A few nice doctor strange images I found:
Coroners Inquests in Gloucestershire from The Gloucester Journal 1805
Image 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 14. A few days ago, an inquest was taken by Mr Trigg, at Siddington, in this county, on view of the body of MARY WOOD, servant to Mr BRAMBLE, of that place, who, whilst washing a mop, fell into the millpond, and was drowned. Mr BRAMBLE’s son instantly jumped into the water, at the risk of his life, and succeeded in bringing the body on shore; and the means of recovery were vigorously pursued for some time, but unfortunately without success. Verdict, Accidental Death.
An inquest was taken on Tuesday last, on DANIEL RICE, a carpenter, who, having found means, during the sale of the stock of a liquor merchant in that town, to get at some common brandy, drank to such an excess as to occasion his death in a few hours. Two or three others had nearly shared a similar fate, had not proper medical assistance been promptly administered to them. It seems, that they drank the liquor from a quart cup, just as if it had been beer.
Jan 21. On this day died Mr MAYOW, of Burcot Farm, near Faringdon; he was walking a short distance from his own house, when he fell down, and, in a few minutes, expired.
Wednesday night last, about 8 o’clock, a porter of the name of MASON, was carrying some goods on board a vessel on the Quay at Bristol, when, unfortunately, he fell into the river and was drowned. He was a sober and industrious man, and has left a wife in great distress.
Jan 28. The following Inquests have lately been taken before Daniel Willey, Gent. one of the Coroners for this county, viz. On view of the body of JACOB BARNARD, of Dowdeswell. He had been left with the care of one of the horses taken from the team, a short distance from Cold Comfort; and it being a tempestuous night, and the cold very severe, it is supposed the poor boy had benumbed, and lay down under a wall near the road, where he was found insensible. He was taken to the house of Mr GILLETT, at Cold Comfort; and there appearing some symptoms of life, Mrs GILLETT humanely stripped off his clothes, put him into warm blankets, and rubbed his body with flannels, but all without avail, as he expired soon after. Verdict, Perished through the inclemency of the weather.
On the body of Mr JOHN CLARK, a respectable farmer of Tirley; who, in returning from a visit to his daughter, in company with his nephew, Mr WILLIAM CLARK, fell from his horse, and instantly expired. Verdict, Sudden Death by the visitation of God.
On the body of a new born male infant, found by the servants of Mr HARVARD, of Cheltenham, on their going to dry clothes in the orchard: it was wrapped up in a handkerchief, and lay under the hedge of the walk leading up to the wells. After a minute investigation, the Jury returned their verdict, Stillborn.
And, on the body of CHARLES COLLETT, found dead in Mill lane, in the hamlet of Allstone, near Cheltenham. He was deranged in his intellects, and subject to fits; and by some means having escaped from the workhouse in the evening, he was next morning found frozen to death in the above situation. Verdict, Perished through the inclemency of the weather.
Inquests taken before W Joyner, Gent, Coroner: At Wotton Underedge, on the 25th ult. on view of the body of GEORGE HICOCKS, who, on his return from Kingswood, the Monday preceding, owing to the darkness of the night, missed his way, and unfortunately fell into a pool and was drowned. Verdict, Accidental Death.
At the Crown Inn, parish of St Philip and Jacob, on the body of ANN TRUSLER, aged about 29 years, found dead on the morning of the 22nd, in West street, supposed from ill treatment. After an investigation of five hours, the Jury returned a verdict, Died by the inclemency of the night, and intoxication.
And, at the Bell, in the parish of Cam, on Monday last, on the body of MARIA HOWELL, aged 10 years, daughter of a labouring man, burnt to death by her clothes taking fire in the absence of her mother. Verdict, Accidental Death.
An alarming accident happened on Monday, to Mrs ALEXANDER, an infirm, old lady, of this city. The fire near which she was sitting, by some means caught her dress, which was instantly in a blaze, and before it could be extinguished had burnt her arms, face, to such a degree, that, we are sorry to add, her recovery is extremely doubtful.
Feb 11. On Monday evening died, aged 82, Mrs ALEXANDER, of this city – who had lingered in excruciating pain for several days, in consequence of the accident of her clothes taking fire, as mentioned in last week’s paper.
On Wednesday night an inquest was taken by W Trigg, Gent. on view of the body of JOHN TEAKEE a youth, supposed to have died from some blows he received at Horseley, Verdict, Manslaughter against CALEB EVANS.
