Coroners Inquests in Gloucestershire from The Gloucester Journal 1787 to 1793
Coroners Inquests in Gloucestershire from The Gloucester Journal 1787 to 1793 by brizzle born and bred
Coroner’s Inquests were usually held within the space of 48 hours following a death that appeared to be of a suspicious or unexplained nature. They were usually held in a local public-house, ale house, municipal building, or parish workhouse, but sometimes in the building where the death occurred.
The Coroner usually came from a legal or medical background and more often than not, appointed for life by the respective County. The Coroner and a Jury of between 12 and 24 persons, usually men of substantial standing, were empanelled to examine the body, hear witnesses, and the Jury then to come to a Verdict as to Cause of Death.
The account of the Inquest appearing in local newspapers, included the name of the deceased, where they died, and how they died. Sometimes, age, occupation, parish or address, and other relatives’ names can be found. In later years when Hospitals appear, people can be dying away from their parish after having been admitted to that institution, and the Inquest is therefore conducted where the death occurred, rather than where the person was living.
The Gloucester Journal was a newspaper in Gloucester founded by Robert Raikes the Elder and William Dicey in 1722.
The first issue of the Gloucester Journal appeared on April 9, 1722. Before that date there were thirty-six provincial newspapers published, and of those only six have survived to the present day.
Jan 8. A few days ago a poor woman of Uley, near Dursley, locked her two children (one about four, the other about six years old,) into her house, whilst she went a little way to her work place. In a short time one of the neighbours heard the screams of a child, and bursting the door found the youngest with its cloaths all in a blaze, and the poor little creature burning to death; the other child running from it to avoid the same disaster. – In his fright the man caught up the child and ran with it to the neighbouring brook, into which he plunged it to extinguish the flames; but the miserable little creature expired soon after in great agonies.
Jan 15. At Uley near Dursley, last week, a person THOMAS MATTHEWS, who had invited some neighbours to partake of an excellent tap of ale, allowed himself so large a share, that having occasion to go up stairs, in his return he fell down, and broke his neck, he died on the spot.
Feb 19. Within the last 10 days no less than 11 prisoners have been committed to Gloucester Castle for felonies, viz. JOHN MANNS, of Norton, near this city, and ANN WHITCOMBE, his servant, on suspicion of the murder of a bastard child, of which the latter was delivered on Monday morning, on her examination she acknowledged it to be hers but alleged that it was stillborn. The body which had been buried in the garden, was taken up, and the coroner’s inquest brought in their verdict wilful murder, against the mother.
Mar 26. On Monday last Mr DANGERFIELD, who kept the Blue Boys public house at Hampton, returning home from Cirencester market, very much in liquor, was thrown from his horse and killed on the spot.
Jun 4. On Wednesday last, a son of Mr GREEN, baker, in the Eastgate Street, in attempting to avoid a waggon that was passing in the narrow part of the Bolt Lane, unfortunately slipped down, and the wheels passing over him, broke both his thighs, and otherwise much bruised him. He was taken to the Infirmary, but died on Saturday.
Jun 18. Last week, EDWARD WHITE, a butcher, of Chipping Sodbury, in this county, having had a violent quarrel with his wife, whom he threatened, with many oaths and imprecations, singularly horrid, to murder before the next morning, – went into the fields, and was soon after found speechless, and seemingly in great agonies, in which condition he remained until he expired.
Such judicial proceedings of Providence should be regarded as warnings to the profane and impious, who, upon every trivial occasion, daringly and presumptuously defy almighty power, and are often made, even in this world, sad examples of the Divine displeasure. – An inquest was taken on the body, by Mr Phelps, of Yate, one of the Coroners for this county, when no symptoms of poisoning appearing as was at first apprehended, nor any marks of violence, it was conjectured that his death proceeded from the violence of anger and excess of passion, with which he had been almost unceasingly agitated for the two preceding days.
Jun 25. On Monday last, Mr TAYLOR, a horse doctor of Alderton, Tewkesbury, in his way from Cirencester market, passed thro’ Ampney turnpike, where the gatekeeper observing that he was very much in liquor, bid him ride cautiously, at which he took offence, and began uttering the most blasphemous imprecations, that gatekeepers body and soul, go to the deepest pit of Hell. He had scarcely rode twenty yards however before he fell from his horse, and never spoke afterwards, he died on the spot.
Oct 22. On Thursday about two in the afternoon, Mr CARSBROOK, of Tetbury, woolstapler, riding over Painswick Hill, fell from his horse and dislocated his neck, and died on the spot. An inquest was taken by Mr Willey, one of the Coroners of this county, when the jury brought in a verdict Accidental Death. – There was a considerable sum in cash and bills found in his pocket.
Nov 5. On Tuesday evening last, a man going home from an alehouse, in the parish of Stroud, about nine in the evening, fell into the canal, and was drowned.
Nov 19. On Tuesday night last, THOMAS BIRCHLEY, of Wellon, near Upton upon Severn, returning home very much intoxicated, fell into a ditch, and there perished.
