Murder? or accidental death?

[The two reports below are from the same newspaper, printed two weeks apart, and presumably refer to two different inquests into the same mishap. The second report also refers to a report one week earlier, which has not (yet) been electronically archived]


OXFORD, Saturday, Nov. 30
Jackson’s Oxford Journal (Oxford, England), Saturday, November 30, 1822; Issue 3631

Thursday last an inquest was held, at the pub-
lic house at Tingewick, Bucks, before Mr. Burn-
ham, Coroner for that county, on view of the
body of — Wells, keeper of the Old Angel public
house at Buckingham, who was found murdered
on the road, near the turnpike at Tingewick.
From the best information we can collect, we
learn that the deceased, with another man named
Brewerton, were returning, in a gig, from a
meeting held in Banbury for letting turnpike
tolls, on Monday last, and had quarrelled on
their road home; Brewerton had been heard to
say, “he would do for him.” When the de-
ceased was found, it was at first supposed his
death was occasioned by falling out of the gig;
but on a closer inspection of the wounds, there
was no doubt of his having been brutally mur-
dered. He had several severe blows about the
head and face, and one blow across his hand,
which it is probable was received when endea-
vouring to save them from his head. After a
very long investigation, the Jury returned a ver-
dict of Wilful Murder, against some person or
persons unknown.


INQUEST
Jackson’s Oxford Journal (Oxford, England), Saturday, December 14, 1822; Issue 3633

INQUEST

Upon Mr. W. Wells, of Buckingham
Held on Wednesday, Nov. 27, before Mr Burnham,
one of the coroners for that county
[THE CIRCUMSTANCE WAS GIVEN LAST WEEK]
Charles Cross, of Tingewick, shoemaker, deposed,
that on his road home from Buckingham last Monday
evening, the 25th of November, in company with his
apprentice, John Durrant, he met a horse and gig,
about half-past nine o’clock, without any person in it.
— that on approaching nearer Tingewick, they found
the body of a man lying by the road side — it was
quite cold — and a quantity of blood was under the
head and near it. Deponent immediately went to the
toll-gate (about 200 yards further on) to get as-
sistance, and on enquiring there whether a horse and
gig had lately passed through, the collector, Thomas
Brewerton, replied there had about half an hour ago;
and that the person who was with it was Wm. Wells,
of Buckingham. Whilst deponent was in coversa-
tion with the collector, in consequence of the ap-
prentice having gone into the village and given the
alarm, Benjamin Brewerton ran past the collector
and the deponent, as if alarmed, and on being called
to by name by the housekeeper at the toll-gate (Su-
sannah Stokes) he did not answer, but continued
running. Deponent followed, and on arriving again
at the place where the body lay, saw Benjamin Brew-
erton, who had arrived there about half a minute
before deponent, examining the head of the deceased;
and he (Brewerton) said he thought it was broken,
and expressed much surprise at finding Wells dead,
he having been to Banbury with him that day. De-
ponent waited till other persons came up, and then
left the place.
John Durrant, apprentice to the last witness, cor-
roborated his master’s testimony as to seeing the
empty gig and the body. On his master’s stopping
at the toll-gate, the witness ran on to Tingewick and
gave the alarm of the deceased having been found.
Went to several houses for that purpose, and amongst
others to that of Benjamin Brewerton, who was sit-
ting with his wife by the fire side. Benjamin Brew-
erton immediately ran out of his house towards the
toll-gate.

