Saturday 26 September 2015

26th September 1815: Nottingham Council pays tribute to the late George Coldham

The memorial to George Coldham, in St Mary's Church, Nottingham (image by Andrew R Abbott, cc licence)
The Leeds Mercury of 14th October 1815 reported on a meeting of the Common Council of the City of Nottingham, which had taken place on Tuesday 26th September 1815, and which paid tribute to the late George Coldham, who had died in an accident in Brighton 8 days before:
Mr. Henry Enfield, (son of the Rev. Dr. Enfield, late of Norwich), has been unanimously elected town clerk of Nottingham, in the room of his late partner, Mr. George Coldham. As an honourable tribute to the memory of the deceased, the Mayor and Common Council assembled on the 26th ult. and unanimously resolved, "publicly" to express their high sense of the probity, ability, and signal advantage to that corporation, with which for the last twenty-four years he had executed the several functions of his office, and their warmest commendation of his meritorious exertions in the preservation of the peace of that populous town during the late threatening period: "likewise," "that his portrait be placed in the Council Chamber, and a tablet to his memory erected in the church of St. Mary in that town:" and "that every member of the hall be requested to appear at the ensuing sessions, and all the Common Hall days for the next three months, in mourning, as a tribute of respect for Mr. Coldham's memory."

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.