Mar 10. On Sunday, seven young men of this city, on a party of pleasure, attempting to pass thro’ Maisemore Bridge, the mast not being sufficiently lowered, the boat was upset, by which accident two of the party, Mr PULLEY, one of Mr Watson’s company of comedians, and Mr BOWER, a tailor, were unfortunately drowned.
Apr 14. On Monday last, the body of Mr BOWER, the tailor, who was drowned at Maisemore bridge, on Mid lent Sunday, was taken up near the bridge at Over. Yesterday the body of Mr PULLEY, the comedian, was taken up near Minsterworth.
Jun 2. On Wednesday last, an unfortunate stranger, supposed to be a little deranged in the intellects, who, from some papers found in his pockets, appears to have been a clergyman of the name of WILLIAM BAILEY, was murdered near to an ale house at the Flat, in the parish of Westbury, in this county. The stranger came in the evening to the ale house, and called for a pint of beer.
JOHN GLOVER and WILLIAM ETHERIDGE, two fishermen, were drinking in the kitchen: Mr BAILEY sat down between them, and, from some improper behaviour, gave GLOVER reason to suspect that he would pick his pocket. This occasioned some altercation; when the stranger went out and GLOVER followed, asking whether he was not going to pick his pocket; the stranger denied such intention, and said, “Are you going to kill me?” The other then struck him several blows, and at last knocked him down. The cry of murder brought MARY GODWIN, who ran into the ale house and called the people; when they came out they found the stranger on his knees begging for mercy; GLOVER then left him, and the people helped him up; he then told them he would go an acquaint Mr Colchester of the treatment he had received.
He set off towards Mr Colchester’s house, and was got into a field about 100 yards from the public house, when GLOVER, followed and gave him a desperate blow in the throat, which brought him to the ground, and he never spoke after.
GLOVER has absconded, but many are gone in pursuit of him. He is thus described: about 21 years of age, five feet ten inches high, well made, rather round in his shoulders, small eyes with large eyebrows, palish complexion, and brown hair; had on when he went away, a pair of corduroy breeches, and a waterman’s frock. He has been in the 20th regiment.
GLOVER was much influenced with liquor at the time. Is not drunkenness the cause of most of the murders of this kingdom? Mr Willey, one of his Majesty’s Coroners for this county, has taken an inquest on the body, and a jury brought in a verdict Wilful Murder.
A few days ago, RICHARD HOBBS, of the parish of St George, near Bristol was committed to our county gaol, for killing SAMUEL MILLSOME at an ale house, being both very much in liquor, they fought, and MILLSOME was killed.
Jul 7. A lad, named GEORGE HARRIS, fell into the river Severn, on Wednesday last, and after floating some time, sunk twice or thrice, but upon his rising within a foot of the top of the water, WILLIAM LEIGH, employed as a Clerk to the building of the New Gaol, with a humanity singularly great, instantly plunged into the stream, and took him up, and with the assistance of his brother, brought him on shore in a state of total insensibility, after some time he was recovered.
Aug 11. On Saturday evening after 10 o’clock, Farmer HEALING, of Staunton Court, went through the turnpike at Over, which leads to Maisemore, but he never passed the bridge, and on Sunday, his horse was found grazing in the meadows. – Search has been made, but Mr HEALING cannot be found: It is apprehended, that he has been robbed, and thrown into the river. – How many valuable lives might be saved, among the yeomanry of this country, if self preservation could teach sobriety?
Aug 18. Conjectures respecting the murder of Farmer HEALING appear to have been ill founded; his body having been taken up out of the river without marks of violence, or the pockets rifled. It is likely, therefore, that he fell asleep, and his horse going to drink, fatally tumbled him into the river.
Sep 15. On Monday last JOHN GLOVER, who murdered a clergyman in May last, in a drunken frolic, near a public house at the Flat, in the parish of Westbury, was taken up at Birmingham. He appears very much affected for the crime he has committed, and says, he never since enjoyed a moment’s peace.
Oct 6. On Monday last, Mr NAISH, auctioneer, of Bristol, going home very intoxicated, was thrown from his horse between Melksham and Axford, and killed on the spot. – This death makes up the number forty, who have lately been killed in this manner.
Jan 5. On Friday last a shocking accident happened at Pull court, the seat of Thomas Dowdeswell, Esq. in the county of Worcestershire. SARAH BURGES, a very old servant in that family, who was upwards of 100 years of age, sitting by the fire in her bed chamber, it is supposed a spark fled out upon her apron, which took fire, and communicated to a large handkerchief, that was round her neck; and although discovered before the handkerchief was entirely burnt, yet her neck and throat were scorched in such a manner, that she expired immediately.
Feb 3. On Wednesday the body of a man was discovered floating near Mr Wakefield’s yard at the Quay. It is supposed he had been some time in the water. In his pocket was found a letter, signed ROBERT FERRIS, sealed up, and addressed to Oliver Toulmin, navy agent, Lisle street, London.
