Fryar, Henry 1874 December 26th
On Thursday morning last, at the London-road Inn, Winchester-street, Dr Young, the city coroner, held an inquest relative to the death of Henry Fryar, a man in the employ of Mr Keene, coal dealer and inn-keeper, of the Star Inn, Brown-street, who was killed the preceding evening whilst in charge of a waggon laden with coals, which he was conveying to a house in Elm-grove, on the London-road. The facts are fully disclosed in the following evidence.
Mr Keene, the deceased’s employer, said he had known him for a good many years. He was generally a sober and steady man. Witness had given him orders to take out coals, to be delivered at various places, amongst others at the house of Mr Roe in Elm-grove. At the same time he cautioned him not to take out the waggon and horse, as in the present state of the weather it was dangerous, but to convey the coals by means of a truck. Deceased, however, persisted in taking the waggon with the fatal result which followed.
John Mitchell, a dairyman, said : I was standing in the street near Cooper’s new buildings about five o’clock, when I saw the deceased driving along a waggon of coals. I spoke to him in reference to certain people in a house close by who were shifting their things and asked him if he had business at the house. He said he had not, and passed on. A few minutes afterwards I heard moan and a cry. I said to my daughter, “Hark! that man had upset the waggon,” and we ran as fast as we could and saw that it was so. He was lying underneath it, and we asked if he thought he could move if we tried to shift the waggon. He replied only with a groan and then we tried to move the waggon but we could not do it, and we were obliged to go for help. If any had been at hand at the time he might have been saved. I got assistance and at length got him loose. He was much exhausted then, but not quite dead. The man who helped me laid him aside on the bank whilst further assistance was being procured. When that help came he was dead and removed.
The Coroner : Was it a large waggon?
Witness : No; one that carried about a ton. It was no doubt upset in being turned round. I believe this to have been quite an accident, and I think the deceased was quite sober when it occurred.
By a juryman : The horse did not kick or struggle much, and I do not think it hurt him at all. The waggon lay upon the deceased’s chest.
The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death,” without requiring any further evidence.