Inquests from the Sherborne and Yeovil Mercury 11/02/1793 A few days since an inquest was taken at Pitminster Somerset on the body of a woman found in the road. She was when found barefoot with one shoe and buckle in a basket she had with her, the other could not be found. Verdict, death through inclemency of the weather. 18/02/1793 Friday, a girl about three years of age, the daughter of Mr Stephens a gardener at Yeovil being left by herself and going too near the fire, her cloaths caught, and she was so dreadfully burnt that she died a few hours after. 04/03/1793 Tuesday, one Philip Smith of Shepton Mallet hanged himself in his bed chamber: the coroners jury brought in their verdict there - insanity having given many marks thereof of late. He was a sheerman of the cloth manufactory and between fifty and sixty years of age. 08/04/1793 Mary Staples of Bridgwater, a beautiful young woman was acquitted of the murder of her infant, it appearing that she had provided necessaries for it, previous to its birth. Wednesday, was executed at Stone Gallows near Taunton, Joan Tattel for the murder of her bastard child at Monckton. 15/04/1793 Monday night Thomas Eyles master of one of Mr Ward's Bath barges was drowned at the Back Bristol. While waiting near the river to take a man who had stolen a sack of corn from the barge, an accomplice is supposed to have pushed him into the water. 22/04/1793 Wednesday se'nnight was executed at Ilchester, pursuant to his sentence Jenkin Jones for housebreaking. He was a native of Wales, ignorant and hardened and met his fate with great insensitivity. Saturday se'nnight was found in the marshes at Cannington Pill, Robert Wood, an honest and industrious cordwainer of Cannington near Bridgwater; on his return home Thursday evening last it is supposed he missed his way and fell in, the tide being at low water, otherwise he must have been washed out in the river by the sea mud. (I suspect he survived but I've included the story anyway). 29/04/1793 Monday, John Wilcox alias Morgan, a coal driver, was committed to Shepton Mallet gaol, charged by the coroners inquest with the murder of a man unknown, whom he met on the Frome road, in the parish of Leigh on Mendip as the deceased was coming to Shepton for work the Saturday before, he being supposed by his dress to be a painter or glazier. Wilcox's brother happened to discover the deceased just before he expired and was undesignedly the means of his brother's being taken up. 06/05/1793 Thursday 25th as one William Barrington a boatman was returning from Taunton with a boat to Bridgwater, to which former place he had been with coal about one mile from the coal yard, meeting another boat coming up loaded, a dispute happened which should pass first; the deceased persisted he would pass the locks and standing on the ford part of the boat, his foot slipped, his head got between the hatches, which immediately fell fast, his brains were dashed out and he died instantly. Friday se'nnight an inquisition was taken on Mr Chasemore, who shot himself at a house in Bath. It appearing that he was in a delirium through excessive intoxication, jury's verdict lunacy. 13/05/1793 Friday se'nnight Robert Hamilton was executed at Milehill gallows, Bristol, for being concerned with three others in robbing the shop of Mr Lyne, linen draper, in Maryport Street in that city. He was an old offender having been seven years on board the ballast lighters on the Thames, for robbing a shop. After his discharge from thence, he with three others robbed a gentleman's house at Newington; and being the only one immediately taken he impeached his accomplices and they were in consequence convicted and executed at Kensington Common. He was a native of Bath. 20/05/1793 Saturday se'nnight, a little boy of two years old, the son of farmer Cox of South Stoke fell into a cooler of boiling wort and was so terribly scalded, though taken out immediately, that he died the next day. 27/05/1793 A circumstance more extraordinary or afflicting than the following we seldom hear of; Thursday se'nnight, as the son of Mr Potter, pawnbroker on Redcliff Hill Bristol, a clever youth of the age of 19 years, was descending some steps over which a hook was suspended by a cord for the purpose of hanging meat, and being in a somewhat sportive humour, jumped so as to fix the point of the hook in one of his eyes, and tore it out, together with the flesh on the side of his forehead. The accident deprived him almost instantly of his speech and hearing; and on Monday morning death deprived his fond parents of the only hope of comfort of their latter days. Monday was committed to Lawford's Gate bridewell, Bristol. Sarah Monk, charged with the wilful murder of her bastard child. 03/06/1793 Saturday se'nnight died suddenly in her 15th year Miss Withycombe, eldest daughter of Mr Withycombe of Marshood nr Dunster. Sunday se'nnight a recruit of the independent company, now recruiting in Frome, threw himself into the river in that town, during divine service, the intelligence of which being abruptly conveyed to the officers of the company in the Church put the whole congregation in the utmost confusion by not knowing the cause of their sudden departure - However, the recruit was taken out of the river and soon recovered his speech, but with visible marks of insanity. He lived about two hours, when a quantity of blood gushed suddenly from his nose, and he almost instantly expired - Coroner's jury's verdict - Insanity. Tuesday an inquest was taken on a child named Thomas aged about two years, who was found drowned in a small ditch at Bathpool near Taunton - verdict accidental death. 