Main, Thomas

Main, Thomas        1883 February 24th          Woodcutts

Mr Atkinson, district coroner, held an inquest on Thursday, February 16th, at the house of Edward Maidment, concerning the death of Thomas Main, aged 63 years, who met his death on returning from Blandford on Tuesday, the 16th inst.

Mr Preston Henry Purkiss, landlord of the “Star” inn, Shaftesbury, said : I did not know the deceased and to the best of my knowledge had never seen him before the day of the accident. I was driving from Tarrant Hinton towards Thick Thorne on Tuesday, the 13th of February, and saw a waggon some distance in front of me, and afterwards found it was drawn by three horses. When about fifty yards behind the waggon I saw a man, who was walking beside the leading horse, apparently stagger and fall between the horse and the left fore wheeler and both wheels on the left side of the waggon passed over him. I drove up to him and getting out of my trap found the man was dead; he never moved after the wheels went over him. I could not say whether he breathed or not. He fell on his chest, the wheels going over the back of his head, his face being marked by the gravel; the legs were away from the waggon, on the left side.

It was broad daylight; between four and five o’clock. When the man fell the whip was in his hand. I do not know whether the whip struck the horses or not, but they started to gallop. I am certain that the horses were going at an ordinary pace and had not started before the man fell. On finding the man was dead I left him and got into my trap and overtook the horses, stopped them, took off the leader and tied him on behind the waggon. I then went on to Thick Thorn for assistance, and with two men went back to where deceased was lying, finding on our arrival that two men had come up to him from the direction of Tarrant Hinton. One of the men who had come with me from Thick Thorn then went back for the waggon, and together we placed the body on it and drove it to Thick Thorn where I asked the men to see the body taken home. I then drove to Shaftesbury. The waggon was loaded with coal.

James Rendall, labourer, living at Thick Thorn, said : I was at home about a quarter to five on Tuesday the 13th when Mr Parkiss, the last witness, called and asked if there was anyone who could go to help him, as the waggon had gone over Mr Street’s carter and killed him. I went out with James Parker and we all got into Mr Purkiss’s trap and drove up the hill toward Tarrant Hinton. When we were near the body I saw two men get to it from the direction of Tarrant Hinton. I found the man was quite dead. The other men got there just before us. I then went for the waggon and two horses, tying the other horse to some rails; went back with the waggon to where the body was and assisted to put it on the waggon, and went with it to Cashmore. The body was not taken into the public-house, as Mrs Kendall said the best thing they could do with it was to take it home, the man being dead. The son of deceased and another young man then took the waggon and body home. Mrs Kendall did not refuse to take the body in, but said as the man was dead they had better take him to his home.

John Isaac, labourer, of Farnham, working upon the road, said : I was coming home from work and saw the man lying dead. I stood and looked at him for a minute or two, but did not like to touch him. The man had passed me while I was at work between Pimperne and Tarrant Hinton. I saw nothing the matter with him; he was then riding in the waggon. Just after I got to the body, Mr Parkiss and two men came up and Rendell went back for the waggon and we put the body on it. I went to Cashmore.

The witness then confirmed the evidence of James Rendall as to Mrs Kendall saying, “if the man is dead you may as well take the body home,” and that she did not refuse to take it in.

The jury, of which Mr W Bennett was foreman, returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.” Several jurors remarked they considered a boy ought to have been sent with the man as had three horses.

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