man insisted on his right.  The former resisted the attempt, telling him he was not authorised by virtue of any office; the latter said he was, and immediately proceeded to overhaul the goods.  An affray now commenced, the driver telling him that if he made another attempt he would shoot him, as he meant to take property which was honestly obtained. - The pretended excise-man forthwith attempted to seize the goods, when the driver shot him dead.  An inquest has since been held on the body, and the jury returned a verdict of - Justifiable Homicide. - Kent Herald.


The Cambrian, 8 August 1829

MURDERS. - It is with pain we record the following atrocious murders:-

   Tonbridge and its vicinity have been thrown into great alarm in consequence of a murder having been committed upon an elderly female who resided in that town.  The poor woman is about 55 years of age, and resided in a small cottage near the turnpike, and immediately opposite the Angel public-house.  She let a portion of her cottage to two navigators, who were employed with other men in deepening and widening the Medway.  These two men returned home on Saturday night.  One of them being in an ill state of health, took some medicine, and went to bed at an early hour, and the bother retired to rest a short time afterwards.  About four o'clock the following mooning, the sick man heard his fellow workman get up and go down stairs, where he was engaged for some time.  This circumstance, however, did not make any impression upon him, and he did not suppose that the man was engaged in committing the murder.  In the morning, when some of the neighbours entered the house, the door of which they found open, they discovered the unfortunate woman lying on the floor of her room quite dead.  A surgeon was immediately sent for, and he discovered that she had been suffocated by the hand of the ruffian who had grasped her throat.  The monster who had committed the murder remained in the town until the body was discovered, when he made a hasty retreat, but was taken soon afterwards.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 12 September 1829

   On Sunday week a man mimed Tomsett, an inhabitant of Wadhurst, left this town with a horse and cart, intending to be absent a day or two.  However, nearly a week having elapsed, and his connexions hearing nothing of him, became alarmed for his safety, and entertained apprehensions that he had been murdered, as he was known to possess a considerable sum of money about his person.  Search was made in every direction without success, until it was remembered that the river Lea, at Yalding, across which it was probable he would pass, had been very much swollen by the late rains, and that he might perhaps have been carried away and overwhelmed by the current.  This, in fact, proved to be the case.  His brother, who lives at Maidstone, and another person went to the spot, and at a short distance below Mr. Mercer's mill, discovered the ears of the horse just above the water.  The animal was attached o the cart in an upright position, and the unfortunate man was lying at the bottom of the water.  The horse and cart were got out on Sunday last, and the deceased's body shortly after.  He was about sixty years of age.  The cart was laden with spirits, which it is supposed were smuggled, and which the unfortunate man was conveying to London by a circuitous route, in order to avoid detection. - Maidstone Journal.


Carmarthen Journal, 23 October 1829

   A man named Stephen Price has been committed to Maidstone gaol, charged on the coroner's inquest with manslaughter.  It appears that Price had on more than one occasion beat his wife; which coming to the knowledge of the women employed on the ground, they threatened to horse him - which is carrying a person round the ground upon a hop pole, and exposing him to the derision of the other work people.  Price was very much teased on Monday; and on Tuesday the same courses pursued to him.  Among others, a woman named Ann Fairbeard shook a bunch of nettles in his face, intimating that he ought to be flogged with them.  In a transport of rage, he either cut at the woman with a stick he had in his hand, or accidentally struck her with it; but the result was, that the weapon entered her breast, and the poor creature fell dead on the spot.  What makes the affair more shocking is, that the deceased s enceinte at the time with twins.  She also leaves four children motherless. - Maidstone Gazette.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 24 October 1829

ACCIDENT AT CHATHAM. - The Dolphin frigate, used as a hulk for the safe keeping of convicts employed in Chatham Dock-yard, was moored close to the jetty, .  .  .     The following letter from Captain Lloyd, the overseer, confirms the above intelligence:-

Sir, - I hasten to communicate to you a very calamitous circumstance which happened to the Dolphin convict hulk, at Chatham.  Early this morning she sprang a leak, so that she hove completely over on her beam ends; and although very many prisoners were on board, and in their hammocks at the time, yet no more than three of them were drowned: viz. John Fisher, James Coyle, and Samuel Parkes; the rest got safe ashore, with the exception of one prisoner, who was severely bruised.

I am, Sir, &c.