The Rev. Mr. Risley, of Tingewick, deposed that
on Monday evening the 25th of November, on his
return home from Buckingham in his gig with his
servant Richard Steeden, he met a horse and gig,
having no person in it, going towards Buckingham;
this was between nine and ten o’clock. Deponent
called to a waggoner who was passing at the time,
and desired him to take charge of the empty gig and
bring it back towards Tingewick. On deponent’s
road home, when about 200 yards on the Buckingham
side of the Tingewick toll-gate, observed three or
four persons standing by the side of the road, and,
on enquiring of the cause, learnt that William Wells
had been found dead. Deponent to ascertain the truth
got out of his gig and put his hand to the face
of the deceased and found it cold, and that he was
quite dead. Benjamin Brewerton was one of the
persons standing near the body, who said to depo-
nent that he had been to Banbury with the deceased,
and that upon their return they had called at
the Red Lion, and had quarrelled there — that the de-
ceased had used him very ill; in some further con-
versation with Brewerton on their way home, Brew-
erton expressed himself as being an innocent and an
upright man, and that he knew nothing of how the
deceased came by his death. Brewerton further
added, that the deceased was not intoxicated at the
time he had parted company with him at the Red
Lion.

William Stowe, of Buckingham, surgeon, deposed
that he had been called on to go to Tingewick about half-
past ten on the night of Monday the 25th ult. to see
a person who had been found lying on the road within
200 yards of Tingewick turnpike. On reaching the
spot, he found the body of William Wells, who ap-
peared to have received several wounds about the
head, and was quite dead. After noticing the posi-
tion of the body and limbs, and making such other
examinations as might tend to elucidate the cause of
the death, he directed that the body should be taken
to the nearest public-house for the purpose of inquest.
On farther examination in the presence of the Jury
this day, both ears were found severely lacerated, a
wound about two inches long on the right cheek, a
smaller one on the chin, the upper lip swollen, and a
front tooth deficient, an extensive wound on the back
of the right hand, and fluid having a spirituous smell,
was trickling from the left ear. Under the direction
of the coroner, he opened the head and removed the
brain, when a fracture was discovered extending across
the basis of the skull from ear to ear, which might
have been occasioned by falling on the top of the
head, or by considerable force applied overy one ear
while the opposite ear was on the ground — the left
ear had gravel in it, as if the injury had been sus-
tained while the head was in that position. Depo-
nent, on his first seeing the deceased, searched his
pockets and took from them 3l. 1s. 9d which, his wife
on receiving said, was within a shilliing or two of
what he had with him when he left home in the morning.

Joseph Terry, of Tingewick, labourer, deposed
that soon after eight o’clock on Monday evening last,
he heard the voice of Benjamin, exclaiming “Damn
his eyes, he shall have it.” Deponent lives next door
but one to Brewerton, and he (deponent) saw him
from his window at the time. Brewerton was wran-
gling afterwards with his wife or some person in the
house, and pulled his door to on coming out of it;
he returned again immediately, and on opening it said
to the persons inside the house, “D–n you, follow
me if you dare.” Brewerton then went towards
Tingewick turnpike-gate, passing deponent’s house,
and muttering to himself a the time, “D–n his
eyes, he shall have it.” Deponent thought at the
time Brewerton had been quarrelling with Edmund
Side, who was in Brewerton’s house.

Edmund Side, of Tingewick, labourer, deposed
that he was at the house of Benjamin Brewerton from
six till about nine o’clock on Monday evening the
25th of November. That Brewerton was absent at
the time he first went, but came in a quarter before
eight. He (Brewerton) appeared rather fresh — did
not remain above five minutes. That he then went
down to the turnpike, and was gone a quarter of an
hour, having been fetched home by his wife. That
he then remained ten minutes, during which time he
said he had had a few words with Wells, and behaved
very abusively towards his wife, saying he would go
out again and desiring her not to follow him. That
no words whatever passed between deponent
and Brewerton, nor did they even speak to each other —
That upon the request of Benjamin Brewerton’s wife,
deponent went to call John Brewerton to fetch Benj.
who did so, and brought Benjamin home. That Ben-
jamin remained in the house till deponent and his
wife left it, which was about half-past nine. — This
witness, on his re-examination said, that Brewerton
had said he would “wallop” Wells. And the evi-
dence generally came from him very reluctantly.

