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Colonial Cases


The Observer, 8 July 1798

     The body of a new-born child was on Tuesday found in a field near Pendleton, in Yorkshire, but on the inquest, it appearing that the birth was premature, no further blame attached to the mother than what must arise from sentiments of decency and humanity in exposing the body of the infant.


The Observer, 12 August 1798

   On Monday se'nnight, boats from the Nonsuch and Redoubt floating batteries, and the Nautilus sloop, stationed in the Humber, attempted to board the Blenheim homeward-bound Greenlandman, for the purpose of impressing her crew: the latter resisted, and being armed with large whale knives, pikes, muskets, and a large swivel, beat off the boats, having wounded two men mortally, and Mr. Berll, a midshipman.  The crew deserted the vessel immediately in her reaching Hull, the inhabitants of which witnessed the contest.  One of the wounded (Burnock) having  died in the hospital on Wednesday, a coroner's inquest was held the following day, and returned a verdict - wilful murder against persons unknown; and warrants have been issued for the apprehension of such of the crew of the Blenheim as were identified by the crew of the launches from his Majesty's vessels.


The Observer, 9 September 1798

YORK. - On Monday last an inquest was taken on the body of a child, at Clifton, which lost its life in consequence of drinking fly-water.


The Observer, 24 February 1799

   At Barnsley, a girl of about four years of age, sitting by a fire, in room alone, a spark caught her clothes, and she was burned to death.


The Observer, 10 March 1799

   The Coroner's Inquest sat on the body of an infant, found in a lane in Sheffield.  A dog was devouring it when discovered.  Verdict "Still Born."


The Observer, 31 March 1799

YORK. - R. Bradbury, and Ann Hollingworth, charged with the murder of their illegitimate child, have been committed to our gaol, as have two privates of the 4tth West York Militia, charged by the Coroner's inquest with the murder of John Morson.



The Observer, 13 April 1800

YORK. - The body of J. Lambert, of Newton upon Ouse, was some days ago found floating near the Staith, in this City.  He has been missing since the 3d of October last, when, it is supposed, he had been fishing, and fell into the river.


The Observer, 17 June 1801

   On Monday morning last, John Brown, in Hardenhead, went out with a loaded gun to shoot crows, upon some barley land belonging to him; and, having occasion to cross an old fold dyke, fatally for him the gun got entangled, either with his clothes, or some part of the dyke, and going off lodged the whole contents in the right side of his body below the ribs. Four hours he languished in great torment, and died.


The Observer, 17 January 1802

   Some days ago, as a child of about a month old lay asleep in a bureau-bed near Halifax, its grandfather entered the room, and not seeing the child, turned up the bed, by which the little innocent was smothered, and quite dead before the accident was discovered.



The Observer, 1 August 1802

   The infant child of a clothier at Huddersfield, while ill of the small pox, was some days since left in charge of its sister, five years old, while their parents went haymaking. - a kettle of boiling malt liquor was in the room, and during the play of the children, the youngest was thrown into it, and scalded to death.


Cambrian, 2 June 1804

Murder. - An atrocious murder was committed near Scarborough in the night between the 11th and 12th ultimo, on the body of Miss Bell, a fine young woman, about sixteen years of age, eldest daughter of Mr. bell, confectioner, of Scarborough.  About eleven o'clock in the morning of the 12th, information was received that a female (which probed to be this unfortunate young woman) was found dead on Cayton sands, about two miles and a half from Scarborough, laying about two yards within the high-water mark, he head towards the sea, and in a position which left no doubt of a most brutal attempt upon her chastity.  Many shocking bruises appeared on various parts of her body, particularly on her left temple; her nose was greatly swelled, and her chin scratched apparently with finger nails; her clothes were much torn, and upon the whole, exhibited ever appearance of a dreadful struggle having taken place.   Upon the opening of the body, two surgeons, who attended the Coroner's Inquest, were decidedly of opinion, that Miss Bell's death was occasioned by strangulation, a large quantity of clotted blood being found in her throat.  The person who was last seen with her was dressed in a volunteer's uniform.  There is no doubt but the murderer intended the body to be washed away by the flowing of the tide; band yet (as of by providential interposition) it was so placed as to disappoint his intention of burying this bloody deed in oblivion, the water having merely wetted her clothes.  The approach from Scarborough to the place where the body was found, is very difficult, being over great and uneven rocks, and the country round it very desolate, well fitted for the perpetration of deeds of blood.  It is supposed the unfortunate victim had been seduced to walk thither with her murderer by a better and more circuitous route, and to return home by this rugged road; where her strong resistance to his brutal designs ended in her murder, as the professional men who examined the body have certified that no violation was effected.


Cambrian, 1 December 1804

A circumstance of a shocking nature occurred last week at Holbeck, near Leeds; Hannah, the wife of John Wilkinson, of that place, clothier, having died very suddenly on Monday evening, a Coroner's Inquest was held on Thursday, when, after a patient investigation, they returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against the husband of the deceased, who was committed for trial at the next Assizes.  It appeared in evidence, that on Monday morning, Hannah Wilkinson, after preparing an apple pudding for the family sinner, went to a house where she was employed in the neighbourhood; about half-past eleven o'clock the husband took the pudding from the pot, and himself and his two children, the one about eight, and the other little more than two years old, made their dinner off part of it; the remainder was placed in a drawer.

     About half-after twelve his wife returned home, and dined off the same dish.  Having returned to her business, she was soon seized with a violent fit of vomiting, and used this remarkable expression - "Oh! what has the rogue been doing with my dumpling!" On being asked in what state she found her food at dinner, and whether her children had eaten any, her reply was - "It was spread out upon the dish, but my children did not eat any of it with me."  Her agonies increasing, she went to her own home, where she languished till about half-past seven o'clock that evening, when she expired.  On the body being opened by a surgeon, a portion of arsenic, sufficiently large to admit of demonstrative proof of its nature, was found in the stomach.


The Salopian, 21 February 1810

   In the 5th inst. an Inquest was taken at Bradford on the body of W. Smith, eleven years old, son of Sarah Smith, who died in consequence of a wound received by means of an instrument used as a poker, which was thrown by the mother, and stuck in the head of the lad, from whom it was taken by his sister.  A verdict of Wilful Murder, was found against the mother, who ...


