Author Topic: Coroners Bills 1752-1796 Aldbourne - the Wiltshire OPC  (Read 21 times)

Michael Caswell

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Coroners Bills 1752-1796 Aldbourne - the Wiltshire OPC
« on: February 12, 2021, 05:33:49 am »
Coroners Bills 1752-1796 Aldbourne - the Wiltshire OPC

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It was a frequent practice that if a person was sentenced to be hanged, the body was also determined to be - dissected and anatomized! I guess they needed them for research!

21 Oct. 1772. Aldbourne. Mary Bacon, aged under one: fell out of her motherís arms into a bucket wherein was some water, her mother Rebecca Bacon being asleep and not waking until a neighbouring woman came in and found the child dead; accidental death. 22miles. £1 16s.6d.

8 Feb. 1787. Westbury. John King: found dead in Gibbsís Close; it appeared to be the effect of drinking spiritous liquors just before. 13 miles. £1 9s. 9d.

13 Nov. 1789. The county prison, Devizes. William Lacon, aged about 15, committed by Thomas Phipps and Thomas Hale Phipps. esqs, being charged on oath before them on suspicion of feloniously setting fire to the house of his schoolmaster, Mr Thomas Williams, at Bratton and also, on his own confession, in the night of 4 Sept., to the late dwelling-house of Gaisford Gibbs, esq., at Westbury, then occupied and used as a school by Thomas Williams, whereby the house and outhouses adjoining were consumed together with a large quantity of wool and other things therein: being sound and collected of mind and of good and mature understanding, strangled himself with a silk handkerchief tied and placed with both hands round his neck and fastened to the back of a chair; felodese. £1.

27 Nov. 1787. Parish of St John the Baptist, Devizes. Thomas Platt, a prisoner in Devizes prison, committed by the mayor as a rogue and vagabond, having been found wandering and begging in the said parish: he was confined and found dead in a cell, greatly emaciated in his body and limbs. For further information the inquest was adjourned to the next day, when it was found that the allowance of a twopenny loaf per day is a very short and scanty one, inadequate to and insufficient for the support and maintenance of the body of any man, that Thomas died from want of such support and the coldness of his situation proceeding from the inclement weather of the season and not from any violence, duress, or other severity from the hands of the keeper of the prison or his deputy, he being directed at the time of receiving Thomasís body into his custody so to place and confine him in the said cell. £1. Adjoumment,£1.

4 M ar. 1767. Blackland. James Bewley: killed by an unlucky blow he received from Thomas his brother in fighting; manslaughter. 9 miles. £1 6s. 9d.
[At Salisbury assizes, 14 Mar. 1767, Thomas was convicted of manslaughter on the inquest and was sentenced to be burnt on the hand: ASSI 23/7.]

7 Feb. 1771. Hannington Wick. Elizabeth Johnston: on 30 Jan. murdered; Henry Gale of Hannington was found guilty. 24 miles. £1 18s.

[At Salisbury assizes, 9 Mar. 1771, Henry was convicted of murdering Elizabeth Johnson on both the indictment and the inquest and was sentenced to be hanged on 15 Mar., his body to be dissected and anatomized:


12 Sept. 1781. Longbridge Deverill. Sarah Line, aged under 4: her mother, having got, as she imagined, some physic powder from an empiric or quack in the same parish, gave it to Sarah who, instantly after taking it, was seized with the most excruciating pains, vomitings, convulsions, and every symptom of being poisoned, and the same evening died. On dissection it was very evident she died of poison, but the person from whom the supposed physic came not being found together with the defect of other witnesses necessary to make appear whether the poison was given and taken intentionally or ignorantly, by mistake or accident, or in either case by whom the punish- ment or censure was incurred, adjournment to 17 Sept. when it was proved without a shadow of doubt that the child had taken nothing but the powder which was had from the quack and, he then not giving a satisfactory account how the unhappy mistake or accident happened, he was bound in recognizance to appear at the next assizes; special verdict. 24 miles. £1 18s. Adjournment, £1 18s.


25 Aug. 1782. Melksham. William Southernwood: being confined in a prison or round-house, in which was previously placed a large quantity of gunpowder, being the property and for the use of the military cavalry there quartered and stationed, he wickedly set fire to and kindled it, whereby the house was blown up and thrown down to the ground; a great part of the stones and ruins thereof, falling on his body and limbs, so crushed him that his left leg was immediately amputated, but he soon died of the injuries, contusions, fractures,etc. 7miles. £15s.3d.

12 Sept. 1782. Heytesbury- James Edgell: taken up dead on the road in the night. No person attending the enquiry to give the least information how he came to his death and those who were or should have been in his company having gone on to a cheese fair, adjournment to the next day when the parties appeared. They had all drunk too freely at Warminster and,riding very fast, the deceased fell to the ground and was instantly killed. 16 miles. £1 12s. Adjournment.£1 12s.


18 Oct. 1783. Potterne Wick in Potterne. John Glass, aged under 8: had not been justly treated by his father, William Glass, but suffered to ramble, wander, and beg from place to place, lying under hovels, etc. , and at length died at his fatherís house; facts collected and appearing against the father and mother-in-law [se. step-mother] not amounting to any degree of homicide, the deceased being also of a roving, perverse disposition, it was found that from his wandering and bad lying he was sadly infested with vermin and otherwise much disease

18 Mar. 1788. Marden. Gifford Maslin, a poor child, thought to have been ill-treated by his aunt who had the care of him: on dissection, his bowels were found full of worms, and other evidence cleared the woman. 7miles. £15s.3d.

