Guns; burglary and drownings
1846 – Never Play with Guns
A Kitchenmaid working for Mr. Snead, a farmer of Bridge Sollars, and a servant lad were chasing each other round the table. He, knowing that it would frighten her, pointed a gun that he thought was unloaded.
Unfortunately the gun slipped from his grasp onto the table and went off, discharging bird shot into the face of the poor girl. Her mouth and tongue were badly damaged, and was was totally blinded.
1867 – Burglary
Thomas Pitt, a baker aged 17, pleaded guilty to the charge of breaking into William Taylor’s house at Bridge Sollars, and stealing one silk handkerchief and one pair of boots.
He was sentenced to six months hard labour
1867 – Shepherd Drowns in River Wye
William Large aged 31, was washing sheep belonging to Mr. Hart of Marsh Farm, Bridge Sollars, along with other men – they were all up to their knees in the water.
William could not swim but didn’t refuse to go in the water, and even when he lost his footing in deeper water he didn’t cry out for help so nobody went to help him until it was far too late; in fact it was a full half hour before his body was recovered.
Nobody was drunk, and the site was the usual place for sheep washing.
1886 – Three Children Drown in River Wye
Three children of the Rev. Mr. Lucas, curate in charge of Madley, lost their lives during floods, with their governess Miss Wilkinson escaping by the skin of her teeth.
Harriet aged 12, Roger aged 10 Maud aged 9 and one other little girl, heard of the flooding whilst playing in the nursery, and begged to be allowed to go to see the swollen river. The Governess agreed and set out with four children to the river, along with a dog, and on arriving near to the river they encouraged the dog to go in for a swim.
They all gathered on the brink of an overhanging bit of bank, when suddenly the bank gave way and three of the children plus Miss Wilkinson plunged into the flood. The governess was carried some way in the torrent but managed to grab hold of a bush, whilst Maud was carried straight into the middle of the river and never rose up to the surface. The eldest girl and boy were caught in the eddies of the torrent, but although the governess managed to grab the boy’s clothes, the strength of the current tore him from her grasp.
Miss Wilkinson eventually managed to get herself out of the water, whilst the little girl who didn’t fall in became hysterical. Miss Wilkinson ran towards the house of Mr. Large screaming and shouting, and he and other villagers ran to the river but all they could do was recover the bodies of Roger and Harriet by means of a pole. A Ferry was procured to search for the last child, Maud, and places down as far as Hereford were put on alert to look out for her – her body was recovered a few days later some miles down the river.