Tales of accidents;  drownings and strange weather

1795 – Caution by Thomas Kidson

Thomas Kidson put a notice in the Hereford Journal in March 1795:

“This is to caution all persons not to trust Elizabeth Kidson, wife of Thomas Kidson, of the parish of Brimfield and county of Hereford, as I will not be answerable for any debt she may contract after this notice”

1844 – Accidents involving Horses

The following short article in the Hereford Times is an illustration of the dangers of the “horse age”. Accidents were par for the course.

“A poor lad of the name of Humphreys was driving a waggon to Brimfield near Ludlow for the purpose of loading bark, when the horses took fright and the boy, who was riding on the shafts at the time, leaped off for the purpose of stopping them, when he was unfortunately caught by the shaft and knocked down, the waggon passing over him. It was soon ascertained that he had broken his thigh. Mr. T. Nottingham, a farmer residing at Woofferton near where the accident happened, sent immediately to Ludlow for a surgeon, and afterwards went himself on horseback to Richards Castle to see the parish officers, on order to have him removed, and on his return, we are sorry to say, Mr. Nottingham was thrown from his horse and broke his collar bone.”

(In the 19th century, reporters often forgot to use a full stop!)

1849 – Drowning of Edward Morris

Edward Morris a mason aged 21, was found drowned in the canal.

He was said to be a “free drinker” but not a drunken man, and there was nothing to suggest that there was any foul play involved.

The imaginative verdict of the jury was “found drowned”.

1854 – Gruesome Death of Samuel Beddoes

Samuel Beddoes worked for Messrs. Mainwaring, timber merchants, and he and a charcoal wagon driver named Griffiths had been drinking together for several hours at the Roebuck Inn. Eventually Beddoes staggered off to the timber yard to start his night shift, and Griffiths “merrily” set off with his team of horses in the same direction.

Griffiths went a few yards past the timber yard and put his horses to graze by the roadside before curling up under a hedge.

At about 5 the next morning, the body of Samuel Beddoes was found in the road some 70 yards behind the wagon, and it was clear that the wheels had gone over the poor man’s head as his blood and brains were all over them.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death, and the comment was that it was just another of the numerous deaths arising from drunkenness, which so frequently occurs in this county.

1861 – Bazaar in aid of Brimfield National Schools

Report :

“Pleasantly situated, Brimfield was in many respects a model village. A look of cleanliness ever pervaded the place, and the neatest of neat cottages were the rule. In a retired nook at an extreme point stood the Church, just such a one as a lover of the picturesque would like to sketch, with its trim churchyard and overhanging trees. There were signs of business too, apart from agriculture, in the extensive timber yard and workshops established by Mr. Mainwaring; and hence an increased population. With all these advantages it was felt that there was a great want – the lack of schools for the labouring population, and inasmuch as a man nowadays who believes that the poor are better qualified to fill their allotted station without education, is a sort of museum curiosity, that want it was found not difficult to supply.”

Money poured in for the building of the new school and it was to be in Gothic style, with a large school room and a house for the master and mistress attached. Playgrounds were to be constructed along with other amenities. There was a shortfall of £100 required for the cost of the building, and a bazaar was proposed to help raise funds.

The bazaar was held in the grounds of the Manor House, the residence of Miss Shenton and was a huge success, although the weather was appalling.

1868 – Death of John Pritchett Shelton

In May 1868, John Pritchett Shelton who lived at Brimfield, died at his father’s home in Bromyard, after a short but very painful illness. He was just 21.

He was a Lieutenant in the Shropshire Militia, which had just been disbanded, and he had returned to his Brimfield home in good health. He went to see his parents at Bromyard when “inflammation of the windpipe set in, and baffled the skill of his medical attendants.”

He was the eldest grandson of Captain Stephen Haswell of Brimfield and heir to his property, being described as kind and generous, and a staunch supporter of the poor.

1886 – Horrid Axe Accident

Jonas Iles, a 26 year old farm labourer employed by Mr. Philpotts of Brimfield, was felling a tree when the axe slipped and caught him on the knee. The would was severe, and only the attentions of a good surgeon prevented the need for amputation.

1893 – Strange May Weather

At the end of May 1893, snow fell on the Clee Hill, and it felt more like December. High winds destroyed barns and fruit trees were split or torn up by the roots, with the road from Brimfield to Tenbury being blocked by fallen trees.