Charlotte Side, wife to the last witness, deposed
as to Benjamin Brewerton coming to his house, she
being there with her husband; that they left it to-
gether about nine o’clock; that, soon after they got
home, her husband went to the door and said “here
is the gig and Wells in it; he seems very fuddled, for
he sways about.” That about ten minutes after-
wards deponent went to Benjamin Brewerton’s house to
ask his wife to have some camomile tea, and saw
Benjamin Brewerton, and John Brewerton, drinking
beer together.

Mary Mansfield, the wife of Daniel Mansfield,
of the parish of Tingewick, victualler, deposed that
between the hours of 6 and 7 in the evening of Mon-
day, November 25, W. Wells and Benj. Brewerton got
out of a gig at deponent’s door; that they went into
the tap room together, and drank two pints of ale
with two half-quarterns of gin in it; they appeared
friendly towards each other at first, but afterwards
words arose between them about some money, which
the deponent cannot exactly speak to. Brewerton
appeared violent; threatened to knock Well’s teeth
down his throat; but on deponent’s interfering they
appeared good friends again, and got into the gig and
went away together. A few minutes afterwards
they came back to the door again and into the house;
Wells said on entering, “I don’t know what to make
of this fellow; he wants to fall out with me on the
road,” alluding to Brewerton, who said, “it was
only my fun.” Wells soon afterwards went to the
door, and got into the gig and drove off by himself,
leaving Brewerton in the house, who followed on foot
almost immediately. — Mansfield keeps the Red Lion,
at Finmere, but the house is in Tingewick parish.

Jas. Holton, butcher, of Tingewick, deposed that on
Monday evening the 25th ult. about 8 o’clock, Wm.
Wells, of Buckingham, called at deponent’s house,
in Tingewick, and told him that he (Wells) had come
from Banbury with Benjamin Brewerton, that even-
ing; that they had had words on the road, and again at
the Red Lion, where Brewerton at last promised to
drop it and shake hands; that Brewerton, when in
the gig again, used abusive language, and threatened
to fight Wells, who thereupon turned about to go to
the Red Lion again, where they agreed to settle the
dispute; but that Wells ordered the horse to be
ready, that he might drive away alone, for that Brew-
erton had threatened to knock his (Wells’) teeth down
his throat. Wells left deponent’s house about
twenty minutes past eight, but called again in the
gig on his way home, a little before nine o’clock;
nothing particular was said then; Wells appeared
a little fresh, but talked with deponent rationally,
and appeared perfectly capable of going home alone.

Susannah Stokes, housekeeper to Thos. Brewerton,
keeper of the Tingewick toll gate, deposed that she
did not leave her master’s house at all on Monday
evening the 25th of Nov. That Benjamin Brewerton
came there about half past eight; that he appeared
fresh, and had a few words with his father, and men-
tioned having had some with Wells. That deponent
sent Sarah Bedford to fetch Benj. Brewerton’s wife,
which she did; that Benj. Brewerton left the house
with his wife, but returned soon afterwards alone;
that he remained there about ten minutes, and quar-
relled with deponent about family affairs; that Ben-
jamin afterwards left the house in company with his
brother John, and did not return that evening. That
a gig, in which was William Wells, went through the
gate soon after nine o’clock. Benjamin and John
Brewerton had left the house some time.

John Brewerton, of Tingewick, labourer, deposed,
that between 8 and 9 o’clock, last Monday evening,
Edmund Side came to his (deponent’s) house, to re-
quest him to fetch his brother Benjamin away from
his father’s at the turnpike gate, as he was making
a disturbance there. That deponent went for his
brother immediately, and took him from his father’s
to his (Benjamin’s) own house; that he remained with
him drinking beer till past ten o’clock, and
never left him from the time he first went to the toll
house to that hour.

The evidence closed with this witness, and the
Jury, after taking another view of the body, and of
the gig from which the deceased is supposed to have
fallen, returned the their verdict, under the
direction of the Coroner, of Accidental Death.