The Monmouthshire Merlin, 24 October 1829

  An inquest has been held to inquire into the cause of the death of John Fisher, James Coyle, and Samuel Parkes, convicts, who were drowned when the Dolphin hulk sunk, and fell upon her broadside.  The following is the verdict-  It is the unanimous onion of the jury on the inquest, held on board his Majesty's ship the Canada, upon the bodies of John Fisher, James Coyle, and Samuel Parkes, that they were accidentally drowned on board the Dolphin, convict ship, on the morning of Friday, the 16th October last. 

   They are also of opinion, that the said convict ship, the Dolphin, is improperly constructed for that purpose; and they beg to recommend another ship, or that some other means be adopted to prevent similar accidents in future.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 22 May 1830

   On Sunday morning, about one o'clock, the most indescribable alarm and confusion prevailed in the minds of the inhabitants of that pretty little village, Paul's Cray, in Kent, in consequence of a most dreadful fire breaking out at Apollo-house, the residence of John Smith, Esq., near the village church.  Mr. Smith and his family happened to be in London, and the only persons in the house were two female domestics, and a lady named Davison, who was nearly 80 years of age, and had, for the last 18 months, been bed-ridden.  About the hour above stated, the servant of a gentleman at Chiselhiurst was passing the house on horseback, when he perceived the kitchen and parlour of the residence in flames, which were very rapidly rising to the floor above.  Just before the flames had reached the top floor, the two servant maids made their appearance at the windows screaming and wringing their hands in the greatest despair, as all means of retreat down stairs had been cut off, and a dreadful death stared them in the face.  At length, just as he flames burst into the room in which they were, they jumped out, and were caught in a carpet and miraculously escaped injury.

   Mrs. Davison, the old lady, we regret to state, was buried in the ruins, as from the impetuosity of the flames, all attempts to save her were impossible; and the poor creature, whose piteous groans at one time were distinctly heard, was abandoned to her fate.  The servants state, that on finding the house on fire, they alarmed the old lady, and endeavoured to remove her, but before they could do so the flames rushed into the room, and they were obliged to retreat for their own security.  At about nine o'clock on Sunday morning the trunk of the old lady was found in the ruins, but her head, arms, and legs, were burnt off.

   The remains were removed to the Bull Inn for a coroner's inquest.  No cause can be assigned at present as to the origin of the melancholy calamity.  Mr. Smith is insured in the Phoenix.  One hundred sovereigns were on Sunday picked out of the ruins belonging to Mr. Smith.


The Cambrian, 28 August 1830

   To calamitous accidents have just happened by the upsetting of pleasure boats.  The first occurred on the river Ouse, by which seven young persons under  20 years of age were drowned; viz. four sons and two daughters of Mr. Rigg, residing on the Fulford road, and Miss Grace Robison, of Ayton, near Scarborough, who was on a visit to the family.

   The other occurrence happened on the Stoke and Brandon rover near Buckenham Ferry; when Mr. John Drake, of Cambridge, Mr. P. Drake, the artist, and another brother a youth under 12 years of age, sons of the Rev. Thomas Drake, of Bradiston, were all drowned.


Carmarthen Journal, 3 September 1830

   On Wednesday se'nnight, during the sailing match at Gravesend, a most melancholy occurrence took place; which threw a gloom over the amusements of the day; a hatch boat, belonging to Mr. Roxbury (containing about 20 individuals of both sexes, anxious to enjoy the aquatic scene), having upset during a fresh breeze, and partly on account of having no ballast on board, two young females, one of them Miss Roxbury, daughter of the proprietor of the boat, a most promising young lady, about 17 years of age, and another young lady, were both unfortunately drowned.


Carmarthen Journal, 3 September 1830

   A very heart-reading accident occurred off Broadstairs on Thursday night last.  The brig Ranger, of Wisbeach, brought up near the harbour, and cast anchor, during the performance of which Captain William Moody accidentally fell into the sea, and was drowned.  We hear his wife and daughter were on board at the time of the melancholy catastrophe. - Kentish Gazette.


Carmarthen Journal, 1 October 1830

LAMENTABLE OCCURRENCE. - A most lamentable occurrence happened in the vicinity of Boxlety yesterday forenoon, which has suddenly terminated the existence of Robert Fowle, Esq. who resided in that village.  The following are the particulars of his melancholy event.