Feb 23. Lately, died suddenly, in a field near Alderly, in this county, on his way home to Kingswood, Wiltshire, MOSES HAINES, aged 73, formerly a day labourer, but of late years a pauper of that parish. He had 2 shillings per week allowed him, by the parish, for his support, besides what he obtained from the bounty of the benevolent and charitable in the neighbourhood, by importunate begging, to whom he usually delivered a tale of pretended distress, to excite their compassion, and at the same time, bitterly complained of the rigid economy of the parish, in granting him only, the small trifle above mentioned. Having been suspected, in his lifetime, of being possessed of some money, notwithstanding his constant and solemn protestations to the contrary, a few days after his decease, his house was searched, when to the astonishment of all present, concealed in a large bag of wool, in several parcels, were discovered the following sums, viz.
100 Guineas, 248 Half crowns and 361 Shillings.
Mar 16. JOHN GLOVER, who was the cause of the death of an unhappy clergyman, at the Flat, near Westbury, was found guilty of manslaughter only, and fined one shilling; ……..
Jun 29. On Saturday, as WILLIAM GABB, blacksmith, was measuring a trow for some iron work, near the Westgate bridge, he fell into the river, and was unfortunately drowned.
Jul 20. A few days ago, as Mr THOMAS COLLINS and THOMAS RUSSELL DOBBINS, of the parish of Littleton upon Severn, in this county, were drinking together, some words arose between them, and they proceeded to blows; when the latter, finding himself too weak for the other, took up a stone, and threw it with such violence at Mr COLLINS, that striking him on the side of the head, it fractured his skull, and he is since dead. The coroner’s inquest sat on the body, and brought in the verdict wilful murder. The deceased has left a wife and five small children.
Jul 27. On Wednesday next the assizes for this county will begin, at which few prisoners are to take their trials; amongst whom are, CHARLES BRASSINGTON for murder ….
Aug 3. At our Assizes, CHARLES BRASSINGTON, for the murder of MARTHA HUNTLEY, was found guilty, and received sentence to be executed this day, and his body dissected. BRASSINGTON, being in liquor, went to the house of MARTHA HUNTLEY, and asked for some cider; but she refusing to give him any, he threw a stone and struck her on the temple, which caused her death.
WILLIAM WEAVIN, for killing JOHN PRIDDIE, was found guilty of manslaughter, and ordered to be imprisoned three months.
Aug 10. On Monday last was executed, pursuant to his sentence, CHARLES BRASSINGTON, for the murder of Mrs HUNTLEY. His behaviour, when at the awful place of execution, was truly penitent; and after hanging the usual time, his body was delivered up to the Surgeons for dissection.
Aug 24. On Thursday evening, as the son of Mr D SPENCER, of this city, was bathing in the river near the Westgate, he suddenly got out of his depth, and not being able to swim, he would have been drowned, had not THOMAS WEBB instantly jumped into the river, without waiting to take off his cloaths, and as the lad was sinking, caught him by the arm, and brought him safe to shore.
Sep 14. Advice has been received, that the Cornwall brig, belonging to Mr William Joiner, of Berkeley, caught fire, and was totally consumed, on the coast of Africa, where she was discharging her cargo.
Dec 7. OBITUARY. On Saturday morning died here, in a fit of apoplexy, Mr JOHN FIELD, music master, in the College Court. A few days ago died also, no less unexpectedly, Mr COTHER, a respectable farmer, at the Sheep house, near this city.
Jan 18. We have received from the clergyman of North Nibley, in this county, the following circumstance: On the last day of the old year, DANIEL MUNDY, of the parish of North Nibley, attempted to descend into a well, near 100 feet deep. He had proceeded but a little way, when his companion begged him to come up, as part of the wall had fallen in but the day before. His reply was, G-d d–n my Soul to H-ll, if I don’t venture, let what will be the consequence. These words were hardly uttered, when ten feet of the top of the well fell in on the unhappy wretch, and carried him to the bottom.
This DANIEL MUNDY, about two years ago, when confined in the prison, one night uttering some vile execration’s, was in an instant struck dumb, and could not speak for several hours. A locked jaw had deprived him of utterance. For several months afterwards his behaviour was exemplary; but on his release from prison, losing all recollection of his late warning, he returned without remorse to his old companion, and former habits of vice.
Feb 1. On Monday last died at Wotton Underedge, Mr JOHN BARNES, one of the Coroners for this county.
Feb 15. On Wednesday last was held, the election of a Coroner for this county, in the room of the late Mr Barnes.
On Thursday last an inquest was taken at Stroud, by Mr Joyner, one of the coroners for this county, on the body of ELIZABETH BEACHEY, Servant to the Rev. Mr HARRIES, who hanged herself in the garret of her master’s house, where she was not found till Tuesday evening. The jury brought in a verdict, Lunacy.
