May, Charles

May, Charles         1885 January 17th           Lake

On Wednesday, while some men were engaged in felling a tree here, a boy named Charles Henry May, who was in charge of some horses and a cart loaded with dung, was very seriously injured owing to the horses, which were startled by the crash, running off and the cart going over the boy, who had been thrown to the ground. He was taken to the Salisbury Infirmary as quickly as possible, but died in a few hours after his admission.

The inquest on the body of the unfortunate lad was held at the Infirmary on Thursday by the deputy-Coroner for the city (Mr W C Powning) and a jury (of whom Mr P Brown was foreman).

Mr M S Wilson, house surgeon, deposed that he examined the lad on his being brought to the institution. The only external injury that he could find was a bruise on the right hip and thigh. The lad was, however, in a state of general collapse. Some internal injury – either rupture or hemorrhage – must have caused his death, which resulted at seven o’clock, about two hours after the lad’s admission. This opinion he based on the appearance of the lad, and the statement of the lad’s mother that the wheels of the cart had gone over the lad’s stomach. The lad himself was sensible, and complained of pain in the lower part of the abdomen.

Rosanna May, wife of Charles May, laborer, and mother of the deceased boy, said the lad would have been 12 years old on Saturday. He was in the employ of Mr G Sidford, farmer, of Lake. She saw nothing of the accident; she first heard of it on being sent for in the afternoon. On going to where the accident occurred she found the lad in a fly. He told her that the horse had trod either on his foot or leg – she was not sure which, but she should say his foot as his boot was broken; and that he was thrown down and that the wheel went across his bowel. He complained of pain both in his foot and bowels.

Silas Warren, fly-driver, Salisbury, said that on the previous afternoon at about half past three he was driving through Lake, when he saw the deceased lying on the bank by the side of the road. Previous to that he learnt from a carter named Penny that the horses attached to a manure waggon had run away, one of the wheels of the cart going over the boy who had been thrown down by the horses. They lifted the boy up in his fly, but he was unable to sit on the seat or to stand up. He brought the lad to the Infirmary. He heard that the cause of the horses’ running away was the noise of the falling of a tree in a neighbouring wood. The carter told him that he was spreading manure in a field when he heard the tree fall, and then immediately after heard the horses galloping away. The tree which was felled was quite out of sight; and he had been told that the men who felled the tree knew nothing of the catastrophe until afterwards.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death,” and gave their fees to the mother of the boy.


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