Doggy devotion and horrible deaths
1842 – Killed whilst Making Cider
Edward Fowler aged 18 was making cider in Little Cowarne when his frock became entangled in the axletree of the mill.
He died almost immediately.
1861 – Heartwarming Devotion of a Dog
A young man called Thomas Edwards from Little Cowarne was taken to court for being drunk and incapable.
When he was found Thomas was nearly frozen to death; it took a bit of care in order to restore him to normality; all the while, his scottish sheep dog refused to leave his side, showing great distress when Thomas was unconscious and licking his face and hands frantically.
When Thomas came round and was deemed to have recovered, he was locked in a cell for the night, but nobody could persuade the dog to leave his post outside the door. Eventually the police took pity on him and let him in with his master, where he settled down happily.
Even in court, this faithful and determined dog would not leave Thomas’ side and the police did nothing to prevent him entering the dock where Thomas stood dressed respectably.
Everyone heaved a sigh of relief when the Magistrates allowed Thomas and his dog to go on their way without so much as a fine, never mind the separation of such close friends.
1863 – Horrid Bursting of Varicose Vein
In November 1863, Thomas Roberts, a fit and healthy young unmarried man, was working for Mr. Went at Little Cowarne Mill and was lifting a sack of flour when a varicose vein in his leg burst.
Before very long he collapsed, and although people tried to stem the profuse flow of blood, the rupture enlarged and Thomas bled to death before proper aid could arrive.
1899 – Strange Death of Granny and Grandchild
Gladys May Skerrett Gurney, aged 6, was being brought up by her elderly grandparents at Little Cowarne. She was the illegitimate child of Fanny Gurney.
One day, one of Gladys’ uncles found a rabbit in a snare and took it home where it was cooked, and everyone except for this uncle ate it at dinner. Immediately, both Mr. and Mrs. Gurney and Gladys became very ill, with violent stomach pains, and by the following morning Gladys was dead.
Dr. Lewis was summoned and his post mortem showed that her tummy was very inflamed, supposedly from poison, but although the house was thoroughly searched no trace of poison could be found.
It was therefore assumed that the rabbit must have either eaten poisoned food, or had been filled with poison with the intention of killing a fox.
Shortly after the inquest, the grandmother, Mrs. Gurney, died, and at the time of the report Mr. Gurney was not expected to survive.