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Joseph Chambers

Wellingborough News, 22nd July 1882, transcribed by Kay Collins


On Friday evening, 14th inst., an inquest was held at the Wheat Sheaf Inn, before Mr. J. T. Parker, divisional coroner, on the body of Joseph Chambers, a boy between eight and nine years of age, who was killed in being run over by a cart belonging to Thomas Webb, farmer, on the previous (Thursday) evening. The following jury were sworn: Messrs S. Finding, J. Cobley, W. Allen, J. Bass, J. Partridge, J. Ekins, E. J. Whitney, W. Smith, S. Moore, E. Ekins, G. Archer, and R. Hazeldine. The first witness called was a lad of eight years old, named Henry Chambers, the son of John Chambers, an agricultural labourer, and a brother of deceased. He deposed that at eight o'clock, on Thursday evening he saw deceased playing in the street opposite Mr. Thomas Knighton's shop with some other boys. He was 10 yards off at the time when he saw Thomas Webb drive down the street and pass him in a cart. The horse was trotting at a fair pace. He then saw his sister run in the way of the horse, when Webb pulled up for her to get out of the way. Webb then drove on again and he saw deceased run across the road in front of the cart. The shaft of the cart caught him as he was passing and knocked him down and the wheel went over him. Webb had not time to pull up again before the cart went over deceased. He tried to stop but couldn't. Webb pulled up as soon as the wheel had gone over deceased and immediately after drove off for the doctor. Deceased was then bleeding and insensible and was picked up by Mr. Allen.—In reply to a juryman, witness said deceased was not on a bank when he started to run across the road but stood against it. No one pushed him into the road.—Annie Jacobs deposed that she lived as servant to Mr. W. Wingell, at the Wheat Sheaf Inn, and at about eight o'clock on Thursday evening was standing at the front door, where she saw the deceased jump off a wall about two feet high into the road and start to run across it. Thomas Webb was then, driving down the street in a cart. She saw the shaft of the cart knock deceased, and the cart wheel go over his head. Webb was not driving very fast. She did not see him try to stop until the wheel had gone over deceased's head. He then stopped the horse. She did not hear Webb call out to the boy before he was run over. Deceased was run over as soon as he attempted to cross the road.—Thomas Webb, farmer, of Raunds, deposed that about eight o'clock on Thursday evening he was driving down the street when he saw a little girl standing in the middle of the street above the Wheat Sheaf Inn. He at once pulled up short, or the girl must have been run over. He asked the girl if she wanted to be killed, and told her to get out of the way. His daughter was in the cart with him. He then let the reins loose, and the horse went on. He had not gone on more than five yards when his daughter cried out, "Father, there is a little boy under the wheel." He at once pulled up, got out of the cart, and found the deceased lying on the ground with blood flowing from his mouth in a thick stream. He never saw the boy until he was run over. He immediately jumped up into the cart, and rode off for the doctor. In reply to a juryman, the witness said that after stopping to avoid running over the girl his horse had just started again when his daughter screamed out that a little boy was under the wheel.—Mary Jane Thompson, wife of Francis James Thompson, deposed that she was driving with her father through Raunds about eight o'clock on Thursday night. She remembered her father pulling up short, and a little girl being pulled out of the way of the horse to avoid being run over. Her father then started on and immediately she saw a little boy under the wheel. She did not see the deceased attempt to run across the road. She did not see him until he was right under the wheel.—Dr. J. Crew, surgeon, Higham Ferrers, deposed that he had examined the body of deceased, and found him bleeding from the left ear. There was an abrasion of the left temple and a fracture of the base of the skull These injuries would be sufficient to cause death.— The jury were of opinion that no blame rested on Webb for reckless or careless driving in causing the death of deceased and returned a verdict of Accidental Death.

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