And, on Thursday last, the same Coroner held an inquest on the body of RUTH GAZZARD, an infant, about three years old, who being left with other children, her clothes caught fire, and she was so dreadfully burnt that she died soon after. Verdict, Accidental Death.
Feb 25. On Sunday last, as a son of Mr BARRETT, of Minsterworth; near this city, was out a shooting in a meadow near that place, in endeavouring to remove the briars in a hedge to pass through, he placed the butt end of the gun to make way, when the thorns catched the trigger, and the whole contents of the gun entered his body; which caused his immediate death. He was 17 years of age. On Wednesday an inquest was taken on view of the body; before D Willey, Esq. one of the Coroners for this county. Verdict, Accidental Death.
On Thursday last, an inquest was taken before W Trigg, Gent. Coroner, on the bodies of JOHN FOWLER, and HANNAH his daughter, of the Thrupp, in the parish of Stroud, who were drowned, the preceding evening, in the Thames and Severn Navigation Canal. The girl being fatigued, her father took her on his back, and from the darkness of the night, it is supposed, walked into the said Canal, and both were drowned. Verdict, Accidental Death. Great praise is due to Mr ROSE, who resides near that place, for his indefatigable endeavours to rescue the bodies from the perilous state into which they were so unfortunately involved, although they proved fruitless.
Mar 4. Case of MARY RIDER, bastardy, Littledean.
On Monday last an inquest was taken in the parish of St George, Bristol, by W Joyner, one of the Coroners for this county, on view of the body of WILLIAM BRITTON, coal miner, who was killed, whilst at work in a pit, belonging to Mr BAYLIS, by a quantity of coal and rubbish falling on him, and which caused his instant death. He has left a pregnant wife and five small children to lament his fate.
And, on Thursday, an Inquest was held by the same gentleman, at Walford, in the parish of Berkeley, on the body of an infant child, aged three years, burnt to death by his clothes taking fire, in the absence of his mother. Verdict in both cases, Accidental Death.
Last week an inquest was taken at Kempsford, in this county, by W Trigg, gent. coroner, on view of the body of JOSIAH PIKE, of Cricklade, Wilts; who, as passing on the tow path of the Thames and Severn Navigation Canal, on Wednesday last, the evening being dark, fell into the said canal, and was drowned. Verdict, Accidental Death.
On Saturday last, an inquest was held at Cheltenham, before D Willey, Esq. on view of the body of THOMAS HOOPER, plumber and glazier, a young man in his 25th year, who, while walking on the pavement of the High street, in perfect health, the preceding evening, between five and six o’clock, suddenly fell down dead. Two gentlemen of the faculty in an instant came to his assistance, but all their efforts were in vain. Verdict, Died suddenly by the visitation of God.
Mar 11. Commitments; Thursday, CALEB EVANS was committed to our County Gaol, by W Trigg, Gent. Coroner, charged with killing and slaying JOHN TEAKEE.
The following Inquests have been taken by W Trigg, Esq. one of the Coroners for this county, viz. On Saturday night, at Minchinhampton, on the body of the wife of JOSEPH HILLIER. On the husband’s returning home from the house of his brother, who then lay dead, he found the unfortunate woman a lifeless corpse, with her infant child lying at her breast. Verdict, Died suddenly by the visitation of God.
On Saturday night, on view of the body of RICHARD PINKNEY, who fell down stairs as he was going to bed at the Three Cups Inn, Tetbury, which occasioned a concussion of the brain, and he died instantly. Verdict, Accidental Death.
Also, at Tetbury, on the body of JOHN BOULTON, who was found dead at a lodging hose, (supposed, though without foundation, to have been starved) – After a very minute investigation before a respectable Jury, a Verdict was returned – Sudden Death, by the Visitation of God.
Mar 18. CALEB EVANS, not guilty.
Obituary. On Monday last, Colonel DELAMOTTE, an officer of great respectability, and, in private life, a gentleman of most pleasing manners, was unfortunately thrown from his horse in the neighbourhood of Bourton on the Hill, in this county, and died soon after the accident, in consequence of a severe fracture in his skull.
Mar 25. Obituary. At Batsford, in this county, PHILIP DELAMOTTE, Esq. Lietenant-Colonel of the 21st regiment of Light Dragoons. His death was occasioned by an apoplectic fit, which he survived but a few hours; and not by a fracture of the skull, in consequence of a fall from his horse, as stated in our last.
