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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:41 am 
Spider Lady
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:23 pm
Posts: 8054
Location: Staffordshire
Burnley Express and Advertiser

Wednesday 1 March 1893

Sad End of an Extwistle Farmer
Drowned in Roggerham Reservoir.
Accident or Suicide?

On Monday night a farmer named William Edmondson, of Proctor Cote, Extwistle, came to a sad end. He was a tall, well built fellow, in the prime of his life, a married man, and the father of six children. Leaving home on Monday morning, he came to Burnley for the purpose of delivering milk, and after getting through his work he made his way towards home. He stopped at the Roggerham Gate Inn for some time, drinking with a number of other persons. A disturbance afterwards took place (whether inside or outside the inn cannot be ascertained) and during a scuffle Edmondson's face appears to have been cut. Leaving the public house about 5-30, he went on Lee Green-road, and here told some of the party that he intended to get over the wall of Lee Green reservoir and
Wash The Blood
from his face. He was not seen again, but his footsteps were subsequently traced over a strip of land as far as the reservoir boundary wall, which is about six feet high. Climbing over the well he appeared to have slipped down the snow covered bank into the water. The same night a retired farmer named Hartley Holt saw a cap, supposed to belong to Edmondson, floating on the water. P.C. Smith, who was informed of the occurrence, examined the place and found that the ice was broken where the deceased had fallen. Yesterday morning another examination revealed the that there were footprints in the water for about a yard from the side.
Dragging Operations
were at once commenced, part of the water being let off, and at about half-past twelve the body was found in about five or six feet of water, not very far from the edge of the reservoir. It is impossible to say exactly how the accident, if accident it was, occurred. The facts hardly warrant the conclusion that suicide has been committed. The deceased had been drinking pretty freely, and the probability is that he met his death accidentally. The body was removed to Edmondson's home, and the inquest will be held at the Roggerham Gate Inn. Lee Green reservoir, it should be noted, is used solely for compensation purposes for mills. It is not in any way connected with the mains which convey the supplies to the town.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:14 am 
Spider Lady
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:23 pm
Posts: 8054
Location: Staffordshire
Burnley Express and Advertiser

Saturday 4 March 1893

An Extwistle Farmers Sad End
Found in a Reservoir After A Fight.
The Inquest
The Jury Say It Was Suicide.

On Wednesday afternoon, at the Roggerham Gate Inn, Mr. Coroner Robinson held an inquest upon the body of William Edmondson of Proctor Cote, Extwistle, whose body was found in the Lea Green reservoir on Tuesday. -William Edmondson, son of the deceased, said that his father was 36 years of age. He was a farmer, and loved at Proctor Cote Farm. He left home with milk at about five minutes to eight o'clock on Monday morning, and he (witness) never saw him alive again. -William Young, a quarryman, of 7, Walverden-road, Briercliffe, stated that on the Monday afternoon he was at the Roggerham Gate Inn at about four o'clock, when the deceased came in. He (deceased) sent his cart home soon after, and witness could see that he had had some drink. He sat by witness and
Began Quarrelling
with him. He ordered some ale but would not pay for it. He got very angry and pushed witness onto the seat. Witness struck him on the mouth with the back of his hand, and deceased then became quiet. Witness went out at the front and the deceased came out at the back and met him. He said "you've hit me in the mouth, but I'll make you pay for it." As witness was turning around the deceased punched him in the back, knocking him down and keeping him there some time. Witness then got him on his back and he said that he would be quiet if he (witness) would let him get up. Witness did so and the deceased went into the house. Witness heard soon after that he had been seen going over the wall. He (witness) went down the road to Lea Green and, from what Hartley Holt had said, got over the wall and followed footmarks in the snow right down to the reservoir. There was no ice upon it but only a ring of snow on the water. On Tuesday morning he was at the reservoir and saw the police recover the body with the drags, about where the ring of snow had been the previous day. It was at Burnley Corporation Lea Green compensation reservoir. -Hartley Holt, who resides at Lea Green, said that on Monday, at about 5-30 p.m. he happened to come outside his door and saw the deceased
Standing On The Wall
at the road side. He jumped into the field. Witness went to look in a minute and saw the deceased falling in the snow. He had fallen on his face in a big drift, and as he went about 0 yards out of sight witness thought that he was ashamed of having been fighting, and did not want to be seen. In about 10 minutes he the witness Young, and then noticed what he took to be deceased's cap on the top of the water. He then inquired after the deceased and drew attention to the cap. -The Coroner, in summing up, said that it seemed rather an extraordinary way for a man to make away with himself, but no doubt he must have done it purposely, and it would rest with the jury to say as to whether he was responsible for his actions or not. He had evidently had some drink before he came up, and then he had the row with Young, and was perhaps disappointed when he found that Young was a better man than himself when they had the fight outside, but there was nothing in that as a rule to cause a man to make away with himself. -After a short consultation the foreman of the jury (Mr. Tattersall Wilkinson) asked that the policeman's evidence shold be taken, and accordingly P.C. milburn, who is stationed at Worsthorne, was called. He deposed to going to the place about 10 o'clock on Tuesday, and said that he traced
Two Distinct Footmarks
on the sand under the water. They would be about three yards from the side. He then got a drag and eventually recovered the body almost opposite to where the footmarks were and about 25 yards out into the water. At the edge the water would not be above 18 inches deep. -From some inquiries made by P.S. Gornall it appeared that a relative of the deceased had come by his death in an untimely manner, and this led the Coroner to remark that there seemed to be a tendency in the family that way, but Mr. Tattersall Wilkinson said that it had not been proved that the relation had committed suicide and he believed that he had fallen into the water. He thought that on that occasion the verdict was left an open one. Eventually the jury came to the decision that the deceased had drowned himself in Lea Green reservoir on the 27th ult.; that his body was not recovered until the next day, and that at the time he committed the act he was not in a sound state of mind.

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