Hinder, Eustace

Hinder, Eustace         1889 July 27th                Melksham

Fatal Accident to a Bicyclist at Melksham

On Monday, Mr F T Sylvester, coroner, held an inquest at the King’s Arms, Melksham, on the body of Eustace Francis Hinder, aged 32, auctioneer, who met his death under the following circumstances.

On Friday afternoon he was out riding a safety bicycle – he being an “ordinary” rider and a member of the Cyclist’s Club – and in descending the bridge from the Canal Bridge, Spa Road, close to his residence, it is supposed he placed both his feet on the rest bar in front. He met a horse and cart coming in the opposite direction, and had he remained seated as he was, the probability is the machine would have passed safely, as he had full control over it with his hands; but it is thought that he put one foot on the treadle, which caused it to swerve, or he might have met with some obstruction to his leading wheel. At all events, he collided with the cart wheel, was thrown, and pitched heavily on his head, receiving injuries which resulted in his death a few hours afterwards. The event cast quite a gloom over the whole town, where the deceased was greatly respected as a rising young tradesman and energetic promoter of every movement which had the welfare of the town in view.

He was an active worker in the Conservative cause, and was present at the gathering of the Primrose League the previous day, over which the Duke of Beaufort presided. He was unmarried and leaves a widowed mother and only brother to lament their great loss.

At the inquest it was stated that although the deceased some ten years since was considered a skilful rider of an ordinary bicycle he was not a proficient in the use of the safety machine, one of which he was riding when the accident occurred, and to this is attributed the cause of the accident.

Dr Ingram Keir stated that the base of the skull was fractured, and that death was due to the shock and hemorrhage consequent thereon. The coroner, in summing up, alluding to the fact that pedestrians were sometimes injured by bicycles, said he considered that such things were a boon to a certain class of people, but the law expected that their riders should be able to guide them the same as a man did a horse, and not put the lives of her Majesty’s subjects in danger in riding them, when unpractised in their use, through towns and crowded places.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death,” entirely exonerating Escott, the driver of the horse and cart, from blame.


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