Chislett, Henry

Chislett, Henry             1869 April 17th           Mere

An inquest was held at the workhouse on Friday before Mr Wilson, coroner, and a respectable jury, of whom Mr W Goldsborough was foreman, on the body of Henry Chislett, 12 years of age, who lost his life by playing with gunpowder.

From the evidence adduced it appeared the deceased was bird-keeping on Mere Down Farm, on Sunday, the 4th instant, about half past two in the afternoon. Two little boys, belonging to Charles Morgan, a labourer on the said farm, ran home to tell their father that Chislett had run into the pond. Morgan found the boy had got out of the pond and was there standing at the gate in a fainting condition. He was most fearfully burnt about the thighs and lower parts of his body. He was led to the farm, where Mr T H Baker applied some flour and sheets and sent him down to Mere Workhouse.

Mr Rumsey was speedily in attendance, and found the boy in a sad condition. On Wednesday the boy died from the severe burns and shock to the system. Mr T H Baker went to the spot where the accident happened and found a hole in the ground about one foot square and six inches deep, filled with wood ashes. It was stated by the little boys that the deceased had poured out a quantity of gunpowder into a piece of paper and then put it into the hole on the wood ashes. The deceased when all in a blaze, had run 200 yards to put out the fire. Had he not done so he must have been burnt to death on the spot.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”

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