Stevens 1879-04-17

A close up of text on a white background

Visited Stevens at Achill Farm which is in Brailes Parish, but he sometimes comes to Church and his children attend the school.

Visited Bedding at New Barn.

Received parcel of books for Lending Library which I had ordered from Stanford of Charing Cross.

The following account of the inquest on body of John Kirby is from Banbury Guardian of this day.


Cutting pasted into the diary:



On Tuesday an inquest was held at Hornton before G. Coggins, Esq., deputy coroner for the northern division of this county, on view of the body of John Kirby, who had died somewhat suddenly on Sunday morning last. The following evidence was taken :-

William Hone said—I am a labourer residing at Hornton, in the county of Oxford. The deceased’s name was John Kirby. He was a hurdle maker and had been lodging with me since about last Michaelmas. I believe he was a native of King’s Suttou and I believe him to be a widower. He was at work for Mr. Joseph Jones, of Ratley. He was of rather intemperate habits. He came into the house on Saturday last about six o’clock and brought about a shillings-worth of mutton. I asked him to have some tea, but he refused, saying he was going out again and when he came back he would have a bit of the mutton frizzled. He then left the house and was absent about two hours and a half. When he returned he hald two slices of mutton which he frizzled himself before the fire and a cup or two of tea. He ate it heartily and then went off to bed about ten o’clock. He was not intoxicated. My wife and I went to bed about eleven o’clock. My wife awoke me between one and two o’clock in the night and said, “Do you hear Kirby?” I said I should think he is asleep and snoring. She said he is not snoring, you get out and go and see, and when I got into the bedroom adjoining ours I said, “Get out of bed directly, for the man is dying.” I went and called Sarah Simmons. The deceased never uttered a word, but died in about an hour after my attention was first called to him. The deceased was not in want of anything during the time he lived with us. I feel sure he has not been ill-used. I believe the decease to be about 50 years of age. I did not know his parents. He never complained to me of illness.

Ann Hone, the wife of the last witness, said—The deceased has been living with us since about three weeks before Michaelmas last. He never complained to me until within the last week or two, and then complained of a cold. I asked him to have the doctor, he said no, the doctor wasn’t of any use to him, he would wait. He did not seem any worse on Saturday night last than usual. He did not 0d come downstairs before 12 o’clock on Saturday. When he came down he had two eggs and a slice of bread and butter and two cups of tea. He went out after this, although I told him not to go, as I thought he would be better indoors. He said he would go down to Stanley’s, at Hornton. Kirby returned to our house about five or six o’clock, and brought a small quantity, about a pound and a half, of mutton. I tried to persuade him not to go out again. He only waited about three minutes and then went off. He returned between eight and nine o’clock, had some mutton and tea, and then went to bed. He did not seem the worse for beer. I and my husband retired about eleven o’clock. About twenty minutes past one o’clock I heard the deceased groaning and called to him two or three times, but he made no answer, and then I awoke my husband, and he got out of bed and went to him, and afterwards fetched Sarah Simmons. The deceased never spoke. I rubbed him about the bowels and chest with turpentine. I put a mustard plaster on the pit of the chest, and another near the throat, I also bathed his head with vinegar, but he never rallied, and died in about an hour afterwards. After he had had a week’s drinking he always complained of a pain in his left side. On the day in question he did not appear to have had much to drink. The deceased had not been at work since last Wednesday week. He had during this time been on and off drinking. The deceased had no money at the time he died. I have heard him say that he could, when at work, hurdle-making, earn 4s. and 4s. 6d. per day.

Sarah Simmons, the wife of Joseph Simmons, said—I live near Mrs. Hone. I recollect Sunday morning last being called by William Hone, between two and three o’clock, to go to his house, as John Kirby was ill. I have I heard a portion of the evidence of Ann Hone, the last witness, relating to what was done for the deceased in my presence, and it is quite correct.

Jeremiah Henry MacGreal, surgeon, Alkerton, deposed—On Monday last I made an external examination of the body of the deceased. I found no marks of violence on the body. I have heard the evidence of William Hone and Ann Hone, and the symptoms described show that he was suffering from cerebral congestion, and a derangement of the functions of the lungs, which produced the congestion, and the immediate cause of death would be syncope, produced by disease of the heart. I should say that the whole organs of the body were diseased, but that the immediate cause of death would be heart disease. Drinking would most certainly accelerate his death.

The jury, of whom Mr. Edward Cox was foreman, returned a verdict that the deceased died from heart disease, and that according to the evidence, and In their opinion, his death was hastened by excessive drinking.