“Walford bits and pieces

1844 – Children Burn to Death at Walford

Sorry, here is the inevitable sample death by burning……so so many  children died in this way in the 19th century.

John Whittaker aged 3 died in Walford when his clothes caught fire one morning in March.

Coroners were pleading with mothers not to leave their children alone with the fire burning, and to dress them in cotton rather than  more combustible materials.

1848 – Accidental Death of Walford Man

John Davies, a 20 year old single man, was desperate for work as a wagoner, and called on Mr. Butt of the Paddock in Walford to try his luck.

Mr. Butt said that he didn’t need anyone, but if he decided to change his wagoner he would immediately consider him.  However John Davies was so anxious to gain employment that he begged Mr. Butt to let him drive his team of horses to fetch lime.

Mr. Butt gave in, but when John was on his way back (observed by a ten year old lad, Thomas Howell) he apparently was driving the horses at a fair gallop and was flogging the leading horse to go faster.  This may have been something of an exaggeration, given that it would not have been possible for John to have kept up with galloping horses, but still it was clear that he was desperately trying to show how fast he could complete a job.

Unfortunately, John tripped and fell down, and went under the wheels of the wagon.

The lad ran for his mother who sent men to fetch John, and they carried him on a hurdle to Mr. Butt’s house.

Mr. Edward Jones, a surgeon from Ross on Wye, visited John first at his master’s house, and then later at the Union Workhouse.  There were extensive injuries to his right thigh and bowels, with a severe injury of the bladder although no bones were broken.

John Davies lived for six days before succombing to mortification of the affected parts.


1864 – Fatal Fall at Walford

Charles Walters, a married man aged 38 was working as bailiff to John Partridge of Bishop’s Wood.

On 19th April, he was up a ladder helping to load straw when he slipped and fell some sixteen feet, landing on the prong of a pike which went into the calf of one leg.

The doctor was called, a William Symonds Rootes, and he found no fractures but noticed a severe wound on his head and another on the inside of his left leg.   Charles was conscious and after treatment it was decided that there was no concussion so he was eventually taken home on a cart.

Charles appeared to do well, but suddenly on 28th April he started to shiver uncontrollably and the veins in his leg became very inflamed.  A violent fever ensued, and he soon died.

Cause of death was put down to Phlebitis.

1877 – The Walford Indecent Assault Case

Richard Roberts, Thomas Mutlow and Albert Probert, three Walford lads who were on bail, were indicted for unlawfully and indecently assaulting and illtreating Emily Teague at Walford on 14th October.

To the enormous surprise of the court, the verdict of not guilty was returned.

1877 – No Dog License for Walford Man

Mark Prew, a Sawyer of Walford, was brought before the court charged with having a dog without a license.  He had been very ill during the spring, but earned good money when in work, although the closure of the Walford Steam Saw Mills saw him without employment.

He had always managed to pay the dog license before, and in fact his wife paid the fee the day after it was due.

The prosecutor was Mr. Baylis, supervisor of the Inland Revenue, and he imposed a mitigated fine of 25s, but was urged to mitigate the penalty further in view of the above.