24/06/1793 Last week a fine child of Mr Stroud's of Bewlish Somerset, unfortunately fell into a small tub of water and was drowned. 08/07/1793 Thursday se'nnigt Mr Tayler, senior, a respectable grazier of Ford in the parish of Wiveliscombe, Somerset was thrown from his horse at Huish Champflower and so much hurt that he died the Sunday following. He was much esteemed by a numerous acquaintance. Sunday se'nnight an inquest was taken at Frome on a young man who was drowned. Verdict - accidental death. A few days since an inquisition was taken at Ilchester, on the body of a young woman who was killed by a waggon crushing her against the side of Ilchester bridge. The narrowness of this bridge has long been complained of and calls loudy for repair. Verdict, accident from the narrowness of the bridge. 15/07/1793 Monday se'nnight the following melancholy accident happened at Stowey near Chew Magna: Thomas Walter with two other men had begun felling a large elm tree, which, not being able to accomplish before dinner, they retired for refreshment about one o'clock. In the meantime a mischievous boy cut the roots of the tree nearly off which the men, not having any suspicion of, on returning to finish their work, a sudden gust of wind occasioned the tree to fall on them. Walter had his shoulder dislocated, his thigh was broke in two places, and he was so much bruised in other parts of his body, that he died in three hours after; the other men received but little injury. It is remarkable that the wife of this unfortunate man had been the same morning so strongly prepossessed with an opinion that some fatal misfortune would happen to him, that she communicated her uneasiness on that account and dissuaded him from undertaking the work; but he languishingly said that she had been dreaming and he should pay no attention to her advice. Wednesday as one Saunders of St Decumans nr Watchet, was on a cart load of hay, the bullocks which drew the same, harrassed by a fly, suddenly moved, on which he fell off and dislocated his neck and died instantly. An inquest was taken on the body the same day. Accidental death. A shocking accident happened at Wincanton last week. Three children of a man who lately came to the Rev Farwell's brick yard, having the worms, the mother as she thought, got them some bears foot and made it into a tea, two of them died immediately after drinking it, and the other is in a dangerous way. 22/07/1793 Saturday se'nnight a girl about seven years if age fell down in Butchers Row Bristol and the wheels of a loaded cart going over her, she was instantly crushed to death. On Wednesday evening last, Mr Thomas Bunter, a very respectable farmer of Cheddon Fitzpaine returned from his ground where he had been with his labourers, much heated, went to his cellar and drank only a pint of cyder; he was soon seized in his bowels and languished till about one the next morning, when he departed this life in the bloom of his days, much lamented by a disconsolate widow now pregnant, a numerous acquaintance and particularly the inhabitants of that parish, who always found him a real and sincere friend. The late uncommonly hot weather has proved fatal to a considerable number of persons among whom are the following: At Shepton Mallet four people died of the heat in one day. At Butleigh Wootton Somerset, a man was suffocated as he was making a hay rick, the like accident happened to a person at Weston in the same county. At Colford Somerset, one Ann Widcombe died in a hay making field. At Dundry Mrs Vigor died in her field. At Claverton nr Bath a man who was making hay imprudently drank cold water when hot and expired soon after. A man mowing at Halse endeavoured to quench his thirst by drinking cold water and instant coutly fell down dead. He has left a wife and six children to lament his loss. One Ridout of Bradford near this town was taken ill while haymaking and died soon after he was carried home. The number of persons drowned in these days has been unusually great. At Bath, one in a state of intoxication fell in and was drowned. At Redcliffe Bristol a boy seven years old fell out of a boat into the river and met the same fate in sight of his distracted mother. A lad of 14 with cramp while bathing in the river Avon was also drowned. And one Richard Toogood was likewise drowned in the same river. He has left a wife and eight children and his wife ready to lie in with another. 29/07/1793 Tuesday died at Exeter after a few hours illness Mr Bagg, attorney at law of Wellington a man very much respected and lamented by all his acquaintances. 05/08/1793 A poor woman at Shapwick who takes children to nurse, a few days since left two together for a short time, one of whom about nine months old, was seized in its absence and had it's arm nearly eaten off by a sow. The child died in forty eight hours. 12/08/1793 John Challacombe was acquitted of the charge of murdering Hannah Balm at Bath. John Wilcox, charged with murdering a man unknown at Leigh Upon Mendip was fined 6d and discharged. 