INQUESTS. On Tuesday last, an inquest was taken before W Trigg, Gent. Coroner, on view of the body of MARTHA HAYLAND, a child about three years old, who fell into a pond of water whilst playing in the garden, and was drowned. Verdict, Accidental Death.
And on Wednesday, an inquest was held at Bibury, by the same Coroner, on view of the body of a male infant, about eight days old, who was accidentally poisoned by a deleterious drug being administered in mistake for magnesia. The circumstances of this melancholy case were as follow: A woman was sent to a shop in the neighbourhood, to purchase a pennyworth of magnesia, with which she was regularly served; but a packet of rat powder having been placed on the counter, directed to a gentleman who had ordered it, it was not at the moment observed that the woman had taken the packet by mistake; and being a stranger, unfortunately she could not be recognised. At night, the mother desired a boy, who could not read, to open the parcel, when she took a small quantity of the powder, and blended it with the infant’s pap, which occasioned its death in a very short time. No blame whatever could attach to the person who sold the magnesia; and the accident was solely to be attributed to the gross ignorance of the poor woman, the packet having contained plain printed directions. Verdict, Died by poison incorrectly administered.
The following Inquests have lately been held before D Willey, Gent. viz. Upon view of the body of JOSEPH WILLIAMS, a private, discharged from the Herefordshire Militia. As he was returning home, he came to the George Inn, on Birdlip Hill, in the parish of Cowley, where he procured lodgings for the night, and was next morning found quite dead, and cold, in bed. No marks of violence appearing on his body, the Jury returned a verdict, Sudden death by the visitation of God.
And upon the body of FRANCIS BARNARD, a farmer, of Hasfield, in this county, who had drowned himself in a well in his garden, while his servant girl was at Gloucester market. He had been in a melancholy state of mind for some time. Verdict, Lunacy.
Apr 1. On Sunday last, an inquest was taken at Oddington, before D Willey, Esq. one of the Coroners for this county, on view of the body of HANNAH COOK, who drowned herself at that place, on Wednesday morning. From the most satisfactory evidence, the Jury returned a verdict, Lunacy.
On Wednesday last an inquest was taken, at Smalls Mill, in the parish of Painswick, before W Trigg, Gent. Coroner, on view of the body of BRITANNIA SAVOREY, a child about three years old, who fell from a bridge ( in consequence of the ruinous state of the parapet wall), into the stream below, and was drowned. Verdict, Accidental Death.
Apr 8. The following inquests were last week taken before W Trigg, Gent. one of the Coroners for this county; On Monday, at Bisley, on view of the body of THOMAS HUNT, wheelwright, of Trougham, who, in returning home from Stroud market, on Friday, owing to the darkness of the night, missed his way, and fell into an old tile quarry; his skull being dreadfully fractured by the fall, which was a considerable depth from the surface, he must have been instantly killed; but his body was not discovered till Sunday.
On Tuesday, at Stroud, on the body of Freame Franklin, a respectable young man of that place. It appeared, that in returning home from Bisley, on Sunday evening, he slipped down with velocity, and having a walking stick in his hand, the pointed end of it struck the orbit of one of his eyes with great force, and occasioned so much injury to the brain, that he lingered till Tuesday morning, when he died in excruciating agony. Verdict in both cases, Accidental Death.
On Thursday, at Horsley, on the body of the new born female bastard child of MARY SMITH, who had been privately delivered nearly a month ago, and had concealed the body of the infant under the stairs. Verdict, Stillborn.
On Monday last, an inquest was taken in the parish of Yate, before W Joyner, Gent. Coroner, on view of the body of GEORGE ROGERS, coal miner, who fell down a coal pit, on Yate Common, and was killed on the spot. Verdict, Accidental Death.
And, on Wednesday, an inquest was taken in the parish of North Nibley, before the same Gentleman, on the body of a new born female child, who was found dead, and quite naked, in a field called Pilwell, supposed to have been murdered. Verdict, Stillborn.
JAMES BROOKES, charged with the murder of his son, discharged by proclamation.
Apr 29. INQUESTS. On Monday last, an inquest was taken at Ampney Crucis, in this county, before W Trigg, Gent. Coroner, on view of the body of ANN TOWNSEND, who was drowned in a brook. Verdict, Accidental Death.
