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An Extraordinary outrage in Leicestershire

Derby Mercury - April 1863.

An extraordinary and fatal outrage was perpetrated at Mount Sorrel stone quarries, Leicestershire, on Wednesday afternoon, by a man named Joseph Webster, manufacturer, and keeper of the Royal Oak public house [*1], Quorndon. It appears that on the afternoon of Wednesday, Webster, who was in a state of intoxication - and when so is a perfect maniac - drove over to the top of the cliff of Mount Sorrel quarry, which is worked by Mr J Martin, the high sheriff, and after unharnessing his horse and turning it out upon the hills, laid hold of the shafts of the spring cart and backed it over the precipice (90ft high) upon the men below, where a great many men were at work.

Some of the men underneath appear to have observed the descent of the trap, for a cry of warning was raised, and many were enabled to get out of the way; but one poor man, named Henry Pidcock, was not so fortunate, for the cart fell upon him, and he received such serious injuries to his spine that he died in the course of the evening. The vehicle, it is hardly necessary to say, was smashed to splinters. Considering the great number of men (about 600) at work in the quarry, it is quite surprising that more mischief was not done. Webster, after backing the cart over the precipice, ran away, but was apprehended the same evening by Police-sergeant Bosworth of Mountsorrel, and conveyed to Loughborough police-station. An inquest on the body of the unfortunate man who was killed was formally opened at the Exhibition public-house, Mount Sorrell, on Thursday afternoon, before Mr Gregory, coroner and adjourned until Tuesday (yesterday).

[*1] It is believed that the reference to the Royal Oak is incorrect and should read the 'Crown and Cushion'. The Crown and Cushion was on Leicester Road, near the current entrance to Wright's factory, where Joseph Webster had his hosiery factory. This would accord with census returns and press reports from the 1850s referring to Joseph Webster and his ownership of the Crown and Cushion.

See also artefact 571, which also refers to Joseph Webster.

 Submitted on: 2009-09-06
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson
 Artefact ID: 536
 Artefact URL: www.quornmuseum.com/display.php?id=536
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page

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