Cambrian, 3 August 1811

   On Tuesday, the 16th instant, a most distressing scene occurred in the county of York.  A Mrs. Hays, wife of Mr. James Hays, of that county, who had previously exhibited symptoms of insanity, on that fatal morning, while Mr. H. was attending to the concerns of his farm, confined her three infant children in a room, and with an axe, most inhumanly put them to death, by knocking out their brains, and mangling their bodies in a manner truly afflicting. - After committing this diabolical act, Mrs. Hays attempted to take her own life, by chopping her head and face, and otherwise lacerating her body.  This unfortunate woman it was expected would be in a few days removed to the Lunatic Hospital at Williamsburgh, provided she recovered from the many strokes with which she had wounded her body.


Carmarthen Journal, 12 October 1811

      On Thursday evening se'nnight, a melancholy accident happened at Howden Dike.  A person from the neighbourhood of Doncaster having to cross with three horses for Howden fair, a gentleman of the name of brown, who was going over at the same time, assisted in holding one of them, besides his own; but the boat had not proceeded far, when the horses, plunging forward, precipitated themselves and their holders in to the water, and Mr. Brown was unfortunately drowned.  He was returning from the races, and had a horse run for the St. Leger's.


Carmarthen Journal, 8 August 1812

   At York assizes, Elizabeth Woodger and Susannah Lyall, were charged with the wilful murder of a new-born male infant.  The following is a brief but correct sketch of this extraordinary case:- On the 12th of March, the wife of G. Needham, of Blackburn, near Rotherham, was delivered of two children, a girl and a boy; the former was perfectly formed, but in the boy there was deficiency in the superior part of the head, the brain not being protected by any bony matter, but merely covered by a membrane.  Woodger, a midwife, conceiving that it was not likely to live, formed the design of putting a period to its existence, which was accomplished by drowning it in an earthenware vessel.  It was then buried, but was taken up again on the 17th of March, for the purpose of the Coroner's Inquest.  The surgeon who examined the body, stated, that the child was perfectly formed, except his head, which was deficient in the superior part an inch and a half.  Any pressure upon it must have produced dangerous consequences; and he did not think it possible that the child could have survived more than a few hours.  The prisoners used no concealment, and it was clear that they acted under mistaken apprehension as to the law, and thought they were justified in what they  did.  Several ladies gave the prisoners a most excellent character for humanity.

The evidence having been gone through, his lordship in his address to the Jury,  said -

I think this prosecution may be of great use to the public, in removing an erroneous opinion, that the law allows the right of deliberately taking away the life of a human being under any circumstances whatever.  It is, therefore, highly necessary that the contrary should be known.

The Jury found the prisoners Guilty, but recommended them to mercy, on account of the mistaken notion under which they acted.


Cambrian, 14 September 1816

On Sunday an inquest was taken at Thorn, near Wakefield, on William Ward, a boy about 15 years old, who hanged himself in his master's workshop, the morning before.  He was cousin to the unfortunate Elizabeth Ward, now in York castle, under sentence of death for attempting to poison her sister-in-law; and was heard to say, if they hanged his cousin, he would hang himself - a resolution which, to the great affliction of his already distressed friends, he put into execution the very day his cousin received her respite. - verdict, Lunacy.


Cambrian, 25 July 1818

York. - At these Assizes on Thursday, William Bailey, otherwise Knighton, was found guilty of administering poison to his brother-in-law, Joseph Dodsworth, with intent to kill him; ...


Cambrian, 29 January 1820

    Death from Cold

   As the Leeds coach was passing, on Tuesday se'nnight, between Bawrey and Ferrybridge, it came up to a cart, which was standing by the roadside, with a man sitting on it, in an upright posture, with the rein hanging loose in his hand.  The coachman having called to him several times without receiving any answer, alighted; and on examining the man, was shocked to find him quite dead.  He had doubtless perished through the inclemency of the weather.


Cambrian, 7 April 1821

   Ann Barber was committed to York Castle on Thursday, for the murder of her husband James Barber, by poison conveyed in a roasted apple, with which she presented him, at their dwelling-house, at Royd's Green, near Wakefield.


North Wales Gazette (Bangor), 3 April 1823

   CHRISTOPHER SMITH, a boy of remarkable meek disposition, was charged with killing another boy named John Cook, at Pontefract, on the 11th of September last.

   The two boys, with some of their companions, were playing cricket in a field near Sheffield, and the prisoner having intercepted the ball in its way to the wicket, a dispute arose between them, in which they both got very angry.  The prisoner was holding as wooden ball in his hand, and the deceased having refused to submit to young Smith's continuing his innings, Smith made use of a very unfeeling phrase, threw the ball at Cook's head, and it struck him a severe blow on the temple.  Cook felt most astutely the pain, and Smith finding to what a condition he had reduced him, was not wanting in showing attention to his injured play-mate.  The boy, however, was unable to continue in the field, and about eleven o'clock that night he died.

   A surgeon who attended Cook stated that his death was occasioned by about four ounces of coagulated blood fixing itself in the interior of the head, against the temple.

   Smith addressed the Jury in tears, and in very pathetic terms, on the distress he suffered by being the instrument of death to one of his fellow-creatures.  He earnestly complained of the manner in which the witnesses had stated the circumstances, and  said, that though he did not see the ball strike the deceased, he really believed it did do so; but that he did not intentionally throw it at his head, but merely meant him to catch it, to continue his bowling.  He drew a lively picture of the distress of his parents, and said that he came into prison eight months since, with eight pence only, and that he had supported himself, while in confinement, by weaving, although that was not his trade.  He feared that the witnesses against him had spoken in malice, because he had attended an Independent Methodist Meeting; and he knew that, before this accident, there was an intention to do him an injury, if he had not left his meeting, which he now sorely repented having done.  He was poor and friendless, but he put his trust in GOD, who was an able Counsellor to defend his cause in this hour of trouble.  He hoped the Court would be merciful in his punishment, as he most

solemnly declared that he never intended to hurt the unfortunate boy he had killed, and his having done so would grieve him as long as he lived.

   This appeal was delivered in a tone and earnestness which showed the boy's sincerity, and the simple eloqunce with which he described his own suffering had a powerful effect on the whole Court.

   The Jury found him Guilty, but strongly recommended him to mercy.


The Cambrian, 9 August 1823

FATAL ACCIDENTS. - Of the great number of accidents, many of them fatal, which have of late taken place by the overturning of coaches, we do not  remember any that created so strong a sensation at that which has this week been felt in the West Riding of Yorkshire, from the melancholy catastrophe which it is now our painful duty to record.

