Thursday, 9 May 2013

Update of the Past NEWS .......... 2nd May 1885

 Catch up on the full story of last weeks NEWS.............
*Mr Fox of Bakewell –

Mr Fox was the cause of much gossip and speculation in Bakewell after he took his own life. 

The full identity of “Mr Fox” was that of Mr James Fox, quarryman of Ashford In The Water.  He was around 50 years old when he committed suicide.

At the inquest which was held at the Kings Arms, Mill Street, Bakewell his son Matthew Fox was present to confirm that the deceased was James.  Matthew was a farm labourer and also lived at Ashford In The Water. 

On the day of the inquest the Jury had the gruesome task of walking to the quarry where they were to witness first-hand the body of James.  Matthew stated that his father had been acting strangely in the days passed.  Witnesses were called to decipher the events of the tragic day –

John Bond a quarryman from Bakewell told how he saw James at around 7.20am that morning and they had exchanged small talk, James had said “Well Jack” and John had replied “Well Jim”.  John did not see James alive again after that.

George Hawkesworth also a quarryman at Chert Quarries told how around 11am he was alerted by John Bond that James was missing.  He went to Bottom Quarry, an unworked quarry and about 150 yards from the entrance he found the body of James Fox; he was lying in a pool of blood.  About 2 feet away from James lay a razor which was wide open.  P C Keeley was called to scene immediately.

James’s fellow colleagues at the quarry told how James had not been himself for some time, he had been short tempered and in low spirits as though something was troubling him. 

The Deputy Coroner at the inquest gave a verdict of “suicide whilst temporarily insane”.

James was born in Monyash, Derbyshire around 1834; he was married to Elizabeth who died at some time in-between the 1871 census and the 1881 census when James was described as a widower.  The couple had at least the following children; Matthew, David, Elizabeth, Jane and Adam.  Was the death of his wife the reason for poor James’s woes? Does anyone know any more about this family?
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*Harry Booker –
Harry was the name of the child who was tragically run over by the coach of Dr Rooth at Barlow.
An inquest was held at the Peacock Inn at Barlow and the boy’s parents gave evidence along with Gervase Margereson and John Spindley; the coachman.  After hearing all of the statements the jury decided upon a verdict of “accidental death”. 
Harry’s birth was registered in the March quarter of 1884.
John Spindley the coach driver had been in the employ of the Rooth family for many years, in 1871 he was aged 21 years old and working for them as a servant.  He was born in Osgodby, Lincolnshire.  On the 1881 census John is still living in Dronfield but is now married to Frances and they have a young daughter named Edith.  John must have been devastated when he accidentally killed young Harry as his daughter Edith would only have been a few years older than him.
In 1891 John is still employed as a coachman so hopefully he was able to move on with his life after the tragedy.  He has another daughter named Dora Musgrove.  A few years later another daughter arrives; baby Ida.  John and family are living on Callywhite Lane in Dronfield in 1901 and he is now employed as a domestic groom. 
Were John’s driving days over?  It looks like it as the 1911 census shows John as a hotel keeper.  He is now 61 years old and is running the Midland Hotel on Chesterfield Road in Dronfield.  France his wife and his youngest daughter Ida Isobel are living at the hotel.  John and Frances were lucky as they are recorded on the census return as only having had three children, but all were still living. 
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