Deaths, accidents and a bit of swine fever

1846 – Tragic Death of Girl of “Unsound Mind” at Hampton Bishop

Elizabeth Wheatstone, a young woman with mental problems, ran away from the home of a friend who was taking care of her, and advertisements were posted in the hope that someone would spot her.

Unfortunately, a few days later her body was found in the River Wye at Hampton Bishop.

1851 – Shotgun Accident at Carrots Inn, Hampton Bishop

Mr. Winney a young man of Pencombe was taking part in a pigeon shooting contents at the Carrots Inn to win a “monster fat pig”.

His own gun was in need of repair, so he borrowed a double barrelled fowling gun, and had some success shooting with it during the day.  When he finished, he was asked by Mr. Piper – one of three men who had tied with killing three birds each – to shoot for him in the tie, and Winney readily agreed.

Mr. Winney killed two birds, then, possibly to make doubly sure of his final shot, he overcharged the gun with the result that the barrel exploded completely removing his left thumb.

Mr. Winney took the shock with remarkable poise and when Mr. Piper took the final shot and won the pig, he kindly gave it to Mr. Winney.

1853 – Child Burnt to Death in Hampton Bishop

George Barnett aged just three years and eight months, was left alone with his 8 year old sister and another child younger than himself.  This of course was nothing unusual for the time, and the 8 year old was probably well used to being left in charge of her younger siblings.

George must have strayed too close to the fire, and suddenly his clothes were alight causing him to scream – William Scisons heard his cries and ran to help, but sadly the child died two days later in the Infirmary.

1855 – Accidental Gunshot at Hampton Bishop

Miss Louisa Money, along with her brother, were visiting the Rev. Canon and Mrs. Huntingford at Hampton Bishop.

Louisa was leaning out of an window on the upper floor of the mansion talking to her brother who had been shooting – unfortunately he dropped the gun on the ground and it went off.  A portion of the charge hit Louisa in the face.

Doctors were immediately called for and Dr. Bleeck Lye and C. Lingen Esq. attended to her;  they found shot in her face and her eyes, but she went on to make a good recovery.

1858 – Incredible Meteor Sighting at Hampton Bishop

A gentleman from Hampton Bishop wrote to the Hereford Times regarding a meteor that he saw above the village on 27th September 1858 at around 8.30 in the evening.

He first saw it in a south easterly direction, and it progressed rapidly along an arc of nearly 90 degrees before disappearing behind cloud in the north east near to the star Capella.  Despite the speed, he said that it was nowhere near as fast as normal shooting stars.

There was a beautiful sparkling tail, and it was far bigger than the nucleus of Donati’s Comet as well as being much brighter that Venus.  There was absolutely no noise.

1862 – Rare Bird Caught and Killed at Hampton Bishop

Very sad, but they knew no better at the time.

As reported in the Hereford Journal :


“A bird called the AWKE, being the smallest diving bird known, which was caught by Mr. James Watkins, Butcher, Hampton Bishop and has been stuffed by Mr. Grey.

It is supposed to come from Greenland and the only specimen of the kind ever caught in England.

1864 – Death of Mother and Baby at Hampton Bishop

Elizabeth Wargent from Lugwardine, a lady’s maid accompanying her mistress on a visit to the Vicarage at Hampton Bishop began to feel rather unwell.

Early in the morning she was totally unable to dress her mistress as usual, and said that she had dreadful tummy ache;  she disappeared into the loo and was heard to be groaning and crying.

Concerned staff broke down the door, and found her slumped on the loo quite dead……….. there was a newborn baby in the water, also sadly dead.

The post mortem concluded that the mother had bled to death, whilst the baby had of course drowned.

Elizabeth was described as having an irreproachable character, and one wonders from the report whether she actually realised that she was pregnant.

1867 – Death of Rev. Canon Huntingford

The Rev. Canon Huntingford D.C.L, Rector of Hampton Bishop died in November 1867 aged 80.

He was the nephew of the Bishop Huntingford and came to Hampton Bishop in 1822.  He was made Canon in 1838 and was also master of St. Catherine’s Hospital in Ledbury.

He was much loved and respected by his parishioners, and was buried in Hampton Bishop

1899 – Fire on Farm at Hampton Bishop

Fire broke out on the farm of William Henry Bailey of Hampton Bishop one Sunday night, and Henry Tyson, one of Mr. Bailey’s workmen, rode to Hereford Police Station for help.

The fire brigade with its large manual engine, pulled by four horses sped to the scene, where they found a barn;  one side of the fold yard and a shed with a new hay rick on the other side in flames.

The firemen strove for hours to put out the fire, along with numerous neighbours, but were greatly hampered by the lack of water and the barn, rick and shed burnt to the ground.

It was supposed that children playing with matches caused the fire.

The Head Constable was somewhat scathing of farmers in general for not cleaning their pools out properly every year, thus keeping plenty of water available in the event of fire.

1899 – Swine Fever at Hampton Bishop

Mr. Mailes, a dealer of Hampton Bishop, was discovered to have Swine Fever on his farm.

The infection was thought to have been brought in from Ledbury from where he had bought some pigs, and Mr. S. Beeson the Veterinary Inspector for Hereford county destroyed the 39 animals which were infected.

As a precaution, the remaining pigs on the farm were also killed but they were deemed fit for human consumption.  The area around Mr. Mailes’ farm was declared an infected area, and nobody was allowed to move their stock.