The following inquests have been taken before W Joyner, Gent. On Saturday, in the parish of Arlingham, on the body of a man, unknown, aged about 50 years, found dead in a field near the Passage House. It appeared that he was insane, had been seen wandering about the adjoining parishes, in a very dejected state, for some days, and when found was almost naked. Verdict, Died through the inclemency of the weather, and want of common necessaries of life.
On Monday, on the body of STEPHEN SHEPPARD, coal miner, killed by falling down a coal pit, at Staple Hill, in the parish of Mangotsfield. Verdict, Accidental Death.
On Tuesday, on the body of ABRAHAM NASH, mason, of Woodmancote, in the parish of Dursley, who unfortunately fell off a scaffold, and was so much injured that in a few days he expired. Verdict, Accidental Death.
On Wednesday, in the parish of St George, near Bristol, on the body of CHARLOTTE SIDNEY, aged two years, supposed to have been starved to death by her mother in law, ANN SIDNEY. Verdict, Natural Death, and not from starvation, or any injury received whatever.
On Friday, at Caolpit Heath, in the parish of Westerleigh, on the body of JAMES GARLICK, coal miner, killed whilst at work in a pit, by a large quantity of rubbish and coal falling on his body. Verdict, Accidental Death.
May 6. On Monday last, an inquest was taken at Bisley, in this county, before W Trigg, Gent, Coroner, on view of the body of JAMES DAVIS, a boy about ten years of age, who fell into a mill pond, and was drowned. It appeared that he had been climbing a yew tree, on the banks, in search of a bird’s nest, from which he fell into the pond; and no person being near, he lay for a considerable time in the water, and was at last only discovered by his hat being seen floating on the surface. Verdict, Accidental Death.
And, on Thursday, an inquest was taken at Eastington, by the same Coroner, on the body of an infant about one year old, belonging to a pauper in the workhouse. The child had been left for a few minutes by its mother, sitting secured in a chair, and, although in apparent good health, suddenly expired without a struggle or a groan. Verdict, Sudden Death.
Jun 10. INQUESTS. On Thursday last, the following inquests were taken before William Joyner, Gent. one of the Coroners for this county, viz. At the Three Crowns Inn, in the parish of St George, near Bristol, on the bodies of Mr JAMES THOMPSON, a foreman in the yard at Pill Marsh Works; Elizabeth, his wife; and William, their son, aged 7 years, – who were all three unfortunately drowned in a large brick pit, the preceding Tuesday evening. It appeared in evidence, that the son was playing with a hoop, near the brink of the pit, and in endeavouring to stop it from rolling into the water, he himself fell in. The mother, seeing the accident, immediately ran to his assistance, and, over reaching herself, to lay hold of his cloaths, she also got out of her depth. The father, hearing their cries, next ran to the spot, and seeing the dreadful situation of his wife and child – in the very act of sinking – he, in a state of distraction, plunged into the water, (about 11 feet deep), in the hope of rescuing them; but, missing his aim, they all perished together! When the bodies were found, about an hour after the accident, the mother had her son closely clasped in her arms. Mr THOMPSON was a native of Sunderland, in the county of Durham, and had made arrangements to return home with his family the following week. They have left three children, the eldest only six years of age.
Jun 10. On Friday, in the parish of Dursley, on the body of EDMUND MORGAN, aged two years, who was killed on the Wednesday preceding, by a cart going over his body. Verdict, in each case, Accidental Death.
Jun 24. A few days since an inquest was held, by D Willey, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of Mr THOMAS EDWARDS, a respectable farmer, of Yanworth, in this county, who, whilst riding full speed down the hill near Fossbridge, on his return from Cirencester, fell from his horse and received so violent a concussion on the brain, as to occasion his death almost immediately. Verdict, Accidental Death.
And on Wednesday last, an inquest was held by the same Coroner, on the body of SUSANNAH HAMLETT, who hanged herself in Farncote Wood, in the parish of Guiting Power; she had been in a low, dejected state of mind for some time, which induced the Jury to return a verdict of Lunacy.
On Saturday night, MARK BROOKMAN, a mason, being employed to pull down a house at Pucklechurch, in this county, in order to save trouble, he undermined the wall, which falling down, killed him on the spot, and broke both the thighs of his labourer.