   About two o'clock on Monday afternoon, the Royal Fleece post-coach started from Huddersfield to Sheffield, by way of Peniston, with eleven outside and four inside passengers, amongst whom were no fewer than nine Methodist Preachers, on their way to the annual conference now sitting at Sheffield.  In passing down the streets of Huddersfield, the driver, who is a young man of the name of Edward Smith, betrayed repeated indications of that imperious disposition which, in the course of his journey, was to produce such fatal results, and, in two instances at least, he narrowly escaped running against two other carriages.

   When he got out of the town, his d riving became more steady, and the coach proceeded safely to the hill called Shelley-bank, about six miles from Huddersfield. On the descent of the hill he put his horses into full speed, observing, that "if he could not make  them run up the hill, he would make them run down." The coach, which had none of its wheels locked, gained increased speed down the hill, and when it came near the bottom, at the curve of the road, within about ten yards of the bridge, it upset with a tremendous crash, and in an instant laid all prostrate on the ground.

   A venerable old gentleman of the name of Sargent, a preacher in the Methodist connexion, who had been last year stationed at Scarborough, was thrown upon the ground with such fatal violence, and received so  much injury both externally and internally, that, after languishing in an adjoining cottage till Wednesday in the forenoon, he expired at about eleven o'clock.

   Mr. B. Lloyd, of the Halifax circuit, another Methodist preacher, was thrown by the side of Mr. Sargent, and so severely injured on the back and loins, that he now remains at Shelley in a state of the most imminent danger, paralyzed in the lower extremities, and, we fear we must add, without hopes of recovery.

   Mr. Jagger, a Methodist preacher, of South Pet heron, had his shoulder dislocated, and now lies at Thong, so much bruised that his recovery is consisted doubtful; and Mr. John James, of the Halifax circuit, late of Leeds, received so severe a crush and sprain on the ancle, that he deemed it erodent to return to Halifax, where he is advancing towards recovery. .  .  .  .   The matter has been taken up by the Magistracy of Huddersfield, in a way that will, we hope, operate to restrain the passion of coachmen for furious driving.


The Cambrian, 16 August 1823

OVERTURN OF THE FLEECE COACH. - From the Leeds Mercury.

   It is with regret that we announce the not unexpected death of the Rev. Edward Baker Lloyd of the Wesleyan Connection, Halifax, aged 33 years.   This is the second victim of the dreadful accident which occurred on Monday week by the overturn of the Fleece coach, at Shelley Bank.  Mr. Lloyd lingered in severe pain till Wednesday last, when he expired. .  .  .  .    On Friday, the 1st instant, an inquest was held on the body of the Rev. Mr. Sargent, before Mr. Edward Brook, coroner, when a verdict of Manslaughter was returned against Edward Smith, driver of the Fleece Coach, who has been committed to York to take his trial for the offence. .  .  .  . 


The North Wales Gazette (Bangor), 18 December 1823

   A Yorkshire Coroner last week prevented notes being taken  at an inquest on Mary  Lazenby,  charged with child-murder, alleging, on Justice Park's authority, it was illegal.  


North Wales Gazette (Bangor), 25 November 1824

CHARGE OF MURDER. (From the Leeds Mercury.)

   On Thursday se'nnight an inquest was held by James Wiglesworth, Esq. of Halifax, one of the Coroners for the West-Riding, on the body of James Diggles, domestic servant of John Armitage, Esq. of Woodhouse, in Rastrick, who had died on the preceding Tuesday, in consequence of wounds received on the night of the 6th instant. 

   {Names and residence of Jurors.]

   This important investigation commenced at ten o'clock in the morning, and was continued until midnight, when an adjournment took place until the following day.  The inquiry was resumed in the forenoon of Friday, and did not terminate until eight o'clock that evening, when the jury returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against Anthony and John Bray, James and Christopher Tiffany,, James Ellis, John Dyson, Henry Nuttall, and John Dawson, charging Anthony Bray as the principal, and the other seven as accomplices.   .  .  .  . 

   No difficulty existed as to one very principal object of the inquiry.  It was perfectly clear, from the evidence of the surgeons who attended the deceased, and who afterwards examined the body, that his death was occasioned by violence, the skull being fractured, and the portion of the lock of a gun actually protruded upon the brain. .  .  .  .   [Also The Cambrian, 27 November.]


North Wales Gazette (Bangor), 21 July 1825

   On Tuesday one of those fatal and lamentable accidents that so frequently arose from the reprehensible practice of jesting with fire-arms, took place at Guisleley, under the following circumstances:-  Mr. John Craven, a farmer at Guiseley, had, during the day been assisting his brother in the husbandry business, and in the evening retired to sup with him; during the time they were at sipper, his nephew, a youth about 16 years of age, took up a gun, which had not been used for a considerable timer, and presenting it to his uncle, said. "Uncle, I will shoot you !" when, to his consternation and horror, the piece went off, and shot his unsuspecting relation dead on the spot !  The shot passed through his cheek and part of the head, and so instantaneous was his death, that he expire before he could complete the instinctive movement of raising his hand to his head. - Leeds Mercury.


The Cambrian, 7 January 1826

   Lord Arthur Paget, of the 7th Hussars, stationed at Beverley, second son of the Marquis of Anglesea, died a few days since from an accident whilst hunting; his horse, falling in a leap, fell upon its rider, and the bruises from which he survived but a short time.


The Cambrian, 8 April 1826

   At the York Assizes, Mr. Bell, the Coroner for the county, pleaded guilty to the charge,, which he had traversed from the last Assizes to the present, for making false returns of Inquests which had never come under his cognizance, making the living dead, whereas they had not "shuffled off this mortal coil," but rose up in judgment against him; for which the Court ordered him to pay a fine of 50l. to the king, to be confined one week in York castle, and until that fine be paid, and to vacate his situation of Coroner for the county; which he has since resigned.

   At the same Assizes, C. M. Reader, son of the eminent barrister, was found guilty of manslaughter, and sentenced to 14 days' imprisonment; the prisoner, who, by a long course of extravagance and dissipation had weaned the affections of his family, has latterly been employed as an ostler near Leeds, and while thus occupied he quarrelled with another ostler, and accidentally killed him with a fork.


The Cambrian, 3 June 1826

   A person named Leonard Wilkinson has been arrested on suspicion of being concerned in a murder of Mr. Carter, near Bodale (see p. 4).  Upon examining a field where the prisoner was seen walking, near Constable Byrton, the foot marks had the appearance of the person having worn gaiters, the mark of the right foot showed that the right gaiter had had a leather strap attached to it, but the left had not; and upon examining the prisoner's box, a pair of gaiters were found, the gaiter for the right leg had a strap, but the left had none.


