Tales of the consequence of drink – again – and other things

1853 – Policeman killed by own Nephew

The last meeting of a mismanaged club in the parish of Foy took place at the end of May in the form of the annual club feast, which was always attended by people from far and wide.

Unfortunately, part of the allure was the drinking and amusements, and on many previous occasions there had been scuffles and incidents.  This time, several men stayed on to drink at the Anchor and Can pub until late at night when Mr. Hardwick the landlord tried to throw them out.  The men refused to go, and became abusive.

Mr. Hardwick had retained the services of two brothers who were both Constables, George and Charles Davis, and he called on their help to remove the abusive men, which eventually they managed to do.  However once outside, the drunken louts started smashing the windows of the pub with stones and sticks, and although Mr Hardwick tried to restrain the two Constables, they went into the affray to try to stop the men.  They were instantly turned on and beaten with the stones.

Managing to escape, the two brothers went into the pub bleeding profusely from head wounds, although George was the more severely wounded and before too long his condition deteriorated.  Dr. Rootes from Ross was sent for, but despite all efforts, George died the next morning.

Five men were arrested the next day, John Davis;  Thomas Russell;  Thomas Trilloe;  Thomas Adams and Thomas Wilkes, and it became dreadfully apparent that the man who gave the fatal blow was John Davis the nephew of George.  Actually, there were not all men at all, some of them were mere boys but all of them were agricultural labourers or farm servants.

At their initial hearing, none of them seemed to be aware of the seriousness of what they had done, and in fact seemed to find it quite funny much to the disgust of the court.  However after all the witnesses gave their evidence, and they themselves had to give theirs, they became rather quiet.  they were fully committed for trial on the capital charge at Hereford Assizes.

1859 – Drunk in charge of Horses

David Powell of Foy was charged with being incapable through drink of being in charge of a team of horses in his care.  The was also charged with leaving them unattended.

Superintendent Burridge reported that he found David lying beneath the wagon in such a position that he would have been killed if the horses had moved it forward by even one foot.

He was fined 10s with 19s expenses.

1859 – Child Dies on a Hot Day

William Dobson, aged just 6, was in the hay field of Mr. Burgum, along with his brothers and his parents who were working.

It was extremely hot, and by mid day William had fallen asleep in the sun;  he was awoken, and given cider to drink (but not too much apparently!), and it was stated that nobody threatened him or frightened him in any way.

After drinking the cider he appeared “stupid”, but nobody thought that the drink had anything to do with it, as William’s 14 year old brother Thomas had also had cider and was none the worse for it.

A little later, William collapsed and was unable to speak and at 10 o’clock that night was taken home.  He died early the next morning.

After hearing inconclusive results from a post mortem, the jury returned a verdict of Death by the Visitation of God in a natural way.

1861 – Desertion of Children

Mary Pember was charged with deserting her illegitimate children, and leaving them chargeable to the parish of Foy.

She was brought before the Magistrates but they discharged her from custody when she agreed to go back into the Ross Workhouse