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Adapted, Eric Jenkins, 23rd August 2011, from The Northampton Mercury, 21st April 1877, page 8
Inquest - Elias Cave 1877
Accidental Death of a Rushden Builder


An inquest was held on Friday evening, 13th April 1877, by T. J. Parker, County Coroner, in the Vestry Hall, at Rushden, to establish the cause of the death of Elias Cave, age 40, a builder.

Samuel Chambers: On Wednesday afternoon, 11th April, I was working with the deceased, who was pecking at the gable end of the ruins, when a piece of the side wall fell. It was about 20 feet high. We both backed away from it, but I think the deceased stumbled over some bricks and fell. The wall fell on him and covered him. The wall that fell had not been undermined. That afternoon, his brother had cautioned him about the wall.

George Pashilow: I was employed by Mr. Cave. I was about thirty yards away when the wall fell. I had been helping him peck at the gable, when the side wall fell. I went to his assistance.

John Crew: I am a surgeon at Higham Ferrers. On Wednesday, I was called to see the deceased. I found him quite dead. I examined him. There was a good deal of blood on his face from a wound on the side of his head. I think the skull was fractured. In my opinion, the immediate cause of death was the pressure from the brickwork that had fallen on his chest, causing suffocation.

The jury verdict was "Accidental Death".

D. Wright, a juror: I wish to suggest to the jury before we depart, "the the jury signify their approval of the constable's decision to call the inquest here in the Vestry Hall. I hope that all future inquests are held in here.

The propositon was put to the jury and carried unanimously.

The funeral was on Saturday, 14th April. Cave's house, and the route to the Old Baptist Chapel, and the sidewalks were all "thronged". The brethren of the Morning Star Test of the Independent Order of R (?) of which the deceased had been a member, marched to the front of his house. When the coffin was carried out, six men who had been employed by the deceased became pall bearers. Six more relieved the carriers in turn. The service was held in the Old Baptist Chapel, by Mr. Knight. It was "crammed full". All tradesmen put up their shutters, and most inhabitants of the town drew their blinds.

NRO Ref: ZB1478/312
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