Jackson’s Oxford Journal November 1847

BUCKINGHAM, Nov. 4
Jackson’s Oxford Journal (Oxford, England), Saturday, November 6, 1847; Issue 4932

BUCKINGHAM PETTY SESSIONS, October 30.
(Before Revds. A. Baynes and W.T. Eyre)

SELLING BEER WITHOUT A LICENCE. — James Moody, alias, James Townsend, alias Wiltshire Jemmy, late of Tingewick, was charged by Mr. Thomas Jones, Excise Officer, with having sold beer at Tingewick without a licence. The accused did not appear, and it was stated that he had absconded. The charge was that he had sold beer at a building by the side of the Buckinghamshire Railway works. Mr. A. Cornwall, Supervisor of Excise, appeared on the part of the Crown. It appeared that the summons had been left at Jemmy’s late habitation but nine clear days, whereas ten clear days were required by law. The Magistrates in consequence declined going on with the case. Mr. Cornwall forthwith applied for, and obtained, a fresh summons.

POOR RATES. — William Steeden, wheelwright, summoned by Mr. A. Durrant, one of the overseers of Tingewick, for arrears of poor’s rates, amounting to 7s. 10½. Thomas Hayward, working brewer, was also summoned for 5s. 3d. The parties pleaded inability, and stated their circumstances to the Magistrates, who said they had not the power of excusing them, and that as the rates were pressed they must order payment; but they considered that the parish ought not to enforce the rates, and they advised the defendants to apply at the next vestry to be excused from payment. — Mr. Thomas Painter said that the men were tenants of his; they had been picked out, while others living in better cottages, and who were more able to pay, were excused, and that persons who had 100l. in the bank were not made to pay. — Mr Durrant said the men were able to pay, and that Mr. Painter, the guardian of the parish, ought not to tell persons not to pay their rates. — The defendants were ordered to pay the rates, and 2s. each costs.

A layman forger at Edgcott!

 

screen-capture-11

A loose end in the Tingewick database led me to this burial in Edgcott, Northamptonshire of William Sewell aged 78.  It took place on 6th October 1856 but it was the barely-decipherable note below in the officiating minister’s name that caught my eye.  It reads:

F. W. Stewart
off. Minister
who afterwards
turnd out to be a Layman
was convicted of Forgery
and transported’

Well I never!

New-style Families Index

As some of you know, I’ve been unable to update the Index of Names since the end of 2007. The program I wrote to create the pages pre-dated Windows, and I now use an iMac. I struggled to find a genealogy program that suited me, and have finally settled on iFamily for Mac. It includes a good, adaptable page generator BUT will only produce them for one ‘family’. I eventually hit on the notion of creating a single super-ancestor (called, not surprisingly perhaps) Tingewick. I have finally finished connecting all 18,000 people in my database to this one imaginary person and have uploaded the results here. Of course, I am now finding a host of discrepancies which will take me another half-lifetime to fix: meanwhile I haven’t added the 1911 census returns … and so it goes on. Hopefully, though, the extra (and updated!) information on the new pages will make up for the rather clumsy index and linkage back to the main Tingewick site.
As always, if you see any errors/omissions, please do let me know so I can correct. Meanwhile – enjoy!

Good Samaritans near Tingewick

From the North Bucks Herald, Saturday 11th January 1908, p3

[sent in by Sue in Brisbane]

screen-capture

*  *  *  *

The ordinary tramp bears anything but a good character, and when met on the highway is, as a rule, given as wide a berth as possible.  There are exceptions to every rule, and it is a pleasure to be able to record a very kindly act performed by one of the genre, who almost deserves to be classed with the Good Samaritan.  Miss Florence Swift, a teacher in the Buckingham National School, left her home at Barton Hartshorn on Monday last on her bicycle, in order to attend school, which opened after the Christmas holidays on that day.  When about three-quarters of a mile on the Buckingham side of Tingewick her bicycle skinned on the icy road, and she was thrown to the ground.  A tramp, evidently and old soldier, was proceeding from Buckingham to Tingewick, and found the young lady lying unconscious on the road.  He picked her up, lifted her to the side of the road, took off his coat and wrapped it round her, also unfastening her cape from the machine and wrapping it round her head, which was covered in blood.  Mrs Baines, of Tingewick, happened to be passing towards Buckingham, and after some unavoidable delay Mr. Baines came to the rescue, the tramp meanwhile mounting guard over the young lady, who was still unconscious, in his shirt sleeves, though it was a bitterly cold morning.

