Newman, James

Newman, James     1869 September 18th           Fisherton

On Monday afternoon, an inquest was held on the body of James Newman, by R M Wilson, Esq., coroner, at the Salisbury Infirmary, when the following evidence was given.

Michael Newman, a bricklayer, residing in Fisherton, deposed that his brother, the deceased, was 30 years of age last May. Did not see the accident, but saw deceased afterwards. He was at work in Mr Harding’s brickyard on Saturday afternoon, between 2 and 3 o’clock. His brother was in a different part of the yard. He heard the alarm of the clay having fallen from a boy who came to him; then he went to the spot, and succeeded in rescuing his brother. He was just buried under the clay which had fallen. He seemed very much hurt; and was sensible as soon as the clay was cleared away. Witness thought he was much injured although others thought differently. Came with him to the Infirmary the same afternoon. Was with him when he died, which was about 9 o’clock the same evening. He did not explain how the accident occurred. Witness had worked at the same work before now. The quantity of clay which fell upon his brother was not near so much as frequently fell. William Bowey worked at the side of him, and there was a boy not far off from both.

William Bowey, a brickmaker, of Fisherton, deposed : I was at work on Saturday with James Newman, and we were both clay digging in Messrs Harding’s brick yard. Deceased was the distance of four yards from me when the clay fell. The quantity of clay which fell on him was not more then 4cwt. What fell altogether would make 3000 of bricks – over a ton in weight it was. Deceased was entirely covered, but the clay was not much on the top of the body, by which I mean the face and the head. A portion of the clay hit me in the leg, and on the back, but very slightly. The pit in which we were working was about 9 feet deep. Witness did not anticipate danger at the time. Deceased was accustomed to work at this kind of work all his life, at different times.

Mr F R Fisher, house surgeon to the Infirmary, said the deceased was brought to the institution about a quarter past 3 o’clock on Saturday afternoon. He was suffering from injuries inflicted on the right side and on the bones of the face. He was also suffering from hemorrhage, which would probably be caused by the broken ribs perforating the lungs. He died about 9 o’clock. Witness considered the case hopeless from the first.

By a juror : He was conscious when he came in, and he retained his senses until half an hour before his death.

The Coroner remarked that this was a very sad accident, and he had heard that day that deceased had left behind him a widow and two children.

Mr Robert C Harding, in reply to the Coroner, said deceased had worked in the employment of his firm almost since his infancy, and he had always been a remarkably steady man.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death,” and found that no one was to blame. Michael Newman expressed to us his belief that if his brother had had the presence of mind to retreat in the same way as William Bowey did, when the clay was falling, that he might have escaped with but a very slight injury. Deceased was a very respectable man and was highly esteemed by his employer, Mr Harding, and all others to whom he was known. Great sympathy is felt for deceased’s widow and children.


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