Maton, William

Maton, William    1885 April 18th           Devizes

Early on Thursday morning in last week a cottage situated in Knight’s Court, in the Market Place, was found to be on fire. The policeman on duty in the neighbourhood gave the alarm, and on entering the house a shocking scene presented itself, the sole occupant – an old man named William Maton, a painter – being on the ground dead and charred.

The fire was quickly subdued. Some neighbours heard the old man brought home about eleven in an apparently helpless condition, but as this was not unusual, no notice was taken of it. The deceased had not taken his clothes off.

An inquest was subsequently held at the Black Swan hotel before Mr G S A Waylen, borough coroner, on the body of the deceased. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.” The Coroner strongly commended the conduct of PC Robinson, by whose efforts, he said, a great calamity had doubtless been averted. It is fortunate that the constable entered the court when he did, or the whole place might have been in flames, and other lives have been sacrificed, as the court is composed of several very old dwellings.


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