1885

There were 45 cases reported in 1885. There were three in January at Westbury, the Coroner commenting that Matthew Bigwood should have sought relief and found shelter at the workhouse – personally, I sympathised with the deceased in his desire to remain at home.

There were, as ever, a number of terrible burning cases. Youngster Herbert Pearce was the victim of a spilt basin of hot water, and toddler Bertie Pain put a kettle of boiling water in his mouth and drank. William Collett fell through a fissure in a burning bank of sawdust, clay, ashes and other industrial waste that he was supposed to be levelling for the Great Western Railway Company – I noted the accidental verdict with some cynicism. William Maton was too far gone in drink to know his house was on fire.

The perils of drink were also brought home to Mr Annett, who was tried for the manslaughter of George Lomax, his foreman at copse work. It was the end of the work in that particular wood, and a large barrel of beer was brought in for the workmen. Even good working friendships could not survive that. Drink and politics seem to have contributed equally in the accident resulting in the death of Alfred Gay

Ringwood was struck by several tragedies, one partly revolving around the will of the father – Edward Wiltshire – of a family, upon which the son – also Edward Wiltshire – killed himself. Another Ringwood case was that of John Ward, a cobbler whose sideline in photography having been defeated by competition, and the bailiffs having evicted him, his wife, children and furniture, came to a grotty hovel in Salisbury, and a day later he disappeared.

My own grandfather’s state was similar to David Rogers. Both were fish-hawkers, both travelled about delivering in all weathers seemingly lacking proper coats, both died really from inability to fully care for themselves as we deem it.

Garrett, George                                         Farley

Ball, Joseph ; Butler, Kituria ; Bigwood, Matthew     Westbury

Roberts, Jane                                            Mottisfont

Pearce, Herbert                                         Trowbridge

Watts, Mabel                                             Westbury

May, Charles                                             Lake

Smith infant                                             Durrington

Hacker, Lucy                                            Westbury

Whiting, Leonora                                      Frome

Bendle, Albert                                          Frome

Harding, William                                       Wincanton

Wiltshire, Edward snr                                 Ringwood

Pain, Bertie

Nuth, Benjamin                                        Everleigh

Harris, Elizabeth                                       Corton

Yates, Ann                                               Dinton

Collett, William                                        Swindon

Wiltshire, Edward jnr                                 Ringwood

Heath, Richard                                         Bishopstoke

Brown, Henry                                           Trowbridge

Ward, John                                               Salisbury/ Ringwood

Maton, William                                         Devizes

Baulch, Lilian

Whatley, William

Payne, Samuel ; Coniam, John                   Trowbridge

Payne, Ann                                              Heytesbury

Champion, Emily                                      Warminster

Rogers, David

Walters, George ; Coombs, William             Frome

Lomax, George                                         Romsey

Gurr, Phoebe                                            Swindon

Smith, George                                          Norton Bavant

Player, Henry                                           Westbury

Knowles, Edward                                       Bemerton

Elkins, John                                              Westbury

Udall, George                                          Warminster/Eversley

Ford infant                                               Stockton

Tutt, Charles

Pretty, John                                              Sherrington

Payne, Charles                                         Quidhampton

Gay, Alfred                                               Whiteparish

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