   It appears that about nine o'clock yesterday morning the deceased, accompanied by Mr. Charles Hills, of Boxley, went out hare-hunting on the ground adjoining the warren of the Earl of Romney. The deceased carried a double-barreled gun, which he had charged previous to his leaving home.  The two gentlemen had enjoyed their sport for about two hours, when the deceased set his dogs in a field of barley, which is a short distance from the warren, and not having occasion to use his fowling piece, he concealed it in a hedge, unknown to his friends.  Some time afterwards Mr. Fowle requested Mr. Hills to bring him the piece, directing him to the spot where he had left it.  Tithe latter proceeded thither, but missed the object of his search.  The deceased thereupon went to the hedge, into which, I would seem, he had thrust the butt-end of the gun, and consequently the muzzle pointed upwards.  With the reckless incaution of a sportsman, M. Fowle hastily drew out the piece, and awhile in the act of doing this it is supposed that a twig caught the trigger.  The gun web off, and, melancholy to relate, the contents entered the brain a little below the fore part of the temporal bone, and caused instantaneous death.  A considerable hemorrhage followed, occasioned, we should imagine, by the rupture of the temporal artery.

   Mr. Hills, horror-struck at the shocking spectacle, called out to Major Wayth, who was shooting bin a neighbouring field, and that gentleman immediately repaired to the spot.  He soon saw, however, that his unhappy friend was beyond the reach of mortal aid.  Information of he sad event was immediately forwarded to J. N. Dudlow, Esq. one of the coroners for the county, who appointed Wednesday (this day) at twelve o'clock, for holding the inquest. .  .  .   The deceased was in his 28th year and unmarried; .  .  .   Maidstone Gazette.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 15 January 1831

MURDER OF MR. THOMAS ASHTON. - A coroner's inquest has been held on the body of Mr. Thomas Ashton, who was shot at Hyde, and the Jury returned a verdict of Willful murder against three persons as yet unknown.  A reward of 500 Pounds is offered for the apprehension of he atrocious villains.  The only chance which appears of tracing the murderers depends on the identification of the paper which, as stated in the evidence of Mr. Tinker, the surgeon, was found in the wound, and evidently had formed the wadding of the piece with which the murder was committed. This appears to have been a pierce of thin and soft blue or purple paper, having upon it a small but of white or light coloured paper, with a small engraved shield on pattern of some kind - the whole bearing great resemblance to the envelopes which we have seen upon packets of needles or sewing cotton, or some other article of small wares.  Though this may appear to furnish very slight evidence for bringing about the discovery of the murderers, we trust it may yet be effectual.


The Cambrian, 5 February 1831


   During the last three or four days the village of Eltham, Kent, has been in a state of excitement, occasioned by the discovery of the remains of a child in Shooter's Hill Wood, under very extraordinary and shocking circumstances.  The following facts were elucidated at the inquiry, before Joseph Cartar, Esq.

   Mr. J. Morris, a farmer residing in the village, deposed that on Wednesday morning, the 19th inst. He ac companied the Rev. Mr. Myers, the clergyman of the parish, on a shooting excursion, and they had with them a couple of dogs.  They scoured Shooter's Hill Wood about eleven o'clock, and were about to leave when the dogs darted into a thick part of the wood, and did not come back to their well-known call; this circumstances induced witness and his friend to follow them through the thicket, when, upon coming to a plain, a sort of footpath, they discovered that the pointers had made a set at something, which they busily and eagerly devouring.  They approached the spot, and to their horror and surprise they found the substance to be part of the body of a dead infant: the lower extremities had been completely devoured by the animals.  Witness and Mr. Myers with difficulty beat the dogs off, and proceeded immediately to the village, where they gave intimation of the circumstance to the constable, who removed the mutilated remain s for surgical inspection.

   Mr. Silas Steadman, surgeon, of Eltam, stated that he had examined the remains of the body of the deceased infant, which were in a sad state of decomposition.  The body had been dead at least a month.  The Jury after some consultation, returned a verdict, "That the deceased child unknown was found dead in the wood, but how or by what means it came there, there was no evidence before the Jurors."