The Cambrian, 2 September 1826

FATAL EFFECTS OF LIGHTNING AT SCARBOROUGH. - Sun day night, Scarborough was visited by one of the most tremendous storms of thunder and lightning ever remembered there. .  .  .  .   It, however, passed over; but, amongst many less important effects, it was soon leant that the lightning had struck five individuals to the ground, who were sitting together in a private room; they were all dreadfully affected with the stroke, and a respectable female, aged 25, was so seriously injured, that she died soon after.


The Cambrian, 14 June 1828

A MAN SUFFOCATED. - William Ball, son of ------ Ball, who formerly kept the King's Arms, at Bridlington, was in very narrow and necessitous circumstances, and with his wife rented an underground apartment in No. 40, Narrow Plain, St. Philip's.  For several months he had been in very ill health, residing from poverty and starvation, and his landlord and landlady (John and Margaret Shipp) were very desirous of getting rid of him and his wife as tenants; for this end they repeatedly warned them off, but the unfortunate creatures knew not where to go. - Mrs. Shipp, however, thought of an expedient which was effectual though fatal; she sent for a chimney-sweeper (Richard Johnson), and requested him to fill up the top of the chimney with wadding; in order, as she said, to render the room occupied by the deceased uncomfortable and untenable; but she omitted telling the occupiers of the room what she had done.  The consequence was, that the wife of the deceased, having made a fire in the grate, went out, leaving her husband, who was ill in bed; on her return within five minutes, she found the room full of smoke, and the poor man in the agonies of death; he died in less than ten minutes from the time the chimney was stopped. - These facts were detailed before the Coroner's inquest.

   There did not appear to be any malice in the transaction, or any anticipation of its fatal result; and the Jury decided that Wm. Ball died of an asthma, but that his disorder was increased and his death accelerated by the smoke; whereupon the Coroner recorded a verdict of Manslaughter against J. and M. Shipp, who will be imprisoned until the next Gaol delivery, probably in October.   The greatest excitement existed among the people, who were with difficulty retrained from inflicting summary vengeance on the offending parties, for what was considered a cruel and inhuman proceeding against a poor miserable wretch, whose period of existence was nearly completed.


Carmarthen Journal, 16 May 1828

SHOCKING ACCIDENT. - On Sunday week, an inquest was held by Mr. Wood, the Coroner, on view of the body of Charles Smith, at the house of Jeremiah Holmes, at the sign of the King's Arms, in the township of Follyfoot, who met with his death on the preceding Thursday, under the following dreadful circumstances:-

   The deceased was servant to Mr. Pullein, miller, of Follyfoot, and was found by Jeremiah West, another miller in Mr. P.'s service, on Thursday evening, laying dead upon the shelling-stone, with his feet on the floor of the mill, and his body severed in two, as nearly as possible across the middle.  One of his thigh was also very much cut, and one side of his face and head was crushed down to his mouth.  He had only entered the mill, in good health, about a quarter of an hour before he was found in this awful condition.  It is conjectured that the deceased had been throwing the little stone wheel out of the gears, and that the upper wheel had caught him and drawn him between it and the gear-stone nut, and so crushed him to death. The Jury returned their verdict, that the deceased was accidentally killed by the machinery of the mill. - deodand on the machinery, 1s. - York Courant.


Carmarthen Journal, 23 January 1829

CURIOUS INVESTIGATION. - A quantity of human bones were lately found near the Race-course, at Doncaster, supposed to be the remains of Mr. Wood, who disappeared some years before, and was never heard of again.  An inquest was held at the time the discovery was made, which was adjourned to allow time for making inquiries.  The adjourned inquest was held on Tuesday evening, and the bones had been previously sent to Professor Buckland, with a request that he would give his opinion as to the length of time they might have been buried, and as to whether they were the bones of a male or female.

   The answer was singularly interesting, for the professor not being willing to rely entirely on his own judgment, sent them to Mr. Clift, curator at the College of Surgeons, who said, that in consequence of the pelvis  being wanting, he could not say whether they were the bones of a man or woman.  He observed, that from a slight distortion of the vertebrae of the neck, the person, when living, must have held his neck on one side.  He further remarked, that the canine teeth of the lower jaw must have projected considerably.    These two gentlemen also agreed that the bones might possible have been interred ten years; but it was far more probable that only six or seven years had elapsed since that event.

   These circumstances, taken together, confirm the belief that the bones are the remains of Mr. Wood, who did carry his head a little on one side, - his teeth projected in the manner described - and he has been missing about seven years.  How or by what means his death was occasioned is not yet ascertained.  The adjourned inquest was held on Tuesday, when a man named Child gave some evidence which would seem to implicate a person named Ellis in the murder, but he did not appear to obtain much credit.  The inquest was adjourned.


Carmarthen Journal, 30 January 1829

   William Atkinson, pretty well known in this town by the name of "Buck Atkinson," put a period to his existence on Tuesday, by throwing himself into the river Derwent, near Milford -bridge.  It appears this unfortunate individual has been living at Derby for some time past, but no reason is given for this rash act, although it is probably owing to his pecuniary resources being exhausted.  A more deliberate act of self-destruction we have seldom known.  He stuck up his singular ivory walking staff, which he always carried about with him, so as to be seen from the public road, placed his oil-case cap upon it, and deposited his silver snuff box and gold watch in the cap. These were observed by persons in the neighbourhood, who caused the river to be immediately dragged, but the first effort was fruitless.  The following morning his body was found near a small island formed in the bed of the river.  An inquest sat in view of the body on Wednesday, and returned a verdict of insanity. - Sheffield Courant.


The Cambrian, 25 July 1829

MYSTERIOUS MURDER NEAR RIPLEY. - On Friday week some boys, sons of the neighbouring cottagers, were looking for birds' nests in an unoccupied barn, near Ripley in Yorkshire, and while thus engaged they discovered a man lying down, apparently asleep.  To satisfy themselves as to whom and what the man was, they proceeded to the spot, where they found a man, not, indeed, as had been supposed, asleep, but in the last agonies of death.  An instrument similar to those used by Blacksmiths for the paring of horses' hoofs, and a formidable bludgeon, were found near the unfortunate man.

