A varied collection of news snippets


1789 – A Suicide at Brampton Abbotts

A Carpenter was discovered hanging from a tree in an orchard at Brampton Abbotts – he had been rather depressed for some time, so the jury at the inquest gave their usual verdict for the age…….Lunacy.

1844 – Tragic Drowning of Boy at Brampton Abbotts

A six year old boy by the name of George Shaw fell into the River Wye whilst playing on the bank with friends.

He drowned before anyone could help him.

1849 – Brutal Assault on Orphan Boy

David Powell, a farm labourer, was charged with having assaulted a 9 year old orphan boy whose resulting injuries made him unable to walk or stand.

The little lad had been employed by Mr. Burgum to watch his pigs one afternoon, and as he played with some straw by the barn David Powell became annoyed by the harmless actions.  He lifted the lad up by his ears and threw him over a board across the doorway.  Then he picked him up by one leg and arm and tossed him into the fold, where the poor lad fell on stones on his back.

The boy tried to get away, but was caught by Powell again and again.

When eventually he escaped and went home, he went to bed and was unable to rise again.  The surgeon kept going to see him, and told the court that the condition was getting worse rather than better.

David Powel was remanded in custody, but was later bailed out.

1851 – Cruelty to Horse at Brampton Abbotts

The details of this are too upsetting to be honest, but suffice it to say that Samuel Price of Brampton Abbots, employed at the time by James Barrett of the Royal Hotel, at his farm at Brampton,  mistreated an old horse so badly with a whip that it died.

Witnesses, and those who examined the dead horse, were in no doubt of the brutal attack, but Samuel Price claimed that it “would be a poor job if waggoners were not allowed to exercise a moderate punishment when their horses required it”.

The Bench eventually decided on a fine of £2 and Price was given a week to pay.

Just to take the nasty taste of this case away, I noticed on the same page that a chap was fined quite heavily for allowing his stallion to expose itself at the Ross Wool Fair!!  Deary me, how on earth do you prevent such a thing, or even rectify it once it has happened……my husband helpfully suggested a cricket bat.

1879 – Man fined for being Drunk on the Road at Brampton Abbotts

Arthur Chamberlain, a labourer from Upton Bishop, pleaded guilty in court to being drunk on the highway at Brampton Abbotts.  He was fined 5s plus 9s costs.

1898 – Fatality on Railway Line

Thomas Magness was an 82 year old widower of Brampton Abbotts, who was last seen alive one Saturday afternoon.  When he failed to return home a search party set out, and his body was found on the railway line the next morning.

The poor chap was horribly mutilated, his arms, head and legs all having been cut off and strewn for several yards along the track, and the unpleasant task of gathering up his remains and putting them in a box was left to P.C. Barnett and P.C. Tuckett.

It was assumed that the old man was trying to get home by walking along the line when he was knocked down by the passenger train heading for Gloucester, and that since then several trains must have passed over the body.

1904 – Tragic Death of Rector of Brampton Abbotts

The Rev. H. St. Helier Evans, 47, Rector of Brampton Abbotts , died whilst saving the lives of two children in the River Wye.

He was born in Birmingham and was the son of a Barrister.  On the afternoon in question he had been swimming in the river near Backney Bridge with his children;  he was a very good swimmer but had not bathed in the River Wye before – the only reason that he went in this time was to give a swimming lesson to his 13 year old daughter Miriam;  her friend Katharine Malton  also 13; another daughter and his son Martin aged 8.

After about five minutes, Katharine Malton found herself in deep water along with Martin who became caught in a current.  The Rev. gentleman quickly waded out and managed to catch both children,  then struggled back to the bank, placing his son on a rock before handing Katharine to his daughter Miriam who got her to safety.

When Miriam looked back at his father, she saw that he had gone under the water, and she and her sister managed to wade out to him and drag him back to some shingle where he lay unconscious.

Young Martin was sent for help whilst the three girls desperately tried to rub life back into the body, but when aid arrived, despite artificial respiration being carried out for nearly an hour,  it had to be declared that life was extinct.

At the inquest it was heard that Dr. Cutfield thought that the excitement of saving the children and the exhaustion of doing so brought on an attack of syncope.