Barnsley Chronicle February 16rd 1907
Drowning Inquests – Jury Complaints
Yesterday Mrs T Kingdom Parker held two inquests at the Horse Shoe Hotel, Wombwell, in connection with bodies which had been recovered from the canal at Wombwell.
The first case was that of William Butler, aged 31, drain hand, residing at 39, High Street, Wombwell, whose body was found last Friday. Deceased left home on Tuesday week, going by an early train to Swallow Nest, Rotherham, to fetch a horse for his employer.
John Oliver aged 13, said he was playing in Marsh Street when deceased asked him to hold an horse. He stood about 10 minutes, when the horse became restless, and some men put it in a stable.
The police point out that there was a gate open at the bottom of the street, and this is probably what through this in mistake and straight into the water.
A verdict of “Accidental drowned” was returned
The second case was that of John Burke, a labourer, of Darfield, whose body was found late on Tuesday night.
James John, of Hope St, Darfield said deceased had been suffering from rheumatism for some weeks. He had had to take to a job at the pit at a low rate of wages in consequent, and this seemed to have distressed him.
A verdict of “Drowned himself whilst temporary insane” was returned.
The foreman of the jury Mr James Ogden, pointed out the great inconvenience caused to the police and the inhabitants especially in case of drowning. When they were found there was no place to take them, and if the canal was to be dragged there was no grappling irons.
The coroner said he was afraid he could not be of any assistance to them. It was a question which should be put before the township authorities.
Mr Ogden said they had not even a stretcher, and a door or anything had to be used.