Inquest before Thomas Marshall Esq.
On 18th inst. at Wollaston, on view of the body of William Freeman, carrier from Northampton to Wollaston, drowned at about 11p.m. on Saturday night [16th March 1844] near Hardwater Mill.... on his return from Northampton market. He was about 70 years old. The water was very high through which he had to pass, and after getting through the deepest part, the reins broke. In trying to stop the horse, deceased pulled him off the road into the stream, and as he was walking along the shafts to gather up the reins, he fell into the water, but hung by the shafts for a considerable time. His wife was in the cart but could not help him, and at last, waded through the water and walked to Wollaston, two miles, to get assistance. Police Constable Clarke, with six men, immediately returned to the place with another horse and cart..... but were too late to render him any assistance, as he had let go his hold. After searching for about two hours, they found the body near the cart at 5a.m.....
Verdict: Found drowned.