Self, Thomas

Self, Thomas         1879 February 1st              Winterbourne

The inhabitants of this little village on Friday morning, were greatly surprised on learning that the dead body of Mr Thomas Self, farm bailiff, of Woodford, was discovered lying beside an overturned vehicle, on a cross-road leading to Netton. It was supposed that the horse which deceased was driving shied, and threw him out of the trap rendering his insensible, or injuring him to such an extent that he died from exhaustion.

At the inquest on the following day, before the deputy-coroner, Mr R Wilson, jun., held at the house of the deceased, Reuben Smith, of Winterbourne Dauntsey, said that on Thursday evening at about five o’clock deceased called at his house, on the way home from Salisbury, about a “deal of pigs.” He stopped at his house until half past eight, and took tea with them, and also drank three glasses of whiskey and water. During the evening, and when he left, deceased seemed in his usual health and in very good spirits. Witness lighted deceased through the stream that ran near his house. Deceased was driving a four-wheel. On Friday morning he was called to see the deceased, and found him lying on his face, quite dead, about three or four hundred yards from his house. The lane through which deceased had to pass was very dark, with the bushes hanging over on each side. The side-boards of the four-wheel were broken. He believed the deceased was 40 years of age.

Stephen Saunders, labourer, of Winterbourne Dauntsey, said at about half past eight on Friday morning as he was going home to breakfast, he found the body of the deceased in the road, quite cold and dead. The four-wheel was turned over on its side, and the pony, in its harness, was standing by its side. The wheels of the trap, had apparently gone up the bank, about a couple of yards from the spot on the right hand side of the road going from Winterbourne.

Dr Coates said he knew the deceased but he not attended him professionally. He had examined the body, and found several large and severe contusions on the left side of the forehead and face, and the bones of the nose were smashed. The injuries to the face were quite sufficient to cause concussion of the brain and probably instantaneous death. At all events complete insensibility.

A verdict of “Accidental Death” was returned.

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