*  *  *  *

Miss Swift was ultimately removed to the house of Mr. Baines, and a cyclist being despatched to Buckingham, Dr Larking was quickly in attendance.  It was found that the young lady had sustained serious cuts on the head, but she gradually recovered consciousness, and later in the day was removed to her home, where she is progressing favourably.

*  *  *  *

[Mrs & Mr Baines may well have been Martha Baines and husband Frederick, a small farmer: they lived on the High Street in 1911, and were the grandparents of Mary Watkins (1922-2014), stalwart and for many years president of the Tingewick Historical Society]

Newsy Notes

Mrs Sarah Davis, of Tingewick, near Buckingham, who died recently in her ninety-fourth year, was for sixty years mistress in the infants’ department of the village school at Finmere.

FS19101021.1.1x

Fielding Star, Vol V, Issue 1320, 21 October 1910, p. 1.
Available online from PAPERSPAST web site
http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/

PS Feilding is a rural town on the southern part of the north island of New Zealand.

Pancake Day 1935

Tingewick – 1935 – Pancake Day – Shrove Tuesday celebrations

There are still about 70 parishes and schools in England in which the old customs regarding the Pancake Bell are still observed on Shrove Tuesday.  These include Warwick, Claverdon, Buckingham, Haxey, Minehead, Tingewick, Blaby, Wimborne, Minster, Bedale, East Markham, Ripon, and Bromley (Kent). At Dursley, “when a signal is given by a great peal from the parish church, maids in various houses begin to cook a pancake; and the girls run to the church with plates of pancakes for the ringers, and honour is paid to the girl who gets there first“. At Wem, Shropshire, the same ringer has rung the Pancake Bell for the last 60 years, without a break.

AS19350928.1.40_x
Auckland Star, Vo.l LXVI, Issue 230, 28 September 1935, p 12
From PAPERSPAST
http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/

Corrections wanted!

It may sound odd to say I’m pleased when someone points out a mistake in the Tingewick database: but I am.  If nobody tells me, then I may never spot the error and – given the way of t’Internet – it may continue to burrow into other folk’s trees for ever.

I had two sent to me this week!

The first pointed out that Catherine Read bp 1838 did not die in 1865.  That burial was actually for Caroline Read née Holton, wife of Andrew, and had in fact also been attached to her record.  Catherine, too, was duplicated in the database – I had recorded her in 1881 in Skelton, Lancashire with with her husband Robert Withington and their children, but had failed to make the connection with her baptism and earlier census returns in Tingewick.

Thanks to Anna, I’ve now found the other intervening census returns, Catherine’s mother’s marriage to Anthony Druce, and tidied up an assortment of loose ends.

The second error arrived a day later, and also concerns the Holton family.  Was it possible, Jan asked, that the Thomas Holton b. 1812 who was recorded (with wife Ann) in Buckingham from 1851 through 1871 and was not to be found on the Tingewick database be the same Thomas Holton b 1807 who baptised a son (with wife Sarah) in 1827 and then vanishes apparently without trace?  This second Thomas is assumed to be the one baptised in August 1807, son of Thomas and Ann née Marriot

1851Holton,Thos.jpgThe error in this case was that the first Thomas did appear on the database … but his age in 1851 looked very much like 29 not 39 and so had been mis-transcribed on the Buckinghamshire Family History Society 1851 census returns database.  Later returns show quite clearly that this is wrong.

So – are the two actually the same person?  I’m undecided.  On the one hand, the ages don’t quite tally.  On the other, if they aren’t the same, then whose child is the first Thomas?

Does anyone else have an opinion?

W.C. Kingham, photographer

Does anyone have any photographs taken by William Charles Kingham of Tingewick? If so, I’d love to hear about them.

