Miles, Richard

Miles, Richard        1884 September 27th           Maiden Bradley

On Tuesday, Mr R A Wilson, Coroner, held an inquiry at the “Somerset Arms,” relative to the death of Richard Miles, 78, laborer, who for some years had been in relief of parish relief, and who on Saturday morning cut his throat in a frightful manner, succumbing to his injuries on Sunday morning. Mr Daniel Wright was chosen foreman of the jury.

The first witness called was Emma Garrett, niece of the deceased who lived with him and his wife. This witness stated that she slept with her grandmother, and deceased occupied an adjoining bedroom. On Saturday morning shortly after six o’clock her grandmother heard deceased going downstairs. She called and asked him where he was going, and deceased intimated that he was only going outside. Witness got up at seven to get breakfast and at the bidding of her grandmother went to call the deceased. Not finding him, she went to the woodhouse, and there discovered him lying on the ground in a pool of blood moaning. She called assistance, and the deceased was removed into the house. Witness had never heard deceased threaten to put an end to his life, and did not suspect he would do so.

Maria Miles, widow of the deceased, stated that for some time deceased’s appetite had failed him, and he was very weak, being very moody and silent on the previous Thursday.

John Bailey, gardener and a neighbour, having deposed to assisting deceased into his house, and to finding the razor produced covered with blood.

Mr J Bothwell, surgeon, of Horningsham, said he was called to see deceased on Saturday morning. He found him lying on a bed on the floor with his throat cut, the wound extending about four inches, and completely severing the windpipe. He cleaned the wound, and asked the deceased why he had committed the act. Deceased said, “To be out of the way.” Witness saw deceased again the same evening, when he appeared to be better, having taken some nourishment during the day. He did not see him again alive.

The Coroner thought it was clear that deceased had committed suicide whilst labouring under a fit of temporary insanity, and the jury returned a verdict in accordance with the coroner’s recommendation.

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