13 May 1788. Charnham Street in Hungerford. A new-born female child, born of Martha Fry: to all appearance still-born. 24 miles. £1 18s.


16 June 1788. Woodhill Park in Clyffe Pypard. A female infant bastard, born of Ann Richens: after a very strict inquiry it was found that if the infant did receive any injury from the mother it was accidentally. 15 miles.
£1 lls. 3d.

23 Mar. 1789. St Maryís chapelry, Devizes. James White, infant: suffocated in a chamber in his fatherís house, having got down too far under the bed-clothes of a bed he had been placed in by his mother. £1.

5 Feb. 1790. Dauntsey. A female base-bom infant: its mother, a vagrant, was thought to have injured it, but it was not so found.

16 Feb. 1790. St John's parish, Devizes. Mary Ann Bailey, an infant of Martha and Thomas Bailey, people of bad fame and suspected to have destroyed this as also former infants: she was subject to fits and, if injured or overlain, it was from want of care and the effects of too much liquor in the parents; the death was not caused wilfully. £1.

16 July 1790. Mere Farm in Mildenhall. Betty the illegitimate daughter of Mary Pinnegar, aged about 8: was lying but slightly covered with hay in a field and so much hurt by the wheels of a waggon passing close to her side that she died soon after she was taken up. 19 miles. £1 14s. 3d.

6 Aug. 1790. Ditteridge near Middlehill and Box. A male infant, born of Hannah Clements: not injured by her, as suspected. 16 miles. £1 12s

30Dec.1790. Crockerton in Sutton Veny. A male illegitimate child,
aged about 2, suspected to have been unfairly treated by his mother: acci- dentally fell on the fire and was burnt to death. 22 miles. £1 16s. 6d

4May1791. Bradford on Avon. John Scot,aged under 5 weeks:with his twin brother Thomas, on account of restlessness and illness was given by the mother Elizabeth as a remedy or medicine a small quantity of syrup of poppy and after it died from some unseen distemperature or natural death, not from any intentional hurt from the mother or any other person. 13 miles. £1 9s. 9d.

13May1791. Horningsham. James Carpenter, servant to the Revd  Mr William Ireland, aged under 20: he having had some words of dispute with Elias Harvey, servant to Mr William Everet there, they met in Everetís garden in the evening to settle it by fighting. Elias, although aged under 15 or thereabout, was far more active and dexterous in fighting than James who was inactive and unwieldy as well from being big and fat as having drunk too much beer. They exchanged blows and falls with each other for a considerable time. James, after falling on the grass plat and pitching head first on the ground, was taken ill and, immediately on being asked, gave in to Elias with whom he then shook hands as he had before the encounter began. He was directly taken from the garden to a bed in Mr Everettís house. was very soon insensible, and, after lying in that state for about 6 hours, died. The jurors found that Elias was an infant and not apprised of and not of discretion to see the danger and frequent consequence of fighting and had not the least intention of violence or malice towards James; they discharged him of any degree or description of homicide beyond an accident. 22miles. £1 16s.6d.

1772 16 May 1791. Bradford on Avon. Richard Nash: on the evening of
14 May very imprudently and with a bad design was in company with or very near a riotous, violent, and unlawful mob, met and collected together to assault and demolish the house of Mr Joseph Phelps, clothier of Bradford on Avon, by throwing stones thereby beating in its windows and walls so that the life and property of Mr Phelps and the lives of his wife and children were in great danger. Mr Phelps and other gentlemen, his neighbours and friends, remonstrated and cautioned the mob to desist and depart or otherwise to expect the consequence of their firing amongst them. This and much more not having the desired effect, Mr Phelps with his friends discharged among the said people first of all pieces charged with gunpowder only, but afterwards those loaded and charged with the addition of shot and ball, by which means Richard and 2 others were killed; justifiable defence. 13 miles. £1 9s. 9d

1816 22 Dec. 1791. Avoncliff in Westwood parish. William Gibbence, aged about l2: with many others, younger as well as older, was employed in managing and working the late improved machines and engines for cloth- making and inadvertently in his playtime put and buckled one end of a long leather strap round his waist, the other end of which was taken hold of by a large upright piece of timber called the main shaft, constantly turning and working the engines, whereby William was whirled round with great force, his body bruised, and his limbs shattered and beaten off , so that he instantly died. 16miles. £1 12s.


1827 16 Mar. 1792, adjourned to 20 Mar. to collect and take down other evidence. Bradford on Avon. A male child, aged about 2. son of James and Jane Harding: murder by James by starving and ill-treatment. 13 miles. £19 5. 9d. Adjournment, £1 9s. 9d.
[James was taken to Devizes prison by the constable of Bradford on Avon (see 1839), and at Salisbury assizes, 21 July 1792, was convicted of the murder on both the indictment and the inquest and sentenced to be hanged on 25 July, his body to be delivered to Mr Alexander Forsyth, surgeon. for dissection and anatomization: ASSI 23/8.]

26 Jan. 1768. Britford. Wolf Myers: murder by John Curtis. 2miles. £1ls.6d. [At Salisbury assizes, 5Mar.1768, John Curtis alias Curtells was convicted of assaulting Wolf in the highway and robbing him of a silver watch worth £2 and other goods;and of his murder on the indictment. He was sentenced to be hanged. On 9 Mar. his execution was respited until 14 Mar. when he was to be hanged by the neck until dead on a gibbet to be erected in a conspicuous part of Lower Burnbake Field in Britford within view of the roads from Salisbury to Blandford Forum and Shaftesbury, his body then to be hanged in chains on the gibbet; and in the meantime his diet of bread and water was relaxed: ASSI 23/7.]
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