Monmouthshire Merlin, 13 August 1831


   On Wednesday se'nnight an inquisition was taken at the sign of the Anchor and Hope, Charlton, Kent, on view of the bodies of Charles Edgar and Sarah Winter, who were drowned with three others, a father and two of his children, in the river off the above place, on Sunday last.  Thomas Woodford, of N. 5, York-street, Comerica-road, stated that on Sunday morning last a party of eight, consisting of himself, the two deceased persons, three others also deceased, named Thomas Sinnock, and Thomas and Ann his infant son and daughter, and two others, proceeded down the river from Somers' Quay, in a small jolly-boat, to the house of Mr. Painter, the Ferry-house, opposite the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich. On their return home, about six o'clock in the evening, all perfectly sober, they lost one of their sculls, and finding they could not manage the boat with a single scull, witness constructed a sort of sail, which he fastened to the hatcher, and they were thereby enabled to make some way up the river.  Unfortunately, however, the sail gave way at the top of the pole, and witness was in the act of rig thing it at the moment a steam-boat was passing, and the swell of the water from the power of her engine, and the quick rate at which she was going upset the boat, and all on board were immersed in the water. Witness lost sight of the whole party in a moment, and five out of the eight met with a watery grave.  Witness was satisfied that the deaths of the unfortunate people arose entirely in accident.  Verdict - Accidental Death.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 13 August 1831

DISSECTION OF BELL, THE BOY MURDERER. - On Friday, the 5th inst. The body of the above youthful offender, who was executed at Maidstone, for the murder of a boy named Taylor, about thirteen years of age was brought to St. Thomas's Hospital, in this Borough, for the purpose of being dissected, pursuant to his sentence. .  . . [age 14.]


Monmouthshire Merlin, 3 September 1831

DROWNING. - Mr. William Nicholson, solicitor, of Dowgate Hill, London, who had resided in Ramsgate a few days with his family, went on Monday se'nnight to bathe, and unfortunately got out of his depth.  He called for help; but the sea being very rough, some time elapsed before any assistance could be rendered.  William Christian plunged into the water, and caught hold of him, hoping to keep him above water until the arrival if the lifeboat, which had put off as soon as alarm was given; but being then in a depth of twelve feet, he was reluctantly compelled to let him go.  The unfortunate gentleman sank for the last time, and was not found until oire than an hour had elapsed, when the dead body was washed ashore.

   The following shocking occurrence happened on Tuesday evening in the Walmer-road: - While several boys were amusing themselves with running, they were annoyed by a boy named Brown, whose interruption at length provoked one of the runners o strike him, when Brown instantly drew is knife and inflicted a severe wound in the side of his antagonist; the blood gushed in a stream from the wound, the knife having penetrated to a considerable depth.  Surgical assistance was promptly procured, but we regret to state, that slight hopes are entertained for the life of the victim.  Brown, who is about twelve years old has absconded. - Kent Herald


Monmouthshire Merlin, 15 October 1831


   An inquest was held on Saturday at Herne Bay, and resumed on Monday, on the body of William Cullen.  It appeared in evidence that the deceased, being upon the beach about nine o'clock on Friday night, near a boat suspected to contain smuggled goods, was ordered to stop just as he was on the point of quitting it, by one of the coats guard named Murray.  Instead of obeying his command, Cullen walked on, when Murray leveled his pistol and shot him dead.  Murray has not since been seen.  The jury very properly returned a verdict of Wilful Murder.  The affair has created a great sensation in the neighbourhood. - Kent Herald.


Glamorgan Gazette, 26 December 1840

SUDDEN DEATH OF A CLERGYMAN. - Friday week an inquest was held at the Rose and Crown public house, Bromley, Middlesex, on view of the body of the Rev. Joseph Bradley, rector of St. Leonardo's, Bromley, who came by his death under the following awful circumstances.  From the evidence it appeared that on the preceding night the deceased gentleman was sent for to a house in Tredegar Square, to perform the ceremony of baptism  on the child of a police constable, the child being in a dangerous state at the time.  The Rev. gentleman promptly attended, and, on getting through about half the ceremony, he immediately dropped to the floor, and expired without the slightest struggle or exclamation.  Mr. Hayes, a medical gentleman, was quickly on the spot, but all effort to restore animation was of no avail, as all signs of life had ceased.  From an examination made by Mr. Hayes, that gentleman gave it as his decided opinion that the death of the lamented gentleman had been caused by apoplexy, and the jury returned a verdict that the deceased Died by the visitation of God. The deceased, who was deservedly respected and beloved by all his parishioners, as a kind hearted, benevolent, and excellent Clergyman, was in his 58th year, and has left a widow, an amiable lady, and three children to lament his very unexpected death.

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