Friday 18 September 2015

18th September 1815: George Coldham dies in an accident in Brighton

George Coldham by William Artaud (c.1810)
On Monday 18th September 1815, George Coldham, the Town Clerk of Nottingham and the Luddites principal enemy in the Midlands, was killed in an accident in Brighton. The Stamford Mercury of 22nd December carried the report of his death, which is below: 

DEATH of Mr. COLDHAM, Town Clerk of Nottingham
A fatal accident, very similar to that which has deprived the county of Lincoln of a most estimable character, occurred on Monday last, at Brighton, to Mr. George Coldham, an eminent solicitor and Town Clerk of Nottingham. A coroner's inquest sat on the body, at the Castle Tavern in Brighton on Tuesday. It appeared that the deceased left that Tavern on Monday morning, in a gig, for Worthing, accompanied by Thos. Buckley, Esq. of Park-street, Grosvenor-square, and followed in another gig by a Mr. Lumley and his daughter. The parties visited the Devil's Dyke together, and dined at Worthing. In returning to Brighton, the horse which was driven by Mr. Coldham became restive, and dashed off with the chaise, on the summit of the Church-hill, owing, it was apprehended by Mr. Buckley, to the pressure of the chaise upon the animal in the descent, from the want of a breeching to the harness. The horse became totally unmanageable, and brought the vehicle in contact with a post on one side of the road, the shock of which precipitated both gentlemen to the ground. Mr Coldham never spoke afterwards, but was taken from the church in a chair, in a senseless state, to the Castle Tavern, where he soon after expired, in consequence of a rupture of a blood-vessel on the brain. Mr. Buckley was also borne from the place of the accident to the Castle; but his principal injuries were about the knees and ancles. The Jury were exceedingly minute in their enquiries, but could not find that any particular blame attached to the stable-keeper, or his servants, the ommission of the breeching to the harness being allowed to be common, and Mr. Coldham was aware of its absence when he hired the gig, which he had often used before, with the same horse, to the latter of which, from his former quiet behaviour, he was smuch attached.—The Jury gave a verdict of accidental death, with a deodand against the carriage and horse of twenty shillings only. The deceased was unmarried and about 50 years of age.

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