Mar 15. On Monday last an Inquest was taken at Wotton Underedge, by Mr William Joyner, of Berkeley, one of his Majesty’s Coroners for this county, on the body of JERONOMY CONFINS, a child of three years old, who was burnt to death. It appeared on evidence that the deceased, with three other children, the eldest not seven years of age, was left on Sunday morning to the care of an aunt, whilst the parents attended divine service. As soon as the parents were gone, the aunt very imprudently left the children to themselves for near quarters of an hour, during which time the deceased wetted her pinny before, and in holding it to dry caught fire, which communicated to her other cloaths, and, before it could be extinguished, she was burnt to that degree, that she survived only a few hours. How careful parents should be, to whom they leave the care of helpless children!
Mar 22. On Monday last, an inquest was taken at Wotton Underedge, by Mr William Joyner, of Berkeley, one of the coroners for this county, on the body of Mrs MARY COUSENS, widow, aged eighty nine; who, by a fall from the third step of the staircase, fractured her scull, and instantly expired. Verdict, Accidental Death.
Mar 29. On Thursday last, an inquest was taken at Kington, in the parish of Thornbury, by Mr William Joyner, of Berkeley, one of his Majesty’s Coroners for this county, on the body of ANN POPE, Servant to Farmer HOPKINS, who poisoned herself, by taking a quantity of arsenic mixed with warm milk. Verdict, Lunacy.
Apr 12. MURDER OF MALE INFANT, aged about 18 months, was picked up in the river Wye. The humanity of the people of Chepstow was greatly shocked a few days ago, by the body of a very fine child, about 13 months old, which was taken out of the river, with its throat cut. The father is supposed to be the perpetrator of this act of unnatural barbarity, as he absconded on the declaration of the Coroner’s inquest. A reward is offered for apprehending this villain.
On Sunday, the body of a new born female infant was found dead in the highway, leading from Chedworth to Northleach; and an inquest was taken on Tuesday, by Mr Willey, one of the coroners for this county, (and resident in this city) when the Jury returned their verdict, Still Born.
May 10. On Wednesday morning, a waterman belonging to Tewkesbury, named SAMUEL HUNTLEY, who was subject to fits, was suddenly seized and fell into the river Severn near this city, and was drowned.
May 31. Last week Mr THOMAS HARVEY, one of the Keepers of Dean Forest, riding furiously along the Forest, in pursuit of some timber stealers whom he had in view, unfortunately passing under tree, and not stooping sufficiently, struck his head with such violence against a spreading limb, as to dislocate his neck and fracture his skull, and instantly died on the spot.
Jun 28. On Tuesday last as Captain SMALL, of Cirencester, was encouraging his hay makers to finish some wind cocks, foreseeing the great thunderstorm that fell on many parts of the country that afternoon, he saw a ball of electric fire descend from a cloud, and perceiving its direction tending towards him he fell down, and the ball passed within a foot of his head; at the distance of about twenty yards a hay maker was resting upon his pick, the prongs of which attracted the electric matter, which struck the man instantly dead. His hair was singed close to his head.
Jul 5. On Monday morning last, as Farmer GILES COWLEY, of Sanigar, in the parish of Berkeley, was bathing in the Tide; at a branch of the River Severn, called Pant House Pill, he was unfortunately drowned, by venturing too far in the water. He was a man remarkably sober and honest, and much esteemed and respected by all who knew him. By this accident, seven children are left without a parent, as the farmer’s wife died in child bed a short time since. The Coroner’s inquest was taken on Wednesday, by Mr William Joyner, at Berkeley.
Jul 19. The hounds of Thomas Bathurst, Esq. of Lidney Park, ran a deer into a piece of water, called the Head Dam, near the Upper Forge, in the parish of Lidney, when HENRY THOMAS, in attempting to save its life, was unfortunately drowned.
And on the same day, a servant boy belonging to Mr WM TUGWELL, of Weston-Birt, driving plough, was killed by the kick of a horse. The Coroner’s inquests were taken by Mr William Joyner, at Berkeley.
Jul 26. On Wednesday last, an inquest was taken at Iron Acton, in this county by Mr Phelps, Coroner, resident at Chipping Sodbury, on a boy, who endeavouring to get over the Church yard stile, fell backwards, and fractured his skull. The poor boy languished about three days, and then died. Verdict, Accidental Death.
Aug 9. Assizes. Acquitted: SARAH WILLIAMS.
Aug 16. Last week CHARLES BREADY, alias BASSETT, a noted bare-fist fighter and pupil of Mr Ward’s, was committed to our county gaol by Mr W Joyner, of Berkeley, Coroner, for killng one JOHN COLEMAN, labourer, with a single punch, at the Lebeck Inn, near Bristol.
Sep 6. A few days since, CHARLES DENT ROACH, son of Mr TIMOTHY ROACH, of Buckleover, in the parish of Thornbury, was unfortunately killed by a fall from a horse, in his father’s fields.
And the same day, PHILIP PHILLIPS, of the parish of Tidenham, near Chepstow, Bailiff to Mr James, was killed by a fall from a waggon loaded with pease. The coroner’s inquests were taken by Mr William Joyner, of Berkeley.
