Stroppy Juryman, Whitchurch Friendly Society, the Whitchurch Asylum for the insane, and more

1838 – Whitchurch Asylum for the Insane

“Medical gentlemen are informed that insane and nervous patients can be received into this establishment, on application to Samuel Millard, surgeon, who resides on the premises”

Extract from the reports of the Visiting Magistrates, September 10th 1838:

“At this meeting the visitors proceeded to inspect the state and condition of the house and premises, and to examine the lunatics confined therein, and upon such view, found the house in good repair, the premises well arranged and well suited for the reception of lunatic male and female patients”

Patients cured………….1 in 36

Patients died …………..14 in 36

The following year, in 1839, it was reported that two patients were discharged from the asylum having been “cured”.

1850 – Juryman Argues with Coroner at Inquest

At Whitchurch, in April 1850, an inquest was held on the body of Elizabeth Deville aged 27, with Henry Underwood, Deputy Coroner for the district, officiating.

Elizabeth had left her employer, a surgeon by the name of Millard, in order to get married but friends persuaded her that the marriage would be a bad idea and the Millards kindly agreed to take her back into their employment.

Before returning however, she went to see a friend, a Mrs. Hatton,  and stayed with her for a couple of nights, but on the second morning her friend found her collapsed on the floor in her bedroom.  Her surgeon employer was sent for, but he was unable to help Elizabeth and she died the next day.

At this point in the inquest, one of the jurymen asked the Coroner to enquire of Mrs. Hatton whether she knew of any medicine which Elizabeth might have taken whilst staying with her.  Initially, the Coroner agreed to do this, but then changed his mind and asked the juryman why he needed the question to be asked.

The juryman said that he “knew that females are frequently in the habit of tampering with medicines of which they have but little knowledge, and that is why I want the question to be put”.

There followed a long and heated exchange, and the Coroner eventually threatened to send the juryman to jail for seven days;  the juryman was unimpressed and made it plain that he thought the Coroner was wrong.  He then asked permission to leave the room, but was refused even though the Coroner was thoroughly fed up with him.

After things calmed down, Mr. Millard the surgeon gave his evidence and a verdict of Died in a Fit was returned.

1850 – Man Killed by Tree at Whitchurch

Thomas Harris was trimming trees;  he was holding a rope which he had attached to the branch which was in the process of being cut off – unfortunately, whether by bad luck or poor forward thinking, the branch fell on top of him.

He was immediately taken towards his house but he died before getting there.

1854 – Private Asylum for the Insane at Whitchurch

In February 1854, Mr. Millard, Surgeon and resident proprietor of the private Asylum for the Insane, posted an advertisement stating that he had a few vacancies for patients of either sex.

Terms moderate.

1856 – Accident with Scaffolding at Whitchurch

John Bird, a tiler and plasterer of Whitchurch was moving part of the scaffolding from which he was working, which was around seven feet above the ground.

He was standing on a plank, which unfortunately broke in half and sent him hurtling face down on to a pile of slate chippings.  The damage was horrendous;  his nose was all but severed from his face and his chin and lip were very badly cut.

Dr. Millard of Whitchurch was sent for, but despite every care and attention it was feared that the poor man would be scarred for life.

The Hereford Journal quite rightly wrote the following postscript:

“We have many times called attention to the benefits to be derived from an insurance against accidents, which may be effected at a trifling annual outlay, and is frequently the means of alleviating a great deal of misery occasioned by loss of time to persons dependent on their own exertions for a livelihood.  We all hope, it is true, that we may never want such assistance, at the same time it is only an act of prudence on our own part, and which is demanded of us by our families.  We trust we shall find this class of insurance much more extensively patronised than it is at present”

1864 – Drunk and Disorderlies at Whitchurch

John Priddy of Whitchurch was charged with being drunk and riotous, as well as assaulting his wife.

On 16th July 1864 John had been drinking heavily at a beerhouse, and on leaving he punched John Meredith.  Later, he thumped his wife who was found in a bloodied state by P.C. John Phillips.

John Priddy was fined 5s plus costs.

James Wibby of Whitchurch was summoned for being drunk and riotous, and on admitting the offence, he was ordered to pay the expenses amounting to 9s.

1866 – Whitchurch Friendly Societies

In the summer of 1866, the anniversary of the Whitchurch Friendly Society, which held its meetings at the Crown Inn, caused much celebration.

It was also the anniversary of their sister club at Symond’s Yat, and the two clubs joined forces, with the Whitchurch clubs  200 members meeting at the Crown in the morning.  At eleven, a procession was formed, led by the band of the Royal Monmouthshire Militia, and they marched to join their sister club who were being led by the Lydbrook Band.

They marched to the vicar’s house, where they tramped round his lawn before the Symond’s Yat club formed into a line, and those of “the sterner sex” went into the lead and headed for the church, where the vicar gave an impressive sermon.

Afterwards, everyone enjoyed the hospitality of the vicarage, before leaving and separating to go to their respective bases.  At The Crown and at Symond’s Yat, huge repasts were served, the vicar presiding at both!

Later, the villagers enjoyed a dance and a good day was enjoyed by all.

1877 – Drunk in Charge of a Horse

John Ballinger, a Whitchurch innkeeper, was charged with being drunk whilst in charge of a horse on the Ross Road.

He failed to turn up at court, and a warrant was put out for his arrest.