George, Thomas - 1833 inquest report Salisbury and Winchester Journal dated 16 December 1833I have edited this blog as more info has arrived from the whizzes H & W. It now appears that George George (Thomas’ eldest son) was really John George, Ernie’s grandfather. There is a mistake in the entry of his baptism in the register, where he is named George George, instead of John George. Easily done when recording a person with a surname that can double as a first name.

Another empty space in the Chitterne jigsaw was filled last week when this Inquest Report from the Salisbury & Winchester Journal of the 16th December 1833 arrived from my intrepid researcher friends H & W. It answered the ‘why did Thomas George die so young’ question. Answer: he fell off his wagon whilst drunk on a Saturday night! The night of Saturday 7th December 1833 to be exact. The inquest took place at Warminster on Monday 9th December and Thomas was buried on Tuesday 10th at Chitterne but his burial is not recorded.

Thomas was born in Chitterne All Saints in 1795, the son of Thomas George 1760-1836 of the same parish. He worked for Lord Long’s tenant, Robert Fisher, who lived at what is now Chitterne Lodge and who farmed about 1500 acres between Chitterne and Shrewton. Thomas died aged 38, leaving a wife Betty and three children, John, Jane and Anna aged 10, 6 and 3. John was the late Ernie George’s grandfather, he married Caroline Dewey and one of their sons, William Frank George, was Ernie’s father, Jane died aged 8 and Anna married a John Scott and moved to Bath. Betty never remarried and took in laundry to help make ends meet. She died in Chitterne in 1871.

2 thoughts on “The Perils of Drink in 1833 – edited

  1. I am researching the murder of Thomas George, son of Joseph George, in Nunney in 1850 for the Nunney village website. Joseph was the younger brother of the Thomas who fell off the wagon. Like Thomas, Joseph fathered a child out of wedlock with Mary Pitman from Nunney in 1830. He married her a year later in Alll Saints Church Nunney, on Christmas Day 1831. Their son Thomas was baptised there on 14 October 1832.

    On 3 April 1850 young Thomas went out with a friend, Henry Hillier. His mother waited for him until midnight, but he never came home. The next morning Mary woke Joseph up at 5am to go looking for him, because it was time for Thomas to go work at Manor House Farm in Nunney. Joseph found his son dead in a cartshed, virtually decapitated. The inquest and investigation were bungled, resulting in an editorial in The Times and questions in the House of Commons about the case. Henry was acquited since most of the evidence had been destroyed.

    I would be most grateful if you had any information and/or old photos that could help me with my article.


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