Gibbs, Henry

Gibbs, Henry       1887 September 17th        Wilton

An inquest was held at the Pembroke Arms Hotel, Wilton, on Wednesday afternoon, before Mr R A Wilson, touching the death of Henry Gibbs, in the employ of the Earl of Pembroke.

Job West, a groom, in Lord Pembroke’s employ, said that he, Henry Gibbs, and others were out exercising horses at half past six that (Wednesday) morning in Wilton Park. They were in line (walking exercise) and Gibbs was the last but one. He was riding one horse and leading another. There were some deer in a little cover as they passed along and they rushed through the shrubs, whereupon the horse ridden by Gibbs made a start; and the deceased could not manage it. It went up the hill, turned round to come home and then went out of sight. That was the last they saw of the deceased until they saw him lying on the ground on his side, close to two trees. The horse had gone on home. Witness’s fellow servant went to the deceased and undid his necktie. Witness went to get some brandy. Deceased must have been struck by the branches of the tree. There were marks of the horse’s hoofs close by. The deceased did not speak. He had not ridden the horse previously. The animal had not run away before, to witness’s knowledge. Deceased let go his hold of the horse he was leading.

Arthur Jenvey, also a groom in the employ of the Earl of Pembroke, said that he was out that morning exercising the horses. Six of them were out with the animals galloping. He did not see the deceased fall. When they saw the body witness got off and undid deceased’s tie. Deceased did not speak; he made not the least sound. There was a mark across the deceased’s face, and witness concluded that it was caused by a branch of a tree, deceased being close to a tree.

Robert Mitchell, stud groom to Lord Pembroke, said that Henry Gibbs had been in the employ of his lordship about six weeks. His age was 23. They had had the horse which the deceased was riding for about four years. It was never known the run away with anyone before. It was a hunter. The deceased was very steady and sober. He was a very good servant and a very good horseman.

George Buchan, medical practitioner, said that he saw the body of the deceased that morning – about 20 minutes or half an hour after the accident happened, he should think. Deceased appeared to have had a fracture of the skull, which caused instant death. The mark on the face was evidently caused by a branch of a tree.

A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned. The home of the deceased, who was a single man, was at Lynwood, near Ringwood.

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