   A dreadful gash was inflicted on his head; his throat was much swelled and inflamed, and had the appearance of having been repeatedly struck, as if with a large stick, or violently with a man's fist; and there were marks as if the most desperate attempts  had been made to produce death by strangulation. He attempted to speak, but was unable at that moment to effect any utterance.

   On being conveyed to an inn at Stanley, some cordials were administered, and a surgeon sent for from Ripley, who arrived shortly after.  On seeing him, however, he despaired of his recovery, and in answer to inquiries made of the man, he stated with great difficulty that his name was Joseph Harper, and that he came from Wolverhampton.  He further said he had been very ill used, and that he had been robbed of 1s. 3d. This was all the poor man was able to articulate, and he survived but a few hours.  After an investigation into the case, a verdict was returned of Wilful Murder against some person or persons unknown.  The man is an utter stranger in that part of the country, and the affair is involved in the greatest obscurity.


Carmarthen Journal, 2 October 1829

DISTRESSING AND FATAL ACCIDENT. - On Money morning a very shocking accident, attended with fatal consequences, occurred in the manufactory of Messrs. James Brown, and Co. situate at Bagby, near this town.  About half-past five o'clock, as a man, named Geo. Kitching, was putting a strap upon a d rum, for the purpose of setting one of Lewis's cutting frames in motion, his left thumb was caught fast between the strap and he drum.  As the drum was moving round at the velocity of a bout two hundred times a minute, extrication was impossible; in an instant, the unfortunate man was whirled round the shaft with the most astonishing rapidity.  Some minutes elapsed before the engine could be stopped, and when that was done, life was extinct.  When the shaft ceased its revolutions, the right leg of the unfortunate deceased fell to the ground, having been completely shivered in two above the knee.  The body of the deceased immediately afterwards fell also, in a state of complete nudity, his apparel having been entirely torn to atoms, and, together with his shoes and stockings, scattered over different parts of the room.  His neckcloth and part of his shirt collar were the only articles of dress which remained on his person. An inquest was held on the body the same evening before R. Barr, Esq. Coroner, at the house of Mr. J. Kirkby, the Black Bull Inn, in Woodhouse.

   The body presented a most shockibng spectacle.  In addition to the injuries we have described, the face and body of the unfortunate deceased were severely cut & bruised.  The legit thumb  was completely torn off, & the back of his head was completely shattered to pieces, some of the parts being scattered over the wall and windows.  The plastering of the roof, immediately above the drum, was very deeply indented by the force with which the man's body came in contact with it.

   It appeared from the statement of the witnesses, that the deceased had got upon 2 of Lewis's frames o adjust the strap, instead of using the ladder made for the purpose.  The jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death, but as it appeared that two other accidents had arisen  from the same cause since the erection of the mill, they expressed a wish that a communication should be made to Messrs. Brown and Co. requesting them to adopt some plan for obviating the necessity of putting on these straps when the shafts are moving so rapidly.  The deceased, who was about 28 years of age, has left a  widow and two children. [More follows on action taken by company.] - Leeds Mercury.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 28 November 1829



These defendants had been committed to York Castle on the Coroner's Inquisition, for the willful murder of Thos. Holmes on the 26th of October last, at Skirlow Moor, in the county of York.

   Mr. J. Williams now applied to the Court to admit the defendants to bail.  It appeared by the depositions before the Coroner, that the defendants were both gamekeepers to Sir W. Ingleby, and that the deceased was a labourer.  The latter was, at eleven o'clock on the above nigh, in company with two other labourers, named Motley and Thackeray, going to the house of a farmer, who had appointed them to come and receive their harvest wages.  Holmes and Thackery were going first, and had a lurcher with them, but no instrument for the purpose of killing game.  The two defendants suddenly rushed out upon them; the night was very dark, and a scuffle ensued, in which Thackery was knocked down and stabbed with some short sharp instrument, and he heard Holmes cry out that he was stabbed and killed The two Motleys came up and joined in the fight, one of them having only a small stick, and the other of their party having no offensive weapon; but they were ultimately, however, obliged to run away, for fear of being killed.

   Holmes went to a neighbouring house, where he arrived at one o'clock, and knocked violently.  The occupier, Jon Wetheral, thought some one was trying to break in, and would not admit him, although Holmes told him he had been out night-hunting, and was badly hurt.  He begged them to assist him in getting to Shaw Mill.  Another man kindly offered to assist him, and finding that he could not walk, go a cart, and took him to Shaw Mill, where he died the next day.  When about half way to Shaw Mill, Holmes cried out violently that his bowels were coming out, and begged his conductor, for God's sake, to let him get out of the cart and died on the road.  Witness saw that his bowels were protruding.

   Mr. Cooper, surgeon, attended Holmes at four o'clock in the morning, and found his intestines, which were violently inflamed and party mortified, protruding.  He had a wound about two inches long, slanting downwards in the lower part of the abdomen.  Holmes told him that he had been out poaching with him two Motleys and Thackery, and had been stabbed in a struggle with the keepers.  The deceased died in a few hours after witness saw him.

   The defendants produced an affidavit from their master, Sir W. Ingleby, in which he stated that Atkinson had been in his service seven years, and Milner one year, and hat he had known both defendants several years before as well behaved and human men.

   The Court ordered them to be discharged out of custody, upon their entering into their own recognizance's for 400 pounds each, and finding two sureties for 100 pounds each. - Bail was immediately put in.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 28 November 1829

DREADFUL EVENT. - (Abridged from the Hull Packet of Thursday.) .  .  .  mere detail of the facts of he case, as disclosed at the inquest held yesterday, at the Mansion house, upon the remains of he two unfortunate individuals, .  .  .  Mr. Wm. Henry Henttig, merchant, and Mrs. Hentig (both now unhappily deceased,)

   At about eleven o'clock on Sunday evening last, the watchmen and neighbours were alarmed by a cry of fire, and a female was heard shrieking for assistance at an attic window.  .  .  .   After a long period had lapsed, during which time, by the active exertions of he firemen, and of many gentlemen who had in the interim arrived on the spot, the danger from fire having been averted, his bed-room of Mr. and Mrs. Hentig was entered, when a horrible sigh presented itself.  Mr. H. was found dead on the floor with the upper part of his skull blown to pieces by a pistol shot, and Mrs. H. lying in the bed, in a sleeping position, dead, with her head penetrated by a pistol ball, which had passed through her left eye, her face scorched to perfect blackness, the hangings burnt from the bestead, and the mattress and bedding in flames. .  .  . 