Oct 11. About six o’clock on Friday morning, the Rev. Mr GOLIGHTLY, of Cam, in this county, was found dead in the road at Cam’s Green. In returning late home from Uley, it is supposed a fall from his horse occasioned his death. Mr Joyner, coroner, of Berkeley, having taken an inquest on the body, the jury found a verdict – Accidental Death.
Oct 18. Monday last was found floating on the water in Hanham’s Mill pond, a new born female child brought up by the tide. It appeared to have been strangled, as a small cord was tied very hard twice round its neck, and a cloth wrapped around the head. It is imagined, tht the child must have lain near three weeks in the water, as it was in a very putrid state. An inquest was taken by Mr Phelps, coroner, at Chipping Sodbury, and the nearest coroner in that part of the county. The jurors verdict – Wilful urder against some person or persons unknown.
Nov 22. A pauper was found dead in a hedge on Tog Hill.
Jan 10. And on Wednesday last, the trow John, of Bewdley, (belonging to the widow EDWARDS,) laden with iron, kelp, deal balks, and other goods, sailing up the Severn, about a mile above this city, by a sudden shift of the wind, in an instant, overset, and one man was drowned.
Jan 31. Monday last Mr PRICE RICHARDS, of Chepstow, endeavouring to cross a road near Newnham, with his horse, the land flood being very strong, he and his horse were carried down the stream, and drowned.
Feb 14. It was Mr PARRY RICHARDS [RICKARDS?], of Chepstow, (not Mr PRICE RICHARDS) who lost his life, (as lately mentioned in this paper) in attempting to ford the Severn at Purton. He was earnestly dissuaded, and told that the fresh in the river was too strong to be passed with any degree of safety; but he could not be prevailed upon to wait till the next morning.
Feb 28. At Redbrook forge, lately purchased by DAVID TANNER, Esq. of Monmouth, a workmn, a few days ago, accidentally striking his foot against a stone, stumbled, and fell among the wheels of the engine, where he was mangled, and crushed to that degree, that he survived the accident only half an hour. The poor man has left a wife, and four children, but his worthy master, it is said, continues to them the wages of the deceased.
Mar 7. On Tuesday the 21st inst. an unfortunate boxing match was decided at Kempsford, in this county, between ROBERT WILSON, a keeper of a public house there, and JOHN TOMBS, a farmer of the same parish, in which the landlord received a blow under the throat, which ruptured an artery, and soon after occasioned his death. An inquest was taken by Mr Wiley, of this city, when the verdict of manslaughter was brought against the farmer.
On Monday last JOSEPH BENCE, of Charlton, near Cheltenham, destroyed himself by taking a quantity of corrosive sublimate, which he thrust in its dry state into his throat, in Cheltenham churchyard. The poison operated very speedily to put an end to his existence. He fell down and died in the most excruciating tortures in about half an hour after. The Coroner, Mr Wiley, took an inquest on the body, and the Jury found a verdict, Felo de se. The wretch was buried in the highway. Remorse for a past wicked life is supposed to have been the cause of this act of revenge on himself.
On Thursday the 14th ult. a poor woman left a child in a cottage at Little Barrington. Some straw was in the cottage, and by some accident the child, it is supposed, set fire to the straw, which destroyed the cottage, and burnt the child in such a manner that it died.
Mar 28. At Monmouth Assizes last week BENJAMIN HOSKINS was capitally convicted of the murder of his own child. The wretch was hanged on Thursday, and his body delivered to the surgeons for dissection.
Apr 11. On Tuesday the 29th ult. a man was found floating down the Severn in the parish of Deerhurst, so much disfigured by being in the water so long, that his person could not be identified. A verdict was taken by Mr Wiley, Coroner.
Friday the 25th. THOMAS BELCHER, from intoxication, fell from a coach, in Cheltenham, languished till the Sunday following, and then died. Verdict, accidental death. And, on the 31st ult. WM. WAITE was killed by a ladder falling upon him, in the parish of Sandhurst. Verdict, accidental death.
Apr 18. On Sunday the 10th inst. at nine o’clock in the morning, an infant, about 23 months old, fell into a resevoir, made for holding whey, at Woodchester Park Farm, and was unfortunately drowned before any assistance could be given.
The same day a man, unknown, was found in the river Severn, near Kingroad. He appeared to be about 25 years old, five feet seven inches high, thick made, had on a pair of canvas trowsers, a silk and cotton handkerchief round his neck, one worsted stocking, shoe, and plated buckle, and was much disfigured.
And on Monday the 11th inst. Mr WILLIAM SHEPHERED, plumber, foreman to Mr Hill, of Bristol, fell from the roof of the Blaise Castle Inn, at Henbury, and was killed on the spot. He has left a wife and four children. The inquests were taken by Mr Joyner, of Berkeley, coroner.