19/08/1793 The 10th instant as a cart in which were a mother and two children was going to Wellington, the horse took fright, the cart was overturned, and the woman was killed on the spot. The children providentially escaped unhurt. Description of the trial of John Challacombe re murder of Hanah Balm as above. 26/08/1793 Saturday se'nnight died at Bishops Lydeard Somerset Mr William Davey, an eminant surgeon and apothecary of that town, a person in life truly respected. 03/09/1793 William Davey esq whose death was mentioned in our last paper died after a long and severe illness, which lasted several months: at his own request his body was opened by Mr Sully, surgeon of Wiveliscombe in the presence of Dr Cabbell, Mr Bryant, Mr Metford, Mr Cranmer and Mr Webb; they all agreed that there was an evident spasm in the aesophagus or passage that conveys the food into the stomach, but not great enough at the time the body was opened to have prevented the descent of any common food; there was also clearly an inflammation of the larynx or air tube. This was all the satisfactory information they could procure, which was not sufficient to testify the immediate cause of his death. 09/09/1793 Tuesday died Mrs Jones, wife of Mr Jones surgeon in Broadmead Bristol, whose death was occasioned by eating too freely of mushrooms. 23/09/1793 At Camerton coal-works near Bath, a few days since, a lad about 16 years of age going into a room where there were six or seven barrels of gunpowder, by some accident the scattered powder took fire and a terrible explosion followed. The lad was killed, and two others much hurt. The thatch and works round the coal-pit took fire; but by the activity of the men was soon extinguished; otherwise, had it spread, every miner employed in the pit would inevitably have perished. The nails in the shoes of the lad striking against those in the floor, it is supposed, occasioned this accident. A few days since part of a coal-pit at ….. Somerset, fell in, by which three men were killed and a fourth was greatly maimed. 04/11/1793 Monday the 21st ult. as one Thomas Cooksley was raising stones in Horstone quarry, in the parish of Milverton, part of it gave way which, it is supposed, killed him immediately; on his not returning home at night, next morning his wife went to seek him, and found his coat near the quarry, with his day's provision in his pocket; on getting assistance he was found quite dead. Saturday se'nnight, in the evening a fire broke out in a house in Narrow-Wine-Street, Bristol which was entirely destroyed, and the two adjoining ones greatly damaged. It was occasioned by a girl placing a candle near the stair case, which communicated to some shavings. A poor aged woman, attempting to save some of her property, was unfortunately burnt to death. The officers and privates of the Cornish militia deserve great praise for their active exertions on this occasion. 18/11/1793 Yesterday, one Withey, a labouring man of the parish of Pilton, adjoining this town, was committed by D F Scadding, coroner, to Ilchester gaol, on a string suspicion of murdering his wife, who was found drowned, or rather stifled in mud &c in a pool in a field in the said parish of Pilton, where it is believed that she had lain from the Sunday se'nnight before. A melancholy instance of human ferocity happened at Bath on the 8th instance. Some respectable tradesmen were sitting in the public room of a house in Walcot Street when one Peter Cottel, a follower of sheriff's officers came in and during the course of conversation, used language exceedingly opprobrious and insulting, which exasperated several of the company but particularly Francis Morley a plaisterer. On Morley's first remonstrating with and thereafter threatening to chastise Cottel for his insolence, he increased his abuse, and invited Morley to strike him. This Morley did, and some blows ensued, in which Cottel was knocked down. After a second round, whilst lying on his face he secretly took a small penknife from his pocket; and on getting up, after an interval, he invited Morley to a renewal of the attack. In the course of this scuffle, Cottel gave Morley a severe stab in the chest, and attempted another on the thigh which was averted by money in his pocket. Morley stood a few seconds and exclaimed he was stabbed, the blood gushing from the wound. Mr Creaser, surgeon was sent for, who discovered that the heart was penetrated, in consequence of which he died in a few minutes. Cottel was immediately secured and the Coroner's jury without hesitation gave a verdict of wilful murder. The deceased was a man of industrious and peaceable character. The behaviour and expressions of Cottel after his apprehension were an aggravation of his crime. The wound was inflicted with peculiar violence, as part of the knife was found on Cottel and another portion broken on the floor. 25/11/1793 Tuesday died, in child bed, Mrs Sugg wife of Mr Sugg bookseller Wincanton. 09/12/1793 Thursday se'nnight a waggon from Bristol overturned on the road to Bridgwater near the Kings Head beyond Bedminster Down, whereby a woman passenger going to Exeter was killed; a child at her breast fortunately escaped unhurt; another woman was much injured.