   The jury having examined the premises, and viewed the melancholy remains, returned to the Mansion-house, where the evidence was submitted to their consideration.

    The two verdicts were given in substance as follows: That he deceased William Henry Hentig, while in a state of temporary insanity, had shot himself with a pistol, from the effects of which he had died; and that the deceased Sarah Hentig had died from the effects of a pistol ball, discharged at her by the said William Henry Hentig, while in a fit of insanity. .  .  . 


Carmarthen Journal, 25 December 1829

  On Wednesday last, a shocking accident occurred to a boy named Hardisdie, an apprentice to a blacksmith at Skipton.  The lad, it seems, had procured a quantity of gunpowder, which he put into his pockets, and while amusing himself by letting off "squibs," a spark by some means communicated with the powder in his pockets, which instantly exploded, and produced the most dreadful effects.  The force of the explosion dashed him to the ground, and when taken up his person was found so much mutilated that his bowels actually protruded, and altogether he presented a very shocking spectacle.  He is still alive, wee understand, though but very faint hopes are entertained of his recovery. - Blackburn Gazette.


Carmarthen Journal, 9 January 1830

FATAL EFFECTS OF MAKING SLIDES UPON FOOT PATHS. - On Monday se'nnight, as Mr. Joseph Green, of Shelf, was walking on a slippery path, near his own house, he fell, and his head came in contact with the ice with such force as to occasion his immediate death. - Leeds Mercury.


Carmarthen Journal, 16 April 1830

   Monday week, William Shaw, about 25 years of age, was executed at York for the murder of Rachael Crossby, a young woman by whom he had had an illegitimate child, and who was pregnant by him a second time.  The deceased was the daughter of a poor coal miner, and about 24 years old.  On the 9th of March she left her father's house, and he next morning was found dead at the bottom of a coal pit, with some of her limbs broken, and her body beaten in a most dreadful manner. .  .  . 


Monmouthshire Merlin, 22 May 1830

   Died at Southowram, near Halifax, suddenly, the daughter of Mfr. J. Ramsden, of that place.  It is supposed that her death was occasioned by eating part of a rotten egg, which had been found on the preceding day by a boy, and boiled.  He threw it away, but it was taken up by the deceased and another little girl, and eaten.  The latter vomited, and threw the offensive matter off her stomach, and recovered; the former died.


Carmarthen Journal, 9 July 1830

UNNATURAL FATHER. - On Monday, an inquest was held at Sykehouse, near Doncaster, upon the body of Benjamin Bailey, a youth about fifteen years of age, who was drowned while bathing in the river Went.  Information was immediately given to his father, who said he should not go look for him - he might remain in the river.  Two uncles of the deceased immediately dragged the river, and found the body after it had been about an hour in the water.  It was brought in a cart to the father's door.  When the monster saw it, he exclaimed, "I shall not take it in; it will be an expense to me to bury him; I am only sorry he did not go twenty miles down the river, that we might hear no more of him."

   These facts were proved on the inquest, and the Coroner dispatched three constables to apprehend the father; he was speedily brought before the Jury, and exhibited such depravity as we hope can seldom be found in the human form.  The hardened wretch has a wife and six children living.


Carmarthen Journal, 3 September 1830

SHOCKING ACCIDENT. - Never, we believe, has it before been the painful duty of a public journalist to narrate so afflicting an event as one which occurred in the afternoon of Thursday last, at York - one by which seven individuals, in the bloom of health, and in the height of enjoyment, were in a moment numbered with the dead.

   This calamitous disaster was occasioned by the family of Mr. Rigg, of that city, having taken a boat, for the purpose of a pleasure party n the River Ouse; and the young persons being unaccustomed to the management of a boat, so as to avoid coming in contact with larger craft, their frail bark was run down and upset by a trow coming down the river under full sail.  It appeared that th bargemen used every exertion to avoid the collision, and no blame whatever could be imputed to them, for the heart-rending catastrophe which followed. There were eight persons in the boat, of whom only one, a young man, was saved !

   The names and ages of the sufferers belonging to Mr. Rigg's family are as follow: Ann G. Rigg, the eldest daughter, in her 20th year; T. G. Rigg, the eldest son, aged 18; J. Rigg, the second son, aged 18; Eliza Rigg, the second daughter, in her 16th year; J. S. Rigg, aged 7; C. Rigg, aged 6. The other unfortunate suffer, Miss Grace Robinson, of Ayton, near Scarborough, who was  on a visit at Mr. Rigg's was about 18, and cousin to Mr. Robinson, of the firm of Simpson and Robinson, tea-dealers, at York. A Coroner's Inquest returned the following verdict:- We find that the deceased were all accidentally drowned, and lay a deodand of 21 Pounds on the vessel. {This event is also reported as being in Norfolk.]


Monmouthshire Merlin, 4 September 1830

A DESPERATE RUFFIAN. - The Richmond Whig of the 19th of June gives the following account of thru execution of a fellow named Wheeled, a soldier, who killed his sergeant, at Bellona arsenal; he was hanged at Chesterfield Court House on Friday.  Wheeler intended to have killed three others at the time he killed he sergeant.  He had got drunk, and as very outrageous, for which these four reported him.  He vowed revenge, and fixing his bayonet, while they were asleep, proceeded to butcher them all.  The sergeant he killed, and severely wounded another, who, however, escaped, and gave the alarm, when Wheeler was overpowered and secured. 

   It is said that he confessed having perpetrated as many as thirteen murders; and that, among his victims was Captain M'Lelland, who was murdered at the dock about eighteen months ago.  It is known that Wheeler was in this city at the time that murder was committed.  When he was first launched off the rope broke, and he had to be tied up again.


Carmarthen Journal, 26 November 1830

FATAL ACCIDENT. - STEAM BOILER BURST. - On the afternoon of Monday se'nnight, a shacking accident occurred at Stone-Bridge-Mill, near Farnley, in the occupation of Messrs. Pawson, cloth manufacturers, by the bursting of the engine boiler.  Nine of the workman employed on the premises were scalded and otherwise injured, and they were immediately conveyed to the Infirmary.  One of the men died on Tuesday afternoon, and another on the following morning.  Wednesday evening an inquest was held at the Grifin Inn, when the jury, after having viewed the bodies at him Infirmary and consulting together for a few monuments, returned a verdict do Accidental Death, with a deodand of 1s. upon the boiler, - Leeds paper.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 15 January 1831


   Early on the morning of Thursday last, Francis Child and Matthew Ellis, gamekeepers to Godfrey Wentworth, Esq. of Wooley Park, met with a party of poachers in Seckar Wood.  An engagement commenced between the poachers (five in number) and the gamekeepers.  Ellis was first knocked down, and when rising he was shot at, and wounded in the thigh and the hand; he instantly discharged his gun, and disabled two of the party; the others then attacked held, and beat him severely.  One of them fired at him, but he fortunately at the moment turned the muzzle of the gun, or otherwise he must have been shot dead; Child hen discharged his gun, and wounded one of the poachers severely.  On the approach of some others of the poachers, the two poachers who were not wounded made their escape.  The two keepers and the poachers were all found lying on the ground, in a helpless state, where they were obliged to remain until a cart could be found to convey them to the house.