May 9. The following inquests have lately been taken by Mr Joyner of Berkeley, one of the coroners for this county:
Friday, April 29, JOHN CAMPLIN, aged 55 years, was found dead, supposed by suffocation, in a glass house, at Saint Philip and Jacob, belonging to Messrs Wilcox, and Co.
The same day an infant, aged near five years, son of Mr JOSEPH PEARCE, at Charfield, was scalded to death, by falling into a pail of boiling water.
Tuesday the 3d instant, MARY HEMMING, wife of JOHN HEMMING, labourer, was drowned in a pool on Charlton Common. She has left four children.
Thursday the 5th instant, JOHN PACKER of Cam, labourer, aged near seventy years, going to his work, fell down and instantly expired.
May 16. On Monday last died at Wotton Underedge, where he was on a visit to his brother, the Rev. J. TATTERSALL, Vicar of Tewkesbury, in this county, by a fall from his horse; …
May 30. On Saturday morning last, the body of a man was found drowned in the Mud dock, Cannon’s marsh, Bristol. He proves to be a Mr WILLIAM TUFFLEY, a man of considerable property, late of Whitcomb, in this neighbourhood.
Jun 20. The following inquests were taken by Mr Willey in the course of last week. On Monday, an inquisition on the body of Mr JOSEPH CANTER, who suddenly fell from his horse on the road leading from Gloucester to Wheatenhurst; he never spoke afterwards. Upon a proper investigation, (with the advice of a surgeon) the jury returned a verdict, That he died of a fit of apoplexy.
And, on Thursday another in the parish of Stonehouse, on one WILLIAM VAISEY. As he was cutting some elm trees, the ladder, on which he was standing by some means turned on one side, whereby he fell on a post, and after lingering some time died in the greatest agonies. – Verdict accidental death.
Thursday an inquest was taken at Stroud on a female infant, found dead in bed, by the side of her mother. The jury returned a verdict, that she died by suffocation.
The same day a melancholy accident happened at the parish of Corse; one RICHARD BATT was working in a stone quarry, with his father and another man; he saw one side of the quarry falling in, and had the presence of mind to call out to his father and the other person in time to save them, but could not escape the danger himself. On Friday the inquest brought in a verdict, accidental death.
On Friday JOHN ARKELL was found hanging to an ash tree, in the parish of Cirencester. He had been missing from Tuesday last. On Saturday the inquest was taken; verdict, Lunacy. This man was in our gaol last assizes, for stealing fowls, and since that time has been much deranged in his senses. He has left four small children, and a wife near lying in with the fifth.
Aug 1. Monday last a man, unknown, was found floating in the River Severn, near Kingroad, much disfigured. He appeared between forty and fifty years of age, five feet six inches, short black hair, – had on a brown jacket, striped flannel waistcoat, dowlas shirt, thickset breeches, plated knee buckles, blue yarn stockings, one shoe and a copper buckle. … Two knives and a large gold ring were found in his breeches pocket.
On Wednesday evening an infant, aged near five years, son of Mr JONAS ORGAN, of North Nibley, was unfortunately killed by falling into a stock mill. The inquests were taken by Mr Joyner, of Berkeley, coroner.
Aug 15. At our assizes on Friday morning came on the trial of WILLIAM BIRT, a journeyman carpenter, of Tewkesbury, who was indicted for the murder of SARAH POWELL, a servant in a respectable family in that town. The prisoner had deluded the deceased under a promise of marriage, and upon making known to him that she was with child, he gave her a small quantity of powder, telling her to take it, and that it would do her no harm. “It will do you good,” said he, “I have taken twice as much.” The girl, on her return home from this interview, swallowed the powder in some sugar, and in a few minutes was seized with violent vomitings, which, after the most severe sufferings for eleven days, caused her death.
The Judge clearly stated, that although the prisoner had no intention to destroy the girl, yet having recommended to her a medicine to procure abortion, and death ensuing, he was considered as guilty of her murder. According to a well known principle of the English law, where death ensues in consequence of an illegal act, Malice is implied, and the offence, with its consequences, is deemed Murder.
His Lordship also admitted, that the declarations of the girl, made under the impression of her expected death, notwithstanding she might be an accomplice with him in the guilty design, were sufficient to fix the crime upon the man.
The prosecutors were not able to discover from whence the poison was procured; yet, as the effect was clearly proved by the Surgeon who attended the deceased, no doubt was entertained of its pernicious quality.
The prisoner went through the trial with a great degree of insensibility, which continued even during the awful period of receiving sentence. But when he was taken from the Bar, his confidence forsook him, and he fainted away in the pen, and as he was conducting from Court he dropped down again in a fit.
On Friday evening, when the prisoner was conducted to the cell for persons in his unhappy situation, he wrung his hands as in the utmost misery and despair. The next morning, when the Governor unlocked the door of the cell, he was struck with the spectacle of the prisoner hanging, and dead … He had twisted the sheet of his bed, and made it fast to the bars of the window; the other end he tied round his neck in a running knot; it is supposed he threw himself from his bedstead, and held up his feet that they might not touch the ground, as the height was not sufficient by eight or nine inches to have otherwise effected his purpose. The body was quite cold when the cell was opened. The Coroner took an inquest upon the body, when a verdict was brought in felo de se. On Saturday his body was buried in a cross road, near Tewkesbury.
