The Inquests at Cadeby – John Bell

November 1890

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 21 November 1890

The Inquests at Cadeby – John Bell

The inquests on the two bodies took place on Tuesday night at the Police Station, at Cadeby. In the absence of the Coroner through indisposition, the deputy, Mr. J. G. Nicholson, officiated.

The following were the jury :- Thos. Jubb (foreman), W. H. Braithwaite. Arthur Ward, Alfred eh-Hereon, Arthur Robert Macey, Charles Cutts, Charles Marshall, John Bacon, John Marshall. George Staten, Arthur Twibey, Walter Twibey, and Henry Ward.

The first witness was Emma Bell, widow, who identified one of the bodies as that of her husband. She said she saw him alive about half-past five o’clock on Saturday night. He said he was going out for a short time. He said, ” I shan’t be long, my lass, before I am back.” She replied, “No, go early and get home early.” He had gone to fetch her some brandy because she was often ill. He was 39 years of age and a bricklayer. When she next saw him, he was dead.

James Henry Bradbury, farmer, Conisborough, said he knew the deceased. He saw him alive shortly after eight o’clock on Saturday night. He was then on the ferry boat, and witness ferried him from the Conisborough to the Cadeby side. The deceased appeared to be in his usual health. Witness “landed ” him and that was the last he saw of him alive. It was about eleven o’clock when he heard about the drowning. Someone was shouting on the other side of the river, and be (witness) got up. His father and brother in-law went to where the sound came from; they vent across in a boat. It was supposed that someone was drowning, but they could not see to drag the river that night. The body was got out the next morning. Witness had a lamp and showed the deceased the way before leaving him and witness bade him ” Good night ” He understood the deceased to say before he left him, ” I should have stepped into the river it you had had not shown me the light.”

The Coroner: After you ” landed ” him what would he have to cross?—The bridge over the river, it is a narrow turnbridge.

Where did he fall in ?—I do not know; I did not go to see. It was on the Cadeby side.

Was that after he got across the canal?—Yes.

Would he walk along the side of the river to Cadeby ? He would have to walk partly on the side of the river before he fell in. He has walked too touch on the left-band side; if he had kept as much to the right-hand he would not have got in.

A juryman : You did not hear him cry out? No.

Yon clever heard him calling before you got into the house?—No.

He must have been in the river before you got back ?—No, I should think he would not.

The Coroner: Where was the body found — opposite the house?—No; it was considerably below our house.

Was it a hundred yards away ?—lt was between 400 yards and 600 yards I should think.

Then you would not hear him ?—No, I never heard him at all.

William Squires, lock-keeper, said he knew the deceased. He did not see him on Saturday. His misses got up and went into the kitchen for something a little before nine o’clock. He believed that someone was shouting, and he “nipped up” and listened. He went out with the lamp and hook and he nearly got in himself. He beard someone call out twice and he put the hook down into the water, but heard nothing more. It was ten minutes past nine when he returned to the house. He afterwards saw a man, named Henry Ward, and said that some poor fellow had gone, but he could not do any more for him then.

The Coroner : How long were you searching ? -I was five minutes going from the house.

But I mean when you got near the place. You knew someone was drowning ?- I knew someone was in, bat could not see him.

Did you recover the body ?—No.

Did you report it to anyone?—My missus shouted and I could get no one but a lot of men came up afterwards. They searched for him and they said they bad got him.

That night?—Yes.

When did you report it ?—The next morning.

The body was out then ?—No, it was in the water still

That was the next morning ?—Yes.

Did you go with the men to get the body out? —No. You did not go to show them ?

I said where I had beard the noise.

You pointed it out ?—No, I told them when they came for the hooks. I told them as near I could guess.

You could have pointed out where you last heard the cries ?—I told them.

You gave no information to the police at Conisborough ?—Not until morning. I told a man and he told someone else the same night.

A juryman: I was there soon after the man got drowned, and Squires told me it was so dark we could not see anywhere, that we thought it was noose doing anything more then.

Witness: I said it was a pity we could not do anything. I told the officer the next morning.

A juryman : I think he did the best he could to get the body out. He had very little chance, for he could not see five feet from him.

The Coroner: He showed you the place?—Yes.

Is it a deep place where he fell in ? —Yes. Seven or eight feet feet deep.

Witness : I measured it to-day. The depth is 6ft. 5in. before he would touch the water.

A juryman said he got to the spot about halfpast ten o’clock. He asked Squires about it and he replied that a man had got drowned, but he did not know who it was. They shouted Bradbury up and asked who had been ferried over the water. Old Mr. Bradbury came and said his son had ferried Bell over just after eight o’clock. They then tried to find the body. Squires had not got a grappling iron, but he gave them the boat bo”k, and they had two or three lights. But they could not find the body and they decided to I leave it until the morning.

The Coroner: You are a better witness then Squires. I understand the case now, and do not see that anything more than an accident can be made of it.

The jury at once returned a verdict of ” Accidentally drowned.”