   After their arrival at Wooley medical assistance was immediately procured.  The names of the poachers are - Joseph Appleyard, and George Milner, of Horbury; and Jonathan Westerman, of Ossett.  Appleyard's leg was taken off shortly after; the other two, after their wounds were dressed, were sent to Wakefield.  Child is much hurt, and it is feared that his skull is fractured. 

   Appleyard is since dead, and the two wounded poachers will remain in Wakefield House of Correction till the keepers are sufficiently recovered to attend third further examination. - Leeds Mercury.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 3 September 1831

MYSTERIOUS DEATH. - On Thursday se'nnight, Andrew Roy, a canine maker and one of the Yorkshire Hussar band, and Elizabeth Madley, a dress-maker, to whom he had long paid his addresses, after spending the evening at a dance, returned to her home; nut her parents finding Roy affected by liquor, requested him t leave the house. He did so; but persuaded the young woman to accompany him to the door.  There they remained some time, and were seen to quit the spot suddenly, he saying "I'll do it," and she dissuading him from some desperate resolution.  This was the last time they were seen alive. After a persevering search of some days, both their bodies were found in the River Ure, at a considerable distance below the place where they are supposed to have entered the water.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 3 September 1831

HYDROPHONIA. - About two months ago, a dog belonging to Mrs. Monkman, of the Old Sand Hill, in Colliergate, York, suddenly showed symptoms of hydrophobia, and bit some of the servants about the premises.  A young  woman was most severely lacerated on the arm, and though the wound was apparently perfectly healed in about a fortnight afterwards, the result has been fatal.

   O Sunday week she married a young man named Crosby, a  sailor, and on Friday last the horrid disorder which had been rankling in her blood manifested itself in its dreadful form.  The young woman  continued in great agony till Saturday evening, when death terminated the afflicting scene.  It has been conjectured that dancing and other festivities connected with the wedding feast may have accelerated the development of the fatal disorder. 

.  .  . 


Monmouthshire Merlin, 8 October 1831

   On Monday week, as three boys were descending a shaft belonging to the Worsborough colliery near Barnsley, the rope unfortunately broke, and they were all precipitated to the bottom.  One was killed on the spot, and the other two are not expected to survive.


Cambrian Journal, 23 December 1831


On the 9th instant, at Hull, in the prime of life, after a few hours illness, occasioned by a fall, in attempting to board is vessel, Capt. Simon Roberts, of the Schooner John, of Nevin, leaving a widow and seven children to lament his loss.


Glamorgan Gazette, 19 October 1833
  FATAL CRUELTY TO A FACTORY CHILD. - An inquest was held a few days ago on the body of Samuel Tomlinson, who met his death in one of the Leeds mills - those hateful dens of infanticide - under circumstances which a jury considered as calling for a verdict of manslaughter; but which we, if the evidence be fairly reported would have considered as commanding a verdict charging crime of a deeper dye. The wretched victim appears to have been the object of incessant and most brutal violence.  He was beaten repeatedly with a rope, once so severely with a brush handle across his neck as to cause an abscess and caries of the vertebrae; and it was sworn that, upon one occasion, he was actually hanged by the neck for three or four minutes, just in the same manner in which the greatest criminals are destroyed.  The boy died in consequence of the stroke upon his neck producing abscess and caries, and the jury found a verdict of, only, manslaughter.


The Cambrian, 13 June 1840

MURDER OF A MOTHER BY HER DAUGHTER. - On Saturday week, great excitement was caused in the whole of the North Riding of Yorkshire, by the intelligence that a most horrible  murder had been committed on the previous day, by a woman on her own mother, at Hawith, in the neighbourhood of Easingwold, and about thirteen miles from York.  The deceased was an elderly and infirm woman, named Ann Watson, and her daughter Heather Watson, an unhappy lunatic, was between thirty and forty years of age. The manner in which the crime was discovered was the following:-

   On Friday some persons entered the house of Mrs. Watson, when an appalling sight presented itself.  The daughter was sitting across the lifeless body of her mother; a handkerchief was on her neck, which had been twisted round it, and the maniac was then in the act of dashing her parent's head on the floor, which was saturated with blood.  From the appearance it was evident that either the strangulation or the wounds on the head were sufficient to cause death. On Saturday an inquest was held at Hawith on the body, before John Wood, Esq., coroner for York and the North Riding, and a respectable jury, and a verdict of Wilful Murder against Heather Watson was returned.  She was brought to York Castle on Sunday.  She wore a strait-waistcoat.  Her insanity is of recent date, but she has been becoming worse within a few days of the commission of this dreadful deed.


Carmarthen Journal, 9 July 1830

UNNATURAL FATHER. - On Monday, an inquest was held at Sykehouse, near Doncaster, upon the body of Benjamin Bailey, a youth about fifteen years of age, who was drowned while bathing in the river Went.  Information was immediately given to his father, who said he should not go look for him - he might remain in the river.  Two uncles of the deceased immediately dragged the river, and found the body after it had been about an hour in the water.  It was brought in a cart to the father's door.  When the monster saw it, he exclaimed, "I shall not take it in; it will be an expense to me to bury him; I am only sorry he did not go twenty miles down the river, that we might hear no more of him."

   These facts were proved on the inquest, and the Coroner dispatched three constables to apprehend the father; he was speedily brought before the Jury, and exhibited such depravity as we hope can seldom be found in the human form.  The hardened wretch has a wife and six children living.