His father, Joseph Kingham was born around 1855 in North Marston, a dozen or so miles south-east of Tingewick in Buckinghamshire.  He married in 1877 and had three sons by 1884.  He was a coachman in Quainton and Maids Moreton; then, in 1898, he moved to Tingewick to take on the tenancy of the Royal Oak.

That same year, William Charles Kingham – his oldest son – married Tingewick girl Fanny Amelia Steeden.  He described himself as a ‘cycle agent’ in the marriage register, but at the census two and a half years later he is a ‘photographer and cycle dealer‘.

I have one of his photographs- of Frank Floyd, at Wood Farm, looking splendid in his Bucks Yeomanry uniform.  Then, a few weeks ago, I had an email from Vic in Hampshire, asking for help identifying the people in a family group.  The smart young man with the bicycle in front of the same cottage is his grandfather, Charles Smith (b. 1885).  Could the others be relatives?

His grandfather’s grandfather was Tingewick labourer Edward Smith (1818-1853) who died in his mid-thirties, leaving his widow with six children to raise.  Vic is descended from the youngest, George (b. 1848), who moved to London.  The older siblings dispersed to Oxfordshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire, leaving just their oldest sister Ann (183-1911) 1in the village.  Her daughter Harriet (b. 1856 and Vic’s grandfather’s oldest cousin) married Richard James Coates (1858-1915) who plied a variety of trades in the village – painter and glazier, plumber, even grocer – before settling – by the turn of the century – as a ‘house decorator‘.   On the 1901 census, he and his six children are a near-perfect match for the group in the photograph above which probably dates from around the same time.

Meanwhile, Charles Kingham’s photography business seems to have been a sideline to his main bicycle sales and repairs – it doesn’t appear in the local Kelly’s Directories where he is listed as a cycle agent and cycle repairer.  At some point after 1907 he moved to Stantonbury, now part of Milton Keynes, with his wife and two children.  In 1911 he is recorded there as an electrician’s labourer in the railway carriage works.  A year later, Fanny died; he remarried in 1915; and he died in Northampton General Hospital in 1948 without – as far as I know – continuing his career as a photographer.  Or does anyone else know differently?

 

The funeral of Shugborough Newitt Steeden, 15th November 1918

[sent to me by June Underwood of the Buckinghamshire Remembers website.  Although Shugborough Newitt Steeden’s name appears on both the Tingewick parish war memorials, he is not recorded on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site because he died of influenza, not of his wounds]

From the Buckingham Advertiser and North Bucks Free Press, Saturday November 30, 1918

The second part of the cutting reads:

“… – A particularly sad scene was wit-
nessed in the village on the 15th inst., in the
presence of the Washington car passing through
the Main Street carrying two coffins containing
the mortal remains of Shugborough Newitt
Steeden, aged 29, and Elsie Louisa, his wife, aged
30, both having passed away the same night,
leaving two little children – a girl, 6 years old,
and a boy, aged 4. Deceased was a grandson of
the late John Steeden, of Tingewick, and his
wife a daughter of Ebenezer Newman Pollard.
He joined Kitchener’s Army in the early days of
the war, was drafted into the Oxford and Bucks
L.I., and sent to France, where after a few
months he was severely wounded, his life being
despaired of for some time. Treated in Glasgow
Hospital with every care, after a year or so he
was discharged about 12 months since, the marks
most visible of his wounds being a stiff knee and
the loss of two fingers. He was a gardener in the
employ of Lady Lawrence at Chetwode Manor
previous to the war, and only a week before his
death he removed from Tingewick to The Gables,
near Winslow, to act in the same capacity with
Lady Addington, the floral wreath sent by the
latter being one of the many floral tributes to
the memory of two lives so swiftly removed from
us. Of a cheerful and obliging nature, deceased
had many friends. Symbolical of a union ex-
pressed in life, one grave contains both husband
and wife. The Rev. P.E. Rayner (Rector) offi-
ciated
—–*——

shugborough steeden