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Saturday, January 26, 2013

50 ways to die in Victorian Cornwall- Part One



A sift through the West Briton 1837-45

1. 9th January 1836
On Tuesday last, an inquest was held at Bodmin by Joseph Hamley, Esq. on the body of an inhabitant of that Town called Michael Weary, who was found hanging in his dwelling house. It appeared in evidence that the deceased who was a respectable and industrious farmer, and had formerly lived in the parish of Cardinham, but latterly come to reside with his son at Bodmin, that last week his son had gone off taking with him all the property the old man possessed, from which circumstance, he had become very desponding and had committed suicide. Verdict, temporary insanity.

2. 29 January
A timber ship called the "Agenoria," bound to Telgamouth, landed yesterday at Falmouth, (with) ten sailors, taken off the "Frances Spright" bound from St. John's New Brunswick, to Limerick, which vessel was fallen in with, waterlogged, on the 23rd ult in latitude 40 deg. N, longitude 37 deg 21 min W. The poor men had been 28 days on the wreck, and suffered dreadfully, and for several days had been reduced to the extremity of subsisting on the dead bodies of some of their comrades.

3. 12 February 1836, Friday
Disasters at Sea - The "Fanny" of St. Ives, belonging to Mr. James Sandow, has been lost during the late gales, and the whole of the crew, including Mr. Sandow's two sons, one of whom was the Captain and the other the Mate, have met with watery deaths. The stern of the vessel has been washed on shore near Newquay.

4. 4 MARCH 1836
St. Blazey - An inquest was held at the Cornish Arms Inn, St. Blazey, before J. Hambly, Esq. and a respectable jury, on view of the body of Mr. John Harris of St. Austell, who was found dead near the former place early on the morning of the day above mentioned.  It appears that the deceased had been sent by his brother-in-law, Mr. R. Williams, butcher, to a farm near Lostwithiel, and on his return he incautiously lay down to rest himself, and in consequence of the severity of the weather had become so benumbed as to have been unable to rise again, and in this state died.  Deceased was about 41 years of age, and has respectable connections "Verdict - found dead.

5. 18 March 1836
A man named Canenon was killed on the 10th instant at the Carnbrea Mines, in the parish of Illogan; a train which he had laid for the purpose of blasting a rock exploded and crushed him so much, that he survived the accident but a few hours.

6. 6 May 1836, Friday
Before Hosken James, Esq. County Coroner. Yesterday week, at the dwelling house of Mr. Trevorrah, Innkeeper, in the Parish of Redruth, - Francis Rule, a boy of about eleven years of age, whose death was occasioned by the following circumstances.
The deceased, in the service of Mr. Goggin, tailor, of Redruth, accompanied the 14 yr. old son of his master to St. Day, to care for his horse while the son took care of various commissions. He got on the horse behind his young master, and the spirited horse ran off and threw the deceased, who was so much hurt in the head by the fall that he died the same evening. Verdict, accidental death. Deodand, s.

7. 3 June 1836, Friday
Hydrophobia - On Monday last, the inhabitants of St. Austell were thrown into considerable excitement by a report that several persons were bitten by a dog supposed to be in a rabid state.  The report was soon confirmed, and it was ascertained that three persons, several dogs, pigs &c were bitten.  To prevent a recurrence of so dreadful an evil, a public meeting was held in the market-house, on Tuesday morning.....resulting in resolutions requiring all person who have dogs to confine them, and to destroy them if supposed rabid.  A reward of 10s was offered for the destruction of the dog above referred to, and 2s 6d for any other which might be found at large after due notice of the passing of the resolutions.  To meet any expenses which might be incurred a subscription was immediately opened, and in the course of a few hours a large amount was raised for the purpose.  We trust that the example thus set will prompt other towns to follow, and by timely interference prevent the possibility of such dreadful accidents from occurring.

8. 17 June 1836
Dreadful Accident - On Tuesday last, as a girl of about eleven years of age, of the name of Mary Quick, daughter of Mr. Thomas Quick, was returning from school in St. Ives, a kettle of boiling water was incautiously thrown upon her, by a person whose door she was passing, which scalded her so dreadfully that her life is despaired of.

9. 24 June 1836
Dreadful Accident
On Saturday last, as Mr. James Quick, of Trevega, was removing his horses from the whim, in Trevega Mine, in the parish of Zennor, the kibble slipped from the hook and the whim was, in consequence, pulled round with such violence, that he was knocked down by the bar, and his ribs, back bone, and limbs, were so dreadfully fractured, that no hopes are entertained of his recovery.

10. 1 July 1836, Friday
Coroner's Inquest - On Friday last, an inquest was held before Hosken James, Esq. at the schoolhouse, in the parish of Feock, in this County, on the body of Paul Thomas, a youth of about 15 years and the son of the schoolmaster. (John Gay was sinking a well close by, and finding the ground hard, was obliged to blast the rock with gunpowder. The youth, who assisted Gay, "put off the train", and was safely drawn up to the surface before the explosion took place. About a quarter of an hour later, unknown to Gay, he descended by the rope from the Windlass into the shaft.) Gay faintly heard him call to be pulled up, and immediately attempted to execute his wish, but the deceased fell out of the kibble three or four feet from the bottom, and never spoke afterwards, having, no doubt, been suffocated by the smoke. The body was taken up in about ten minutes, when life was found to be quite extinct. Verdict, accidental death.

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