Saturday, October 24, 2009

Inquests 1805

Sunday 4 August 1805
On Thursday se'nnight Mr. and Mrs. EVANS were unfortunately thrown out of a chaise between Parramatta and Hawkesbury ; and Mr. E. had his shoulder dislocated. We have nevertheless must satisfaction in adding that Mrs. EVANS with a beautiful infant in her arms, escaped the slightest hurt.

Last Friday G. BLAXCELL Esq. as Coroner, convened an inquest upon the body of Mr. HUMPHREY EVANS Settler of Seven Hills, who died the evening before in consequence of a tree striking him in its fall. The Jury returned a verdict accidental death. The deceased leaves a widow and two children to bemoan his unexpected loss, and was universally respected throughout his neighbourhood. On the Inquest it appeared, that at four in the af- ternoon of the preceding day he had gone out to procure paling for a stye ; but not returning when expected, his wife expressed much anx- iety, and at dusk dispatched a man in search of him, but he returning without any tidings of his master, his mistress directed him to accompany her, and after a long research discovered the unfortunate object of her anxiety outstretched, and across his breast a heavy oak tree which he himself had fallen.

Notes. Death in NSW BDM:
V18051994 2A/1805 EVANS HUMPHREY V1805725 148/1805 EVANS HUMPHREY

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Sunday 8 December 1805
On Thursday a Coroner's Inquest assembled at Hawkesbury on the body of William Yardley, a settler down the River, whose death was occasioned by the following melancholy circumstances : A considerable time after himself and family were in bed Wednesday night, the house took fire, and burned with such rapidity as to render their escape difficult : he suceeded nevertheless, with his wife's assistance, in snatching his children from the flames, and then unhappily returned to save some little cloathing, but the roof falling in, he perished in the attempt. The body of the deceased presented a ghastly spectacle to the jurors, whose verdict was appropriate to the event. As the accident of the house taking fire was most unaccountable and mysterious, many people attributed it to the lightning, which was very vivid at the time; but it is a much more probable conjecture that the disaster originated in the rancour of the Branch natives, to whose excesses his activity was a constant curb, and whose hostile inclinations are as manifest as ever. So long as they content themselves with pillaging the settlers' grounds they experience civility and hospitable treatment : but tiring with this comparative moderation, they rush into acts of open and declared hostility ; and it is much to be lamented that possibly from the want of sufi- cient caution, the first objects of their treachery have too frequently become its easy victims.

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