Some rather horrible deaths
1847 – Fatal Gun Accident at Brampton Bryan
An inquest was held at the Oxford Arms, Brampton Bryan on the body of William Hatfield.
William had been working as a groom in the service of the Rev. Mr. Murray, and may witnesses claimed that for some considerable time he had been very depressed, but nobody was actually a witness to the supposed accident.
William had borrowed a gun saying that he wanted to shoot sparrows (why would one want to shoot sparrows?), and when he was found and then examined by the surgeon, James Williams, “his head was literally blown to atoms and his brains scattered about”.
The surgeon decided that the position of the body and that of the gun showed the shooting to be quite accidental, and the jury returned a verdict accordingly.
1847 – Accidental Death at Brampton Bryan
George Bailey, a 70 year old man with five children, was working for the Earl of Oxford.
On the day of the accident, George was working in Pedwardine Wood along with two other men, loading faggots on to a wagon. Something startled the horses, and George fell off the wagon under the wheels which went over him and killed him outright.
1848 – Death by Flatulence
Ann Black, the housekeeper for Mr. Marston of Brampton Bryan, died suddenly.
At the inquest the jury were told that she had constantly suffered from flatulence and was frequently “much swollen”.
The verdict was Natural Death.
1860 – Death of man who fell on Hoe at Brampton Bryan Fair
Richard Owen, a 65 year old labourer died in the Union Workhouse a few days after an accident at Brampton Bryan fair.
Richard had gone to the fair looking for employment in turnip hoeing, but late in the evening he had a fall and the point of the turnip hoe he was holding punctured his hip.
T. Jackson, a surgeon of Leintwardine, was called to attend him and he gave instructions for Richard to be moved to the Workhouse as he was suffering from exhaustion through loss of blood.
Richard remained alive for a while, during which time he told the Governor of the workhouse that his accident was the fault of the policeman on duty at the fair. He said that he was sitting in the Blacksmith’s penthouse when the policeman grabbed him and threw him into the road, where he sustained the injury.
When he died of his injuries, an enquiry was held but no evidence was found to support the allegations against the policeman, and the jury returned a verdict of accidental death.
1867 – Horrible Death at Brampton Bryan
William Price aged 51 and a married man, was employed as a labourer for John Cooke of Brampton Bryan, and was working on a steam thrashing machine to thrash out peas.
William was wearing gloves, and one of them became caught in the machinery which immediately dragged in his arm which was mangled all the way up to his shoulder. Then his head hit the drum of the machine and his skull fractured.
A surgeon, Mr. Scott of Knighton, was hastily called, but William died shortly afterwards.
William had been a member of the George and Dragon Friendly Society, Knighton, and his friends there wanted to pay for the funeral, but John Cooke paid for everything himself, and told William’s widow to keep the club’s money to help herself and her children make ends meet.