Thursday 8 October 2015

8th October 1815: 2 Threshing Machines destroyed at Chepstow

The Gloucester Journal of Monday 16th October 1815 reported an incident that took place on the night of Saturday 7th October 1815, in which 2 threshing machines were destroyed in an arson attack:
Alarming Fires.—On the night of Saturday se'nnight, a most destructive fire broke out on part of the premises at Howick Farm, belonging to Wm. Carre, Esq. of Itton, near Chepstow. About midnight one of the buildings, in which was erected, at great expence, a powerful threshing machine, and the straw-house adjoining thereto, were discovered to be in flames; and a poor man who slept in the latter building unhappily perished! The blaze of light on the dwelling-house disturbed the servants, who seeing that any efforts of theirs to extinguish the sire would be unavailing, hastened to their master's residence, about half a mile from the farm, where, to their great astonishment, they found that a building that contained another threshing machine was also on fire! The family at Itton being summoned to assist in extinguishing the flames, they used such judicious methods of cutting off the communication of the fire with the numerous ricks of corn, hay, &c. (the air being most providentially very still) that no further damage was sustained than the loss of the building in which the fire first appeared, and the machine. Mr. Curre's introduction of a variety of machinery for the improvement of agriculture, is supposed to have instigated the villainous act. The perpetrators have not yet been discovered, but every possible means are using to bring them to justice.