The Bristol Mercury 30 Aug 1889 Taunton Inquest on James SHEARN son of Zachariah SHEARN Drowned Demonstration at Barton Grange Pitminster

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The Bristol Mercury. Daily Post, Western Counties, Monmouthshire, and South Wales Advertiser. Friday 30 Aug 1889

Page 6 Column 4 and 5


Yesterday morning an inquest was held at the Black Horse inn, by Dr CORDWENT, deputy coroner, on the body of a little boy named James SHEARN, son of Zachariah SHEARN, a coal driver, in the employ of Messrs Charles Goodland and Sons, and who was drowned while trying to catch minnows in the river Tone, in French Weir fields, on the previous Monday. It appeared from the evidence that the little fellow was sitting on the bank and holding out his hand to take a bottle and piece of string from a companion, when he slipped down the bank and into the water before assistance could arrive. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death.” The Deputy Coroner made some remarks on the desirability of young children being taught to swim.

A demonstration was held yesterday at Barton Grange, Pitminster, in connection with the Poundesford Habitation of the Primrose League. Fine weather favoured the proceedings, and the attendance numbered about 1000. A meeting was held in a marquee, Mr H. J. BADCOCK presiding, Major HELLIER was re-elected ruling councillor for the year, Mr E. R. YOUNG was elected hon. secretary, and Mr H. J. BADCOCK treasurer. A vote of confidence in the Government was carried. Mr C. I. ELTON, Q.C., M.P., who dealt at length with the work of the Government during the past session, in the course of his speech referred to the great strike of dock labourers in London, remarking that they were all anxiously awaiting the verdict on that great question. In the country they were better off than many people in the East End of London, but no doubt the latter must have had some grievances, because the dock companies had agreed to remedy them. As to the amount of wages compared with the profits, he could not but hope that the common sense of all would lead to the question being referred to arbitration that would go upon the principle of the sliding scale, which had been so successfully adopted in other manufactures and trades (applause). The principal work of the session, so far as it affected his hearers, had reference to the increase of the navy. The country rose with a patriotic spirit and enjoined upon the Government the duty of making ourselves safe against invasion. There was no doubt that the great armaments of foreign Powers were still preparing and keeping up the terrible danger of quarrels, and it was imperative that the navy should be strengthened for the emergency of actual peril. He thought they ought to be congratulated that the nation as a whole, without respect to party, came forward and accepted that great scheme of national insurance which the Government had the courage to bring forward. The hon. member spoke approvingly of the deliberations of the Committee on Royal Grants (of which he was a member), and foreshadowed matters of great importance which would come up for settlement in the next session, Mr Hussey WALSH, an Irish Unionist, followed. The thanks of the meeting were voted to Mr F. W. NEWTON for the use of his charming grounds.

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<NOTES: James SHEARN son of Zachariah SHEARN and Elizabeth Jane HUBBARD>