Jul 1. Obituary. On Thursday evening died, suddenly, at his lodgings at Clifton, aged 43, Major General MAGAN, lately in command of the Garrison of Bristol. As the General was in the act of wiping the powder from his face, after having dressed for dinner, he was seized with a fit, staggered back into a chair, and in the space of an hour and a half he expired.
The following melancholy accident occurred on Thursday night: As Mr PHELPS, of Awre, in this county, accompanied by a young man named JONES, was going down the Severn to Chepstow, in a boat, she was upset by a sudden squall of wind, off Horse Pill, when they were both unfortunately drowned. Mr PHELPS had about him considerable property at the time of the fatal accident; but neither of the bodies has yet been found.
Jul 8. It was a seaman of the name of JOHN THOMAS, a native of Lancashire, and not a Mr PHELPS, who was drowned, in company with Mr JONES, of Awre, in going down the Severn in a small boat to Chepstow, as mentioned in our last. The body of the latter has not yet been found (see advertisement), but the former has been taken up, stripped of two watches, and the money THOMAS was seen to be possessed of at the time he set off with his unfortunate companion on their ill fated expedition! The conjecture is, that the body had previously been discovered by some abandoned wretches, who, tempted by the above booty, purloined the property, and again committed the corpse to the flood!!
On Tuesday last, as a man of the name of NATHANIEL HIGGS, belonging to Yate, in this county, was employed in repairing a well at North Nibley, of very considerable depth, an immense large stone falling on his head, killed him on the spot. A wife and several small children suffer an irreparable loss by his death.
DROWNED IN THE RIVER SEVERN. On Thursday, June 20, 1805, near Shire-road, Mr JOHN JONES, 22 years of age, about 4 feet 10 inches, lusty, and well made; had on a blue jacket, corduroy breeches, and a white shirt. Whoever shall find the body, and will bring it (or give intelligence where it may be found,) to Mr MATTHEWS, at Gatcombe, or Mr KEDDICK, at Hamstalls, will receive a Reward of FIVE GUINEAS for their trouble.
Jul 15. The following inquests have lately been held before D Willey, Esq. one of the Coroners for this county: At Ebrington, on view of the body of SAMUEL PARNELL, who was killed by a stroke with a scythe by his cousin, WILLIAM PARNELL. It appeared in evidence, that the latter, a lad about 12 or 13 years of age, whilst the workmen were resting themselves, took up one of the scyhthes, and was attempting to mow, when his foot slipped, and the dreadful weapon coming round with violence, mortally wounded his cousin, by cutting his veins and sinews of his left ham so shockingly, that, before medical assistance could be procured, or he could be removed from the spot, he died from the loss of blood.
At Childs Wickham, on view of the body of JOHN FOX, glazier, who, whilst measuring the lead work at the Church, ventured among the joists in pursuit of some bats; when he fell to the ground, a height of nearly 30 feet, by which his neck was dislocated, and his head mortally wounded. Verdict in each case, Accidental Death.
Jul 29. On Wednesday an inquest was held by W Trigg, Gent. one of the Coroners for this county, on view of the body of THOMAS BAKER, who, whilst working in a stone quarry on Rodborough Common, was instantly crushed to death by a large quantity of earth giving way, and falling upon him. Verdict, Accidental Death.
Aug 12. On Saturday night an inquest was held at Cirencester before W Trigg, Gent. one of the Coroners for this county, on view of the body of THOMAS COCKERELL, who had hanged himself. It appearing from respectable evidence, that he had for some time been deranged in his intellects, the Jury returned a verdict, Lunacy.
And, On Thursday last, an inquest was held at Bisley, before the same Coroner, on the body of T HARMAR, who, in a state of insobriety, fell backwards from a stile upon a heap of stones, and received so much injury that he died soon after. Verdict, Accidental Death.
On Wednesday an inquest was taken before W Joyner, Gent. Coroner, on the body of a lad unknown, found drowned in the river Severn, nearly opposite Aust Passage House. He appeared to be about 15 years of age, was five feet high, slenderly made, with sandy hair, and had a striped brown woollen jacket, and canvass trowsers, but was without shoes or stockings, or any property.
Aug 19. On Saturday night, an inquest was taken at Painswick, before W Trigg, Gent. Coroner, on view of the body of RICHARD HARRIS, a youth about eleven years of age, who hanged himself with a small cord, in a garrett at that place. No cause could be attributed for the rash act; and the Jury returned a verdict – Felo de se.
