Melancholy death of Thomas Ivens – 1876

Another newspaper report:-

This time telling the graphic story by an eyewitness, of the tragic death of a butcher, Thomas Ivens, who crashed his cart in the village of Stoneleigh, on the way home from Coventry markets to 12,Warwick Street, Leamington Priors.

butchers-cart-1912The witness was John Arnold, Thomas’ assistant, who was travelling with his master.

The cart was more likely to be of this kind rather than the 4-wheel Hawking type which carried meat to customers in outlying areas.

According to the newspaper, on Friday last, (10th November) John and Thomas Ivens had gone to Coventry – a distance of some 8.8 miles – and after attending the market left at about 8 o’clock in the evening with a big load of meat, returning through Stoneleigh. As they entered the village from the Coventry side, the mare swerved at a light shining in the road from a cottage window. John thought the light from the window frightened the mare.

“She did not swerve much, but ran up the bank on the off side, and upset the cart.”  At the time of the accident they were as near the middle of the road as they could be, and not near any turning. He and his master fell out of the cart, and John thought his master fell on him. The trap was upset and the horse down.

When he came to himself he found Mr. Ivens sitting in a chair by the side of the road, attended by some women. He tried to make his master speak, but he could not answer. John then obtained a horse and trap from someone in the village, and drove Thomas Ivens home, with him sat in a chair in the trap supported by leaning against the side of the vehicle. When he first saw him, he bled from the nose a great deal.

They were half an hour getting home, and John did not think Thomas had bled on the way. On arriving at his house, he was taken to the room (in which he was later found), and John stayed with him all night. Thomas didn’t speak after the accident, as far as John knew.

Thomas had been driving carefully through the village, at less than eight miles an hour, and what occured was a pure accident. They had been talking just before, and Thomas was quite well. The mare was very quiet and one Thomas was accustomed to drive. She had never shied or run away before.old-photograph-w-craig-butcher-horse-and-cart-barrhead-scotland

In answer to specific questions from the Coroner, John said that it was very dark (they had no lamps), and confirmed that there was a steep bank opposite the cottage. The Foreman and Coroner agreed that the road is very narrow, that they must have passed the river, and that the bridge is a dangerous place at night. John piped up that Thomas had driven that way many times and that he had been there several times himself. This was the first time they had had an accident. As they came along the road, John had said “It’s a nasty place round this corner” and Thomas replied “Yes John, All right”. These were the last words he spoke.

Several witnesses who had seen Thomas that day said he was as well as ever they had seen him, and because of the insurance implications, it was confirmed that he was sober.

The doctor had visited him at 10:30 that Friday night, and concluded that Thomas had fractured the base of his skull, probably caused by falling flat on his face. He remained perfectly unconscious throughout the night and died at 11:45 on Saturday morning.

Thomas left a widow, Jane Scott Pentalow (nee Ivens) [she was the daughter of John Pentalow Ivens and Jane Scott] and three children: Bertha Scottie, aged 7, Flora Sach aged 6, and Sydney Charles aged 1.

One response to “Melancholy death of Thomas Ivens – 1876

  1. Pingback: Everyday life gleaned from the local press of the day | All about Ivens·

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