Copp, James

Copp, James          1884 July 12th          Chippenham

An inquest was held at the Great Western Hotel on Tuesday morning by Mr Baker, coroner, on the body of James Copp, who committed suicide on Saturday afternoon.

George Harris, a carman in the employ of Mr J C Wall, said he knew the deceased by sight. His name was James Copp, he was a smith, and was 44 years of age.

Charles Burgess, smith, living in the hamlet, Langley-road, said he knew the deceased, having worked with him for about seven months at Messrs Exton’s Hercules Iron Works. On Monday morning, about 9.30, he was taking a walk to Hardenhuish, and when opposite Mr Knight’s gate, at the bottom of the hill, he noticed that the gate was partly open and the little dog he had with him ran in and began barking, upon which he went into the field and saw a corpse lying in the ditch inside the field. It was lying a little on the right side and there as a lot of blood about. He did not recognise the deceased for a time. A little boy at Hardenhuish was the first to recognise the deceased as a man that stood in the market and sold tools.

Superintendent Barrett said that he went to a field in the Malmesbury-road called Ruggs field, in Langley Burrell parish, where he saw the body and recognised it as that of James Copp. It was lying in a ditch about five yards from the gate. He saw a great cut in the throat, extending almost from ear to ear. On moving the body he found a razor covered with blood. The clothes were not deranged. The deceased’s watch was in his pocket stopped and he found on him £6 1s. He had known deceased for some months previously, and knew that he was very nervous about whether he should succeed in his business.

Dr Daly said he examined the body. He found a wound in the throat 9½ inches long, extending from below the left ear right across the throat to within a short distance of the angle of the right jaw. The left jugular vein was completely severed, and the carotid artery partially so. Death must have been almost instantaneous. The wound must have been inflicted with a sharp instrument such as a razor, which must have been passed several times, as there was the commencement of four wounds which merged into one. He was of opinion that deceased died from hemorrhage. The wound had the appearance of being self inflicted.

The jury returned a verdict that the deceased committed suicide by cutting his throat with a razor whilst of an unsound mind. The deceased, we believe, was a native of Tiverton.

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