Aug 26. Yesterday night, at Ross, universally regretted, Mr COOK, Master of the Blue Coat School, at that place; he had conducted his scholars to church, and had taken his seat but a few minutes, when he was discovered to be a corpse! His pupils were instantly in tears; and the congregation immediately dispersed, deeply affected with so awful an example of the uncertainty of human life!
On Thursday last, WILLIAM EVANS, a private belonging to the 96th regiment of foot, stationed in this city, dropped down in Bull lane, and instantly expired. Coroner’s verdict, Died by the visitation of God.
On Wednesday night, a serjeant belonging to the 50th regiment of foot, in attempting to get upon a waggon in the turnpike road at Beverstone, near Tetbury, fell, and the wheels, passing over his head, killed him on the spot. He was a man much respected in the regiment, and had been fifty years in his Majesty’s service. Coroner’s verdict, Accidental Death.
Sep 19. On Thursday, an inquest was taken by W Joyner, Gent. one of the Coroners for this county, on view of the body of RICHARD POVEY, fell monger, of Avening, near Wotton Underedge, who was killed by a fall from his horse, on returning from Bristol, Verdict, Accidental Death.
Sep 23. On Thursday last an inquest was held by W Trigg, Gent. Coroner, on view of the body of WM HANKS, of Ablington, in the parish of Bibury, who, whilst attending a barley roll, drawn by three horses, accidentally fell down, when, this immense weight passing over a part of his head, he was killed on the spot. Verdict, Accidental Death.
Sep 30. On Friday morning, a boy about 11 years of age, precipitated himself from his bedroom window into the street, in Leather Bottle lane, in this city, and survivived the shock but a few hours. Verdict, Lunacy.
Sep 30. We relate the following extraordinary circumstances with infinite regret, as they lead to the melancholy supposition of some unhappy catastrophe having befallen the unfortunate gentleman who is the subject of the narration. On Friday afternoon last, Mr COLWELL, Brandy merchant, of Newnham, in this county, left this city, on horse back, with a considerable sum of money in his possession, intending to return home, but has not since been seen. Yesterday morning his horse was found in the meadow on the south side of Over Causeway, adjoinging this city, with the stirrups and reins cut off, a deep cut, as if with a sharp instrument, on the nearside of the saddle, and the off side ripped, probably by the spur, on Mr COLWELL being dragged from his horse. The stirrups and one spur were found, at a short distance from each other, just beyond the bridge over the Severn, at this city; and Mr COLWELL’s pocketbook was found in the river, several miles below this place, stripped of all its contents, except a draft for 100 l. All the pools, and the river for a considerable distance, have been dragged in search of the body, but hitherto without effect.
Oct 7. MR JOHN COLWILL. The fate of this gentleman, which has been deeply involved in mystery and conjecture during the past week, it will be seen by an advertisement in this page, may ultimately prove less calculated to excite sympathy than was at first supposed; but we forbear making any remarks on this extraordinary occurrence, in the present state of the matter.
On Thursday last, an inquest was held before Wm Joyner, Gent. Coroner, on view of the body of a male child, found secreted the preceding morning in one of the offices belonging to a house at the Hotwells, in the parish of Clifton. After a full investigation of nine hours, the jury returned a verdict of Wilful Murder, against the mother, ANN EVANS, who stands committed for trial at the next Assizes for this county.
Oct 14. On Monday an inquest was taken at Bath, on the body of WILLIAM ORCHARD, who was taken out of the river near Kingsmead, the preceding day. It appeared, that the deceased had recently left his service at Thornbury, in this county, and went there to seek another situation. There were several guineas found about his person, and at his lodging he had left a box, with notes and cash, to the amount of upwards of 20 l. Verdict, Accidental Death.
Oct 21. On Saturday last, a man of the name of CLARKE, a turner, of Cirencester, who was taken ill the day before, being on his road to our Infirmary, accompanied by another person, suddenly expired in the post chaise which was conveying them, just at the entrance of this city. He had been in the employ of Mr BREWER, of Cirencester, for 25 years, and has left a wife and five children to lament his premature death. Coroner’s verdict, Died by the Visitation of God.
The following Inquests have been held, within the last week, by W Trigg, Gent. Coroner. At Minchinhampton, on view of the body of SARAH SHURMUR, who was found dead with her head in a privy; she had received a violent contusion on her temple and lip, by falling against the door, which no doubt accelerated her death. Verdict, Sudden Death.
