Death at Upper Sapey
1845 – Waggoner Killed at Upper Sapey
John Palmer was a married man with seven children, and worked as a waggoner, so should really have known better than to do what he did.
He had his team and a wagon at a mill when he saw a man, Philip Butcher, leading a horse towards his team – he called out “let me see that horse trot” and loudly clapped his hands, which startled the horse and more importantly, his own team of horses, which took off at speed.
John tried to stop the frightened animals, but was knocked down by the shafts of the wagon, and he was killed when the wheels ran over him.
1846 – Rather Gory Death at Upper Sapey
Maria Moore, a 59 year old woman had refused for years to seek medical help for her bad leg, and tried to treat it herself.
Eventually, she called for help from her neighbour, Ellen Jones, saying that her leg had “burst” and she was bleeding to death.
Ellen found her on the floor in a puddle of blood, and managed to undress her and put her to bed, but Maria died just half an hour later.
1846 – Fatal Kick by Horse
John Jones of Upper Sapey had been repeatedly told to stay away from a colt with a dodgy reputation, but he chose to ignore the order.
According to William Wood, servant to Mr. Hall of Burlton Court, John was pulling “some trappings” off the colt when it kicked out and caught him in the stomach.
He died some four weeks later, and Edward Haddock the surgeon, said that he thought John had died from disorganisation of the liver in consequence of the kick he received.
1846 – Child Drowned in Well
Eight year old William Wood of Upper Sapey, went with a woman named Susannah Griffiths to draw water from the well. The task accomplished, Susannah went to close the lid over the well, but William “would not let her”.
A little later, William’s five year old sister called to Susannah that her brother was in the well, and immediately a labourer by the name of Henry Pantall, rushed to the well with a hook. He managed to drag William out, but it was too late, he had drowned in nine feet of water.
1851 – Warning to Drunkards!
One Saturday morning, Richard Gough, a 29 year old labourer, was working with other men,Joseph Bishop, Edward Kennett and John Fowke, on laying a hedge, when a storm put a stop to things. They decided to shelter in a nearby coppice, and made themselves comfortable with a fire and a supply of cider procured from John Dunderdale, a nearby farmer.
They happily stayed put for the whole day, and between the five of them they managed to drink six gallons of cider – they were a little tipsy! At nine in the evening they kicked the fire around to put it out, and left to go home, with Richard Gough taking a different route.
The next morning, two of the men went back to the coppice, and discovered Richard totally burnt to a cinder and quite dead.
The surgeon, Mr. G. Harvey of Bromyard made an external examination of the body and found him badly burnt on the chest and throat, with his stomach bowels and arms burnt to a cinder. There was nothing to suggest that he died from anything other than the burns.
1866 – Concealment of Illegitimate Child
Hannah Bradley, alias Price, worked as a servant for Elizabeth and Joseph Farmer at Upper Sapey.
One morning, Hannah was spotted looking most unwell and having difficulty walking, and seemed unable to carry out her duties around the house. Elizabeth Farmer became suspicious after a while and asked her if she was in labour, but Hannah denied this.
For the rest of the day Hannah tried to evade her mistress and her questions, but when she was found on her bed it was clear that she had given birth.
Dr. Marley, a surgeon from Bromyard was called, and eventually Hannah confessed to him that she had had a baby and that it was in the closet. Some three days later, and I cannot work out the reason for the delay, Dr. Marley was shown the dead body of a male child which appeared to be premature, and in his opinion, had never breathed.
Hannah was committed for trial at Hereford Assizes but the grand jury ignored the bill against her.