Aug 29. Thursday last JOHN JONES, a lad aged 12 years, servant to Mr WILLIAM LEWIS, of the Meads Farm, in the parish of Tiddenham, gathering corn after reapers, in a state of intoxication, fell down, and instantly expired.
On Friday RICHARD WESTLEY, labourer, aged about 27 years, was found dead in the parish of Saint Philip and Jacob. It appeared on evidence, that the deceased was a native of the Forest of Dean, and had for some time past been seen wandering about Bristol, and its environs, in a disturbed state of mind.
The above inquests were taken by Mr Joyner, of Berkeley, coroner.
Sep 5. On Monday last as WILLIAM LARNER, servant to Mr THOMAS ASHWIN, of Cowhoneybourne, in this county, was driving a horse to a field to grass, he wantonly struck him with his hat; the horse immediately kicked him on the belly with both his feet. He languished until the next morning and then died. The inquisition was taken by Mr Willey, one of the coroners for this county, and resident in this city. Verdict accidental death.
Sep 19. Saturday the 3d instant, about five o’clock in the afternoon, WILLIAM DYER, servant to Mr WILLIAM JONES, of Northwick, on his return home from Bristol, fell from his horse and was killed on the spot.
Tuesday the 6th instant, ELIZABETH HILL, an infant, aged 15 months, daughter of Mr WILLIAM HILL, of Uley, a tailor, was scalded to death by a fountain of boiling water falling on her as she was at play near the kitchen fire. The above inquests were taken by Mr William Joyner, of Berkeley, Coroner.
Monday last an inquest was taken at Old Sodbury, by Mr Phelps, coroner, resident at Chipping Sodbury, on ELIAS ISAAC, an infant of the age of a year and a half. Its mother having placed a pan of scalding lye upon the ground in the wash-house, and covered it with an apron to prevent any accident; the child went into the wash-house and fell into it, and although immediately taken out, it was so scalded, that convulsion fits ensued, and it died the next day,
Jan 23. Mr Willey, one of the coroners of this county, took an inquest on the body of One EVANS of Avening who fell from a tree which he was lopping, and received so much injury that he died the next day.
Jan 30. Last week the following persons were committed to the gaol of this county: WILLIAM DAVIS, for killing RICHARD LONG, of Doynton, near Sodbury.
Apr 9. ASSIZES. In the charge given by Sir Nash Grose, to the Grand Jury at our late assize, his Lordship dwelt with peculiar force on three commitments for manslaughter, which appeared in the calendar. The frequency of this crime, he said, was to be ascribed in great measure, to the encouragement of late years given to Boxing. It was sometimes productive of the deeper guilt of murder; and always the source of gambling, idleness, and profligacy; but the greatest mischief was its tendency to render the minds of the common people barbarous and revengeful: it imparted to them a degree of hardness and insensibility, that unfits them for those duties which ought to reign in the character of a people professing Christianity. His Lordship therefore recommended to the Magistrates a due exertion of their authority, to remove an evil pregnant with consequences so inconvenient and so fatal.
Apr 16. On Thursday night the house of SAMUEL COLLIER, of Harescombe, about four miles from this city, was burnt down. – Collier, and his son, a little boy, about six years old, were all that were in the house. – The crackling of the fire roused the father from his sleep about twelve o’clock at night, and when he got out of bed he found the stairs in a blaze, upon which he leaped out of the window, and bid the child get out after him and he would catch him in his arms, however, the little boy, in his confusion, ran to the stairs, where he fell into the flames and was burnt to death. – The house, with all it contained, was entirely destroyed.
Collier’s wife, and another of his children were fortunately at Stroud. As there had been very little fire in the house that day, the accident is supposed to have been occasioned by lightening, which they say was very strong that night, and perhaps set fire to the thatch, which was very dry. As the whole was uninsured, the poor man is by this accident so greatly reduced, that any assistance from the well disposed will be thankfully received by Mr Smith, of Baccus, in the same parish, or by the sufferer.
May 21. ELIZABETH MAYO, an infant, aged six months, daughter of J. MAYO, of Wanswell, carpenter, being left asleep in a cradle, under the care of her sister, aged five years, in the absence of the mother, who was gone about a mile for necessaries, was found at her return, suffocated by the cloaths being innocently turned up over her face by the other sister in order to keep it quiet.
EDWARD FOX, servant to Mr SAMUEL FORD, near the Cherry Orchard, in a state of intoxication, fell from a hay loft and received a violent concussion upon the brain, which caused his death.