At Lypiatt, near Bisley, on view of the body of Mr EDWARD HORWOOD, who, as he was returning at night from Bisley to Lypiatt, through the park of P WATHEN, Esq. (his usual road) was attacked by a stag, which he had been recently desired to avoid; the stag, however, wounded him with his antlers, in various parts of his body, particularly on the chest, where a puncture reached the pericardium through the ribs and pectoral muscle, which terminated fatally, he surviving only about 36 hours. His death, from his integrity and good conduct during his life, will long be remembered by his acquaintance with sincere regret. Verdict, Accidental Death.
At Painswick, on view of the body of ROWLAND WHITE, barber, who fell down whilst in the act of reading an advertisment in this paper. This man was much respected, and, highly to his credit, though considerably advanced in life, procured a maintenance for his son’s wife and three children, who were totally dependent on him; by whose death they are deprived of an invaluable friend. Some time ago, the father of the children volunteered himself into the army of reserve, and
is now serving in Ireland. Verdict, Died by the Visitation of God. We sincerely hope that an application for his discharge will be attended with success, for the future benefit of his family.
Oct 28. MELANCHOLY CATASTROPHE. A few days since, the following awful instance of the impropriety of leaving loaded firearms within the reach of persons, ignorant of the danger of handling them, occurred at Tewkesbury: A loaded gun being incautiously put down, a little boy, about eight years of age, took it up, when by some means it immediately exploded, and the charge completely perforated the neck of his mother, who instantly expired! An inquest was held on view of the body; verdict, Accidental Death.
Nov 4. On Friday morning died, in this city, in the 31st year of his age, Mr MINET HOPKINS, an opulent farmer, of Tirley, in this county. It being supposed that his death was occasioned by some blows he had received in a scuffle, at an Inn in this city, on the Saturday preceding, a Coroner’s Jury sat on the body, when, after mature deliberation, they brought in a verdict of – Manslaughter.
Last week died, at the White Hart, Bristol, Mr EVANS, of Pucklechurch, in this county, in consequence of a violent blow received in the head, occasioned by the rearing up of his horse, as he was endeavouring to ride through a doorway.
A few days ago as WILLIAM BULL, a trusty servant of EDWARD SHEPPARD, Esq. of Stonehouse, was returning from Stow fair, he fell from his horse on the new road near Stroud, which injured his brain so much, that he died in a few hours after. Verdict, Accidental Death.
Nov 18. And, on Saturday, ANN EVANS was committed, by W Joyner, Esq. one of the Coroners of this county, on suspicion of having murdered a new born male child.
Nov 25. On Thursday last, an Inquest was taken, before D Willey, Esq. Coroner, on view of the body of RICHARD LAWRENCE, servant to Mrs NIBLETT, of this city, who was, on Wednesday, found drowned under the bridge over the Gloucester and Berkeley Canal, near Llanthony, after having been missing several weeks. It is supposed that he met his untimely fate, by falling into the canal, whilst walking in the bank in a state of intoxication. Verdict, Accidental Death.
On Monday last, an inquest was taken at Coates, before W Trigg, Gent. Coroner, on view of the body of JOHN SMITH, servant of PETER LEVERSAGE, Esq. of Stroud, who was unfortunately killed whilst hunting, by a blow he received, occasioned by his coming in contact with the limb of a tree when leaping over a hedge; by which the spinal marrow was so much injured, that he became paralytic, and died soon after. He was a valuable servant; and his loss is much regretted by his master, to whom the greatest praise is due, for his kind attention and humanity towards this unfortunate man, during the short period he survived the sad catastrophe. Verdict, Accidental Death.
And, on Wednesday, another Inquest was held, before the same Coroner, on the body of THOMAS PRICE, shepherd to Mr HAMBAGE, of Southrup, who was found dead in a turnip field, soon after he had been minding his sheep. verdict, Sudden Death from an unknown cause.
A melancholy circumstance occurred at Chepstow, during the rejoicings at that place on Friday night, in celebration of the late naval victories: a boy about seven years of age, who had been to witness the firing of the Volunteers, on his return home, crept under the table, where his mother, after calling him and receiving no answer, found him dead. It is supposed that the boy was frightened to death by the firing, as he often fell into fits at the firing of a gun.
