Whitlock, Jesse

Whitlock, Jesse        1875 December 4th           Pitton

On Wednesday afternoon, at the Salisbury Infirmary, Mr G Smith, the Coroner, held an inquest on the body of Jesse Whitlock, aged 19, who came by his death under the subjoined circumstances. The following gentlemen were sworn on the jury : Mr Jenkins (foreman), Mr J Bingham, Mr B Pike, Mr J Powney, Mr S W Hyde, Mr J Moore, Mr J Barnett, Mr W Knight, Mr W Miles, Mr T Brooks, Mr F Dixon, Mr G Blanchett and Mr T Grist. After the jury had viewed the body, the following evidence was taken.

Mr M G Biggs said : I am the house surgeon at the Infirmary. This morning, at half past eleven o’clock, the deceased was brought in; he was then alive, and he lived for about a quarter of an hour, or twenty minutes. I examined him on admission. He had a wound on the right arm, just above the elbow. It was a gun-shot wound, and was evidently where the charge had entered. The bone was broken, the main artery torn across, and hemorrhage caused death. I have not probed the wound. The deceased was sensible when brought in, but he gave no account of the accident.

Charles Whitlock, shepherd, said : I live at Pitton Farm, and am the father of the deceased; I work for Mr Parsons. My son was 19 years old. He was a shepherd himself. This morning, at about half past eight o’clock, I went to Mr Thomas White’s house, where I saw my son. I asked how it happened. He said the gun was resting on the blades of the wagon which was in a field close to the farm, and, as he was taking it out, he supposed the trigger must have caught. I examined his arm and found there a great hole. He had the gun for the purpose of bird scaring, his master having just sown wheat. There were several people there, but nothing much was done to stop the bleeding. We wrapped a sheet around him, and rode all the way to the Infirmary in the carrier’s cart. His arm bled all the way. He was not in the habit of using guns. Last night, when he came home, his mother warned him to be careful, and, as one barrel was loaded, she asked him to let it off. He went out, but he could only see a sparrow to shoot at, and he did not fire. The gun was given him to scare away birds, and he was supplied with powder and wads; sometimes he might have shot of his own to kill a rook or two. I brought him to Salisbury as the first place available.

The Coroner : If you had bound up his arm he might have been kept alive.

Levi White, carrier, said he saw the deceased at his brother’s house, and there were a lot of women bustling about. He got a sheet, and pinned him up, and asked for something else, but it could not be found, and then he drove off to the Infirmary. The deceased bled all the way. On the way he gave him some brandy and hot water and that seemed to revive him, but shortly after he noticed a change, and shifted him from a laying position to a sitting one. He was not surprised to hear that he died a quarter of an hour afterwards.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death.”

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