SAD DROWNING CASE AT THIRLSPOT.
An inquest was held at the King's Head Inn, Thirlspot on Wednesday night, by
Wm. Wilkin Lumb Esq., deputy coroner, touching the death of William Cartmel
aged nineteen years, whose body had been found in Howe beck on the previous
Monday evening in the circumstances narrated in the evidence reported
below . The following gentlemen composed the jury :-Messars Reuben Thwaites
(foreman). John Bristow, John Hawkrigg sen., Charles Birkett, Isaac
Bristow, John Dowthwaite, John Birkett, Thos Nixon, John Hawkrigg jun.,
Richard Fleming, Seatree, and Joseph Branthwaite.
John Robinson, landlord of the King's Head Inn said the deceased was his
nephew and had been with him for nine years. The deceased was nineteen years
of age, and was engaged as husbandman and general assistant. Witness last
saw him alive on Monday at about a quarter to eleven , but did not have much
talk with him. Witness said he kept the post office, and the deceased
delivered the Armboth and Dalehead letters. On Monday came into the bar
where witness was sorting the letters after the arrival of the postman from
Keswick and talked to the postman. There were four or five letters for
Dalehead , Armboth, and neighbourhood and the deceased said, " Are these all?
The deceased took them and left the house, and that was the last witness saw
of him alive, The deceased generally drove the market people to Keswick on a
Saturday and he left at about half past eight in the morning and returned at
something after three. Witness saw that he then somewhat the worse for
drink , for when he left the conveyance he neither loosed the horse nor did
anything for it. He went into the room where Witness was with his wife who
was ill. He walked to the fire, then to the window, and then left the room.
No word was spoken by any of them. In about ten minutes he returned and
said , '' My father is coming to see you to-night, and I have to go and see
their folk.' Witness did not quite catch what he said, and Mrs. Robinson
told him that William wanted to go home. Witness then said to the deceased,
"Hang some corn to the horse before you go " he asked for his better
clothes , and Mrs Robinson gave him the keys. He left by the coach and did
not return until after closing time on Sunday night. He was up on Monday
morning and did his usual work, he came into the kitchen at about half-past
seven to his breakfast, and after having eaten it he asked what he was to
do . Witness told him to thresh some corn, and then fodder the sheep on the
fell side, but returned just as the postman came from Keswick. After
finishing with the letters, witness went to Smeathwaite and when he returned
Mrs. asked where William was, saying also that the girls had been "lating" "
him to his dinner and could not find him Witness thought he bad gone to lie
down some where, as he had been out rather late at nights just previously.
Witness thought he might have gone to the hoghouse, a little distance from
the homestead and while going through the sheepfold which is in the same
direction , he came across foot prints in the snow, which he followed across
the field and when nearly at the beck saw the deceased's cap lying on the
bank , and, immediately afterwards his body in the stream Witness who was
startled at the sight, exclaimed " Oh dear, Willie ! " and ran back to give
the alarm at Dalehead and Fisherplace, The deceased bad not been in the
habit of drinking. Witness did not suspect anything wrong with him He had
nothing whatever to trouble him. He we a healthy lad and was not subject to
fits . Witness had never scolded him and had no reason to think he would put
an end to himself. Mrs. Robinson sent for five or six things from Keswick
by him that Saturday and he forgot four.
The place was not a likely One to Choose to commit suicide, but the brook
was covered with ice at other places , The deceased had no reason to go into
the field there was no stock in it. Mr. Birkett and Mr Thwaite fetched the
body away. -
Thomas Nixon, gardener in employment with Manchester Corporation, said he
had known the deceased for five or six years. Ho was a nice cheerful young
man , and to all appearances hearty and well, Witness last saw him alive
about twenty minutes to twelve on Monday. he had asked witness to go with
him to Dalehead, and as witness had an errand there he went. He did not talk
much , but seemed rather in a low way. Witness had never seen him tipsy
except on the previous Saturday, and thought he might be ashamed.
The place was not a likely one for any one to put an end to himself. If he
had taken a fit he might have fallen in. There was no footpath to the place
where the deceased was found.
John Birkett, builder, Legburthwaite, said he had known the deceased for
eight or nine years, but had not seen him for a week or so past. He was an
industrious steady young man. Witness was called by Mr. Robinson, and he
found the deceased lying in the stream, partly on one aide, with his face
down ' There might he 18 inches depth water. The body was bare at the back
he had on all his clothes except his hat, His watch was in his pocket,
going , round at correct time. There was also a pipe some tobacco and matches
in his pockets There were no marks of violence on body beyond the mark on
Inspector Richardson said he saw the deceased at Keswick, near the Queen's
Hotel, at about eleven o'clock on Saturday night. Ho was very drunk. Witness
saw that his face, was scarred, and asked him what had been the cause; but
he would not reply. One of the constables said he was the boy from
Thirlspot . He left the street and went down to High Hill, where he stayed
The coroner summed up in favour of an open verdict, and the jury returned
one of drowned."