On Monday last, between the hours of nine and ten, a neighbour, being alarmed by the cries of an infant, proceeding from the privy of a house in Maiden Tavern lane, Baldwin street, Bristol, instantly, with the assistance of some humane persons, who procured lights, searched for the cause, when they discovered a new born infant! which, providentially was thus miraculously preserved and rescued from its perilous situation. Every care and attention was paid by the persons who found it, and the infant, alive and healthy, was carried to St Peter’s Hospital. We understand, its unnatural mother has since been discovered.
Dec 2. On Monday an inquest was held on the body of a man, who died in consequence of a fall from Mr HOUGH’s Lime kiln, near this city. Verdict, Accidental Death.
On Monday night, an Inquest was taken at Horsley, by W Trigg, Gent. Coroner, on view of the body of JOHN HAINS, son of Mr HAINS, saddle tree maker, who, in endeavouring to put a loaded gun into a shop, through a pane of glass which was broke, the butt end foremost, the gun being cocked, it struck against an iron anvil, and discharged the contents into his body, when he fell, and instantly expired. Verdict, Accidental Death.
COMMITMENTS. On Tuesday, MARY SCUDAMORE was committed to our County Gaol, by Thomas Blunt, Esq. one of the Coroners for this county, on suspicion of murdering a new born female child.
Dec 23. On Wednesday an inquest was held at Mickleton, in this county, by Mr Trigg, on view of the body of WILLIAM WARD, a youth who was killed by a waggon wheel passing over his body. Verdict, Accidental Death.
Jan 7. On Thursday last, an inquest was taken at Ampney Peter, in this county, before Mr Trigg, on view of the body of HARRY HODGES, who was killed whilst sitting near the butt of a tree which the workman were employed in cutting down. It appeared, that the tree fell unexpectedly, and rebounded with such force against his chest as to burst a blood vessel; which occasioned his death immediately. Verdict, Accidental Death.
The verdict of the inquest which was taken at Bisley, on view of the bodies of two children, as mentioned in our last paper, was delivered on Saturday last, and was follows: Died from the neglect and inattention of their mother, and some person unknown.
The following inquests were last week taken by Mr Joyner, one of the Coroners for this county: On Monday, on view of the body of JOHN WEEKS, son of Mr WEEKS, a respectable farmer near the New Passage, who was drowned by the ice giving way, whilst sliding on a pool near his father’s house. verdict, Accidental Death.
On Tuesday, on the body of W CHAIR, labourer, of Hinton, in the parish of Berkeley, who was found frozen to death the preceding day in a field, near Purton Passage. He has left a wife and eight children to lament this sad catastrophe. Verdict, Died through the inclemency of the weather, and Intoxication.
And, on Tuesday, on the body of a man unknown, found suffocated, and burnt to death, on a lime kiln, at Lay Hill, in the parish of Cromhall. Verdict, Accidental Death.
What does Visitation of God mean on a death certificate?
If you are researching your family history, you may be somewhat surprised and perplexed when you come across a parish register, death certificate or coroner’s report which states the cause of death as ‘Visitation of God’ (ex visitacone dei). What does this mean?
For centuries, doctors struggled in the darkness over the causes of disease and death, and how the human body functioned. If a person died, because of the doctor’s limited knowledge they could only describe the cause of death as a fever, apoplexy, or convulsions, or what he could visibly see such as a head wound, or evidence of a lifestyle such as over indulgence of drink.
Occasionally he would describe the cause of death as a Visitation of God. Used in a more religious time than ours, it meant the death was inexplicable and it was thought that God had decided that it was time for the person to die.
It later came to mean that the person died of natural causes. It was a verdict often given by Coroner’s juries, particularly in the 19th century. It was very rare that any autopsy was held and a doctor would give his opinion from the physical evidence of the body before him and the accounts he heard from others of the health of the deceased.
Also the coroner was only really concerned with the detection of crime, so the medical reason for the death did not matter to him once criminality had been ruled out.
Image taken from page 200 of ‘Hypocrites … With illustrations by René. [A novel.]’
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Title: "Hypocrites … With illustrations by René. [A novel.]"
Author: DAVIDSON, Hugh Coleman.
Shelfmark: "British Library HMNTS 012641.e.12."
Place of Publishing: London
Date of Publishing: 1892
Publisher: Sampson Low, Marston & Co.
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