Two lads named Franklin and Lucas were drowned in an icy pond, while a man watched them and did nothing, causing much anger at the inquest. It does not seem so very odd for a child to be out on its own, but when Walter Holbrook returned from his grandmothers and got himself under a wagon of hay, he was – shockingly, to us – only aged three years and ten months.
The John Appleton case gives some argument over whether there was a plank over the mash-tub into which deceased fell, and it seems that the idea was to show that deceased rested unnecessarily on the edge of the tub, rather than the employer being remiss in not providing one. In a similar vein, when you are taken unaware, can you always control where your feet may stand themselves – William Chatfield didn’t, and paid the price.
When Alfred Sturmey – like several others this year – wanted to take his own life by gun, he had no problem obtaining the pistol and shot – the shop-owner said “I suppose he is all right, let him have one” – and only seemed really concerned when Sturmey showed himself smart enough not to pay for the items.
Superintendent Longstone appeared as witness in a number of traumatic cases of sudden and accidental death – one feels even greater sympathy with the man knowing that he had in 1890 lost his own son William to just such a needless accident.
Illegitimacy brought to end many young female lives, including Emily James, whose family seem to have found a ‘place’ for her to go, a doctor, a nurse, and a Madame Harauchamps, at Evesham. Here she could have her baby – despite the terrible overbearing shame of so doing – in privacy, and come back home from a ‘little trip.’ But, what other possibilities were open here to the poor lady?
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