Ward, James

Ward, James          1877 February 24th              Wilton

Yesterday an inquest was held at the Town Hall before Mr R M Wilson, Coroner, touching the death of James Ward, 50, who died on the previous from injuries on Monday last.

Ann Ward, widow of the deceased, stated that on Monday evening she was fetched by some child to go to her husband, and she found him lying down against the corner of the Town Hall. A man named William Dyer had hold of him by the shoulders and head, and there were some boys around him. Mr Dyer tried to raise him, and she assisted. He was taken indoors at about a quarter to seven, and he was then sensible. He told her he would tell her about it in the morning if she would let him lay and have his nap out, and she let him lay on the floor according to his wish. She sat up with him one part of the night, and Edwin Cutler remained with him the other part. She sent for the doctor next morning at about 10 o’clock, and Mr Stratton and Mr Good came. He was unable to swallow the medicine sent, and took no nourishment. After the doctor had seen him, he was removed upstairs, and died on Thursday at 20 minutes to 10. She didn’t think her husband had been drinking much on Monday, but he might have had a little. He remained insensible from Tuesday.

George Brewer, machinist, said he was standing with others waiting to hear the declaration of the poll, and heard a crowd behind him. He looked round, and found the deceased lying by his side, and some boys were dragging him by the tail of his coat. Witness caused them to desist, and spoke to the deceased, who asked for his basket three times, and that was all he heard him say. Witness carried him about 10 yards and then left him to the care of his wife. He didn’t think he was tipsy.

John ford, labourer, said he saw the deceased about seven o’clock on Monday, and it appeared that he had come from a public-house kept by Mr Holly. There were a lot of boys present, one pulling him one way and another another, but they appeared to be pulling him about only for game. He wouldn’t say he was drunk, but he had been drinking, and he was walking very unsteadily. He saw him fall three or four times. He fell down on the pavements, and two men came along and picked him up.

A juryman remarked that the deceased was a bad walker, and one would have always thought him drunk, judging from his walking.

Charles Robert Stratton, medical practitioner, said he was called to see the deceased on Tuesday morning, and he was then capable of being aroused. He was suffering from concussion of the brain, and he had wounds on his left temple, left elbow, both hips, both knees, right ankle, and right foot, which appeared to have been caused either by repeated falls or blows. He saw him frequently that day and the next, and treated him for the injuries he had received, but symptoms of compression came on, and he didn’t rally. He should say the deceased was not drunk; he suffered from gout and walked very unsteadily at the best of times.

Joseph Salloway, a boy attending the Wilton Free School, was examined, and said he didn’t see one boy pull the deceased’s coat tails, but it appeared he was only present a portion of the time during which the deceased was on the ground.

A verdict of “Accidental Death” was returned.

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