The Rev Somers Cocks, a bitten off ear and an attack by a pig

1846 – Man’s Ear Bitten Off at Mathon

A middle aged man by the name of Richard Burrow was found guilty of biting off the ear of Edward Thomas at Mathon.

He was sentenced to six months in prison.

1852 – Terrific Thunderstorm

A truly violent storm left the whole of Herefordshire in chaos.  Mathon was completely flooded, and a great deal of damage was done to property and surroundings.

Mr. Hill at The Bank

The storm raged from early evening until two the following morning, and the road leading to Mr. Hill at The Bank, which was built on solid rock, was ripped up to a depth of two feet.  The debris was swept down by the floods into a hopyard, taking rows of hops and soil down to the bottom and making the road impassable.

Mr. Hill’s potatoes were swept down three meadows, and Mr. Vale’s hop yard was destroyed.  Hedges disappeared, and new palings, gates and stiles were borne away.

At Mr. Vale’s, a bridge over a stream leading to a farm called Stockton, was destroyed and the stream itself had become a huge lake.

Mr. Lightband Rescued by a Newfoundland Dog

The flood was so high and fast that it swept a mare and wagon belonging to Mr. Lightband over a hedge – Mr. Lightband was stuck in the hedge for two hours until he was found by a Newfoundland dog, rather injured.  The mare managed to get free and swam across two fields until she was rescued;  she was very bruised.

Mr. King of Brook House Farm

Mr. King of Brook House Farm lost a bridge, and his cellar filled up with water so that a 300 gallon cask of good cider was ruined, along with a hogshead of crab verjuice.  His barn was flooded, and much of his store of wheat was lost, along with many chickens.

1856 – Death of the Hon. & Rev. Jas. Somers Cocks

The death was announced of this hugely respected clergyman, which took place early in July 1856 at Mathon Lodge.

The Rev. Somers Cocks was 67 years old, and had been born on 9th January 1790.  He was the second son of John, first Earl, and second Baron Somers.

He was briefly an MP for Reigate, before taking holy orders;  he was an honorary prebend of Hereford.

1858 – Conviction for “Unnatural Offence” at Mathon

William Hockley, a 35 year old labourer, was sentenced to six months hard labour for committing an unnatural offence at Mathon on 23rd June 1858.


1859 – 90 Year Old Woman attacked by a Pig

An old woman of 90, named Bethal, was walking along the road in Mathon on her way to work, when she was viciously attacked by a sow.

The pig knocked her to the ground, and broke her thigh.  When she was found she was immediately taken to the Infirmary.

What is horrific about this story is not so much that she was attacked by a pig, but that at 90 years of age she was still having to go out to work.