Early RSPCA case and many drownings

1854 – RSPCA charge Glewstone Farmer with Cruelty

Thomas Barnett a farmer of Glewstone was brought to court by the RSPCA for having knowingly caused the suffering and ill treatment of horses. He was a respected Deacon in the Baptist Church.

Thomas pleaded not guilty, but Mr. Forster acting for the RSPCA was less than impressed, and gave evidence of long term neglect and starvation which had resulted in the horses becoming emaciated and terrified.

Mr. Blossett, superintendent of the Ross district Police went with Henry Mabe to examine the horses at work – four in a field and three in a chaff cutting machine.  He found them all to be in a deplorable state, with five so weak that they could barely stand.  They had raw wounds all over their bodies and were crawling with lice as well as suffering from mange.

Mr. Forster and Mr. Blossett seized the horses, and had great difficulty in coaxing them along the three miles to Ross on Wye.

When labourers in the employ of Barnett were interviewed, they said that they had repeatedly asked for salve to rub on the wounds, and to be allowed to ease the collars on the horses, but to no avail.

For the defence, Mr. Pritchard complained about exaggeration, and said that it was well known that horse fodder was in short supply this year and horses had suffered because of it, but there was no need for imputing to the defendant “any wanton neglect of his brutes”.

The horses were brought to the Court for inspection by the Magistrates, and on their return said that it required no more than a swift glance at the horses to see that gross neglect and cruelty was proved against the defendant, and Barnett was fined the highest possible penaly, i.e £5 plus costs – not quite the prison sentence that  Mr. Forster hoped for.

It would seem that this was one of the first court cases of its kind brought by the RSPCA, and the Bench said that it was a “significant instance of usefulness” – the Town Hall was completely packed throughout the four hour proceedings.

1864 – Discarded Pipe causes Disastrous Fire

A thatcher was employed at the farm of Charles Kearsey, a renowned breeder of Cotswold sheep and a dedicated farmer – the farm as a whole was said to be one of the best in the County.

The thatcher was in the rickyard near to the other farm buildings, and was happily puffing on his pipe;  he briefly put the pipe down (still lit) into one of the lancet holes of the barn and before too long a fire was raging.

There had been a long drought and everything was tinder dry so the flames spread rapidly from one building to another in spite of attempts by other workmen to quench the flames.

All the crops grown at Glewstone which had been safely brought under cover were destroyed, as well as all the stock and buildings.

Mr. Kearsey was only partly insured.

1866 – Ferryman Drowns in the Wye

Allan Price aged about 20, son of Mrs. Price of the Glewstone Boat Inn, was preparing to ferry two women over the river.

One woman climbed into the boat and the other was about to follow suit – Allan was leaning on the pole in order to steady the boat when the pole snapped and sent him sprawling into the water.  He immediately sank and didn’t resurface.

Meanwhile, the boat with the two screaming women aboard, floated off down the river until a chap named Thomas Jenkins got into another boat and set off after the women, but on spying  Allan’s hat in the water he made a grab for it thinking it might be Allan himself beneath it……sadly he too fell overboard!

However, whilst in the water he made several dives to see if he could find Allan’s body, but had no luck and eventually he gave up and swam to shore where he secured the boats.

Some three weeks later, Allan’s body was found about a quarter of a mile down river – strangely, the corpse was not decomposed in any way.

Even more strange was the fact that Allan’s sister drowned in a similar accident some 18 years earlier, and her body too was not found for 21 days either……..she was found in the same spot as Allan.

1891 – Drowning at Glewstone

On Friday 23rd October 1891, several young men were returning from a ploughing match at Hom Farm…..they had to cross the River Wye by boat, but when nearing the Glewstone bank their boat was caught by the current and they were carried some 12 yards downstream.

One man named Hopkins jumped out of the boat which caused it to rock violently, and Thomas Carter and Leonard Price were thrown out and were drowned in the fast flowing water.

Thomas Carter’s body was quickly found but of Leonard Price there was no sign.

1893 – Anthrax Outbreak

Anthrax was rearing its ugly head around the Ross on Wye Area of Herefordshire.

In August concern was expressed at the fact that Mr. C. Lee Campbell of Glewstone Court had Anthrax on his farm, and that an adjoining meadow with 20 cows had had its first case confirmed.

The treatment was burning of carcases, followed by the closure of the meadow for a month, but Veterinary Surgeron, Mr. Barling, suggested also using sulphuric acid.

1893 – Another Drowning in the Wye

George Williams, 31, lived at Glewstone and had served in the army in the Egyptian campaign, as well as in India where he had suffered severe heatstroke.

When he came home from India it was noticed that he often behaved rather oddly, which everyone thought was because of the sunstroke episode.

One Saturday evening he left home and was not seen until Tuesday morning when he called at the Albion Inn rather drunk;   then he called at a house in Walford where resided James Sims,  to ask for some cider.  After he left, James heard a shout and when he ran to the river saw a man in the water who was being carried downstream.

It seems that George Williams had said that he was going to swim across the river for a bet, but nobody took him seriously.

George died on his birthday.

1899 – Cider Mill Destroyed by Fire

The Ross Fire Brigade was summoned to a property at Glewstone owned by Mr. Matthews when fire broke out early one morning.

When they arrived it was too late, a cider mill and a pig sty had burnt down.

The property was insured.