The Cambrian, 26 September 1840

SUPPOSED MURDER IN YORK. - Considerable excitement has prevailed in this city during the last fortnight, owing to the mysterious disappearance of a young man named Robert Hesp, who was a servant to Mr. Judd, of the Black Swan Hotel, and after many inquiries had been made, it was supposed he had fallen into the river Foss, near Castle Mill's-bridge, in going to Mr. Judd's farm on the Fulford-road, whilst he was in a state of intoxication.  On Saturday last this supposition, however, was proved to have been erroneous, for the body was then found in the river Ouse, about two miles from the city, in the direction of Huntington.  The manner in which this unfortunate young man met his death is unknown; but a suspicion prevails, grounded on some portion of the evidence adduced, before the coroner's inquest, that he has been murdered, and then thrown into the river.  When taken out of the water his body presented a frightful spectacle; his face was enlarged and swollen, and it was black and bruised in a most shocking manner, the features being so marred that it was with difficulty identified.  The corpse was taken to an inn in the village of Huntington, kept by Mr. Cass, where an inquest was held the same evening.  At the close of the investigation the jury returned a verdict of Found Drowned, but how or by what means he became drowned doth not appear to the jurors, which leaves the question open, should any fresh evidence arise.



Monmouthshire Merlin, 3 October 1840


   A melancholy occurrence, arising out of that culpable and highly dangerous practice of manufacturing fire-works in a dwelling-house, took place at the village of Halton, near Leeds, on the afternoon of Wednesday se'nnight, by which we regret to say that the wife of the maker and his child were so severely burnt by an explosion as to cause their deaths in a few hours afterwards.  The names of the sufferers are Dorothy Randall, aged 26, and Susannah Randall, aged 2. .  .  .  . 

   An inquest was held on the bodies, before C. Jewison, Esq., coroner, and a verdict returned of Accidental death, caused by an explosion of fire-works.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 17 October 1840


SHOCKING MURDER AT BARNSLEY. - We are sorry to have to record the perpetration of a most foul and brutal murder, which was committed about seven o'clock in Monday week, on the body of Mr. George Blackburn, farmer, of Bank Top, near Barnsley, and within a few yards of his own house. The deceased, a highly respectable man, who kept a number of milch cows, and sold milk in Barnsley, had been in that town collecting his milk accounts, on Monday afternoon; and, on returning home about seven o'clock in the evening, just as he had reached his own yard, two ruffians sprang upon him, knocked him down, and one of them, with a large stick or thick piece of wood, beat him over the head with the most savage ferocity. .  .  .  .  The unfortunate man, who was not quite dead, was immediately taken up, and medical assistance was procured; but it was to no purpose.  His skull was broken in several places, and various parts of his head were most dreadfully bruised.  He remained in a state of insensibility until about two o'clock the next morning, when death put an end to his suffering.  The unfortunate deceased was about sixty years of age, was married, but had no family. .  .  .  .  Two men have been apprehended on suspicion; and the police are actively engaged in their inquires, in order to find out the guilty parties. - (Doncaster Gazette.) - An inquest was held on the following Wednesday, at the house of Mr. Green, the Horse and Jockey Inn, Worsborough, before Thomas Badger, Esq., coroner, and a highly respectable jury, from Barnsley, Worsborough, and Ardsley, when evidence was adduced; and Messrs. Wainwright and Crooks, the surgeons, deposed that deceased came to his death in consequence of his skull being fractured from the violent blows he had received. After hearing the whole of the evidence which could then be adduced, the coroner, in order to give time for further evidence to be obtained, adjourned the inquest till Thursday, the 15th, at half-past ten in the morning, at the Red Lion Inn, Worsborough-bridge.  .  .  .  .   Morning Chronicle.


The Cambrian, 21 November 1840


   On Friday afternoon an inquest was held at the Bell Inn, in the village of Fryston, on the body of Mr. Pattison, one of the unfortunate individuals killed by the accident on the York and North Midland railway.  After the jury had been sworn, they proceeded to view the body, which was laid in a winding sheet.  It was shockingly mutilated, and presented a sickening appearance; the lower part of the face being entirely cut away, and the features utterly destroyed. [Question of deodands and recent cases in Court of Queen's Bench.] Accidentally killed.


Carmarthen Journal, 26 November 1830

FATAL ACCIDENT. - STEAM BOILER BURST. - On the afternoon of Monday se'nnight, a shacking accident occurred at Stone-Bridge-Mill, near Farnley, in the occupation of Messrs. Pawson, cloth manufacturers, by the bursting of the engine boiler.  Nine of the workman employed on the premises were scalded and otherwise injured, and they were immediately conveyed to the Infirmary.  One of the men died on Tuesday afternoon, and another on the following morning.  Wednesday evening an inquest was held at the Grifin Inn, when the jury, after having viewed the bodies at him Infirmary and consulting together for a few monuments, returned a verdict do Accidental Death, with a deodand of 1s. upon the boiler, - Leeds paper.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 28 November 1840


   An inquest was held before Mr. Chapman, the borough coroner, on Monday se'nnight, on the body of John Ives, of Thurlstone, Yorkshire, who was burned to death under the following singular circumstances:-  Sarah Whitehead, of Berry-street, stated that on the 23rd of October last, she saw the deceased running down the road, smoking as if on fire.  She put him into a tub of water, and, knowing him, took him home.  On his way he said he had picked up, in St. George's-road, o piece of something of which Congreve matches were made, and he put it in his pocket, when he felt he was burning, and it had disappeared.  Mary Shaw, wife of Thomas Shaw, of Chapel-street, stated that the deceased lived with them.  He died from the burns about half past two o'clock the preceding morning.  Her husband had since called at Mr. M'William's, druggist, in St. George's-road, where he had ascertained that the shop had taken  fire from the bursting of a phosphorus bottle, and that the remains of the bottle had been thrown into the street.  The deceased said he had got a piece the size of his hand opposite the shop, and put it in his pocket.  He was attended by Mr. Braid, surgeon.  The jury returned a verdict "That the deceased was accidentally burned by phosphorus." - Manchester Guardian.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 5 December 1840

SIX MEN KILLED. - Another fearful accident occurred on Tuesday last at Dabford-bridge, about three miles from Holmfirth, in a portion of the tunnel now forming, connected with the Sheffield and Manchester Railway.  The precise cause of the melancholy catastrophe is somewhat obscure.  It appears, however, that the six unfortunate creatures who were so suddenly ushered into eternity, were employed in "blasting," and that a large quantity of gunpowder employed in the operation, though some unexplained cause, suddenly exploded before the men had tome to withdraw from the spot.  The consequence was the immediate death of all present.  The mangled bodies of these poor fellows resented a shocking and horrid spectacle, in each of them life being utterly extinct. - Leeds paper.

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