Mad dog, fatal falls and more

1788 – Mad Dog at Moccas

Taken from the Hereford Journal, Wednesday 22nd October 1788

“Last week a dog, supposed to be mad, ran from Hereford towards Moccas Park, the seat of Sir George Cornwall, biting several animals here and on the road.

At Moccas, three of Sir George’s servants were unfortunately bit by it, and are gone to the coast to try the efficacy of bathing”.

1795 – Fatal Fall from Horse

John Brace, one of Sir George Cornewall’s servants, was returning to Moccas from Hereford when he was thrown from his horse.

His injuries were so severe that he died after a few hours.

1845 – Man of No Fixed Abode Dies at Moccas

Edward Griffiths was a day labourer with no home to call his own.  He had obtained permission from Mr. Hiles to sleep in his granary, but Mr. Hiles changed his mind upon hearing that Edward had “illicit connection with a woman”, who had had two of his children.  This woman was Ann Preece.

Edward then asked Mr. Hiles’ brother in law, who allowed him to go into the granary as he could see that Edward was not well, but it was on the condition that he left the next day if he was able.

By the next day however, Edward’s health deteriorated, and Mr. Hiles was concerned enough to supply him with some gruel as well as applying mustard plasters to his chest.  Ann Preece went to fetch Mr. Giles, the surgeon, who prescribed some medicine as well as writing to the parochial officers asking for him to be moved to somewhere more comfortable.

Before anything could be done, Edward died, and the post mortem revealed that there was extensive disease of the right lung and the liver was in such a bad state that it proved the man to have been over fond of alcohol.

It was concluded that even if Edward had been in palatial surroundings, he would still have died.

1848 – Painter Drowns in River Wye at Moccas

Alfred Breson lived in London and was a painter by trade.  He had been brought down to Moccas by Sir Velters Cornwall in order to paint at his mansion.

Late in April 1848, Alfred along with George Price and Thomas Thorn of Moccas went down to the River Wye to bathe, although George stayed on the bank.  Thomas swam across, but Alfred only got a little way before stopping and standing up……..the water came up to his waist.

Suddenly he seemed to fall sideways, and lose his footing, and he was rapidly carried down river by the current, never to be seen alive again.

The body was not found until the following morning.

1849 – Boy Dragged by Pony

A boy named Benjamin Lloyd was riding a pony belonging to Mr. Jones of Lower Moccas back from the church, where Mr. Jones had ridden it.

Charles Godsall, a 12 year old got chatting to Benjamin, and asked if he could have a ride on the pony – Benjamin agreed, and Charles mounted the pony which subsequently managed to slip into a ditch.  Charles fell off, but his foot became caught in the stirrup and when the pony ran away in panic, Charles was dragged for quarter of a mile, being kicked many times.

The pony eventually came to a stop, but Charles was severely injured and died soon afterwards.

1866 – Narrow Escape at Moccas

In late January 1866, Mr. W. Charles Lewis, a well respected timber merchant living at Moccas was on his way to Hereford in a gig.

As he passed a wagon, the horse he was driving was spooked by either a woman;  an umbrella or a dead pig which the wagon contained, and shied violently from the road.  The gig was tipped into a ditch and Mr. Lewis was thrown out of the vehicle – he was badly shaken but not hurt.

The horse ran away for nearly half a mile before it was stopped, and the gig was shattered into small pieces.