May 28. On Thursday evening, a robbery, attended with great cruelty, was perpetrated near the village of Horfield, in the road between this city and Bristol. – ISAAC SHEPSTONE, servant to Mr DERRICK, of Churchill, in the county of Somerset, was driving his master’s cart, and observed two men leap over the hedge into the road, who followed the cart about a hundred yards, when, without speaking, they suddenly rushed upon him, and with blows (that it is feared have fractured his skull) they brought the lad to the ground. In their ferocious temper they kicked him on the belly and sides with extreme violence, and then took his whip and rifled his pockets of about 8s. 6d. The coach at this moment coming up, the villains made off towards Bristol, for a description of their persons see the advertisement in this paper. – The poor lad, who is about eighteen years of age, lies at the Anchor, at Filton, without hopes of recovery.
Jun 11. ISAAC SHEPSTONE, servant to Mr DERRICK, who was so cruelly beaten, (as mentioned in this paper of the 28th ult.) is since dead, in consequence of a fracture of the skull.
Jul 9. Thursday last an inquest was taken by Mr Joyner, coroner at Berkeley, on the view of the body of SOLOMON CHANDLER, servant to Mr PARTRIDGE, dyer, of Bowbridge, near Stroud, who was on Wednesday evening killed by a cart loaded with cloth going over his body. Verdict Accidental Death.
Aug 20. On Tuesday last MATTHEW CROSSMAN, of Saint Philip and Jacob, in this county, was committed to our county gaol by Mr Joyner of Berkeley, coroner, for the wilful murder of MARY GROVES, single-woman. Crossman had been drinking all the Sunday morning, and coming home much intoxicated, when he gave the deceased a stab with a case knife, of which wound she died in a few hours.
Aug 27. On Wednesday morning last, LEVI CROFT, aged 27 years, being employed in raising stone in Mr CHARLES JACKSON’s quarry, at Horsley, in this county, a stone near a ton weight fell upon him and crushed him to death. He has left a pregnant wife and two small children to bewail the unhappy catastrophe. The inquest was taken by Mr Joyner, of Berkeley, coroner.
Oct 8. On Tuesday last, a country man returning from this city with some new cloaths he had just bought, was attacked on Over Causeway by two fellows who had been lately enlisted; they knocked the man down with a stone hammer, and took from him his bundle. – However, he recovered the blow in time to catch one of the thieves, whom he threw across his shoulder and carried in spite of all his struggling to the Dog inn at Over, from whence he was committed to prison.
THOMAS TERRY – sentenced to be hanged April Assizes.
Oct 15. On Wednesday night last, a carter belonging to WILLIAM LAWRENCE, Esq: of Shurdington, was thrown from the shafts on which he was sitting and the waggon passing over his body, killed him on the spot. The death of this poor man is the more to be regretted, as he was remarkably sober and industrious.
Nov 19. Last week the following inquests were taken by Mr Joyner, of Berkeley:- On Wednesday morning a young man was found dead upon a lime kiln in Brick Street, Bristol; and the next night a lad found dead upon a lime kiln at Durdham Down.
On Thursday Mr W. WILLES, a carpenter, at Arlingham, found drowned in Arlingham Pill; and the same morning ANTHONY HARRISON, a seaman on board a ship in Kingroad, who in a state of intoxication attempting to get his chest on board the ship fell into the sea, and was drowned.
Jan 14. An inquest was taken on Thursday last, by Mr Joyner, of Berkeley, coroner, on view of the body of a man unknown, found drowned in the river Severn, opposite Nass Clift. He appeared to be 40 years of age.
Jan 21. Tuesday last died Mr WILLIAM PHELPS, one of the coroners for this county.
Apr 1. The number of prisoners to take their trial at our assizes this week, are about 20, amongst whom is THOMAS CROSSMAN, a labourer in a glass house at Bristol, who in a fit of intoxication, murdered a woman with whom he lived. No man can express greater contrition, or behave with more resignation than this unhappy creature.
Apr 8. At our assizes last week: MATTHEW CROSSMAN, for manslaughter, was sentenced one year’s imprisonment.
THOMAS TERRY, for stealing sundry articles from Mr LONG, of Over, was sentenced to seven year’s transportation.
May 27. On Tuesday last, an inquest was held by Daniel Willey, Esq. Coroner, on the body of a man unknown, found in a pool in the Hamlet of Hucclecote, near Gloucester. The Jury brought in their verdict – Accidental Death. In his pocket was found a watch, with the name J. MALINS, 1773, on the outside case.
Jul 15. Accounts from different parts of the country state, that several labourers in the field, overcome by the intense heat, have dropt down and expired.
On Wednesday next the commission will be opened for holding the Assizes for this county. It is with concern we observe in the calendar, two woman committed on the charge of murdering their bastard children. (not yet traced.)
Jul 22. At our Assizes, … JOHN RIDLER, for manslaughter, was fined one shilling, and dismissed from the bar.
Sep 9. Tuesday last, as a labourer was at work in a quarry between Tetbury and Cirencester, a quantity of rubbish and stones fell in upon him. A person going by at the time, saw the earth fall, and immediately procured assistance; but, before the people could remove the mass that had fallen, the man was quite dead.