The following extract is taken from the Northampton Herald, dated 26th November 1864. It refers to the inquest into the death of William Gibson. The cutting was supplied to us by Mrs Maggie Ingram, great grand-daughter of William Gibson.
“On Monday last an inquest was held at Heyford Wharf before W Terry Esq., county coroner, on the body of William Gibson, who was found drowned in the Grand Junction Canal at Heyford Wharf on the previous day. It appeared that deceased, a labourer, 53 years of age, went on Friday afternoon to the Boot at Heyford Wharf. He did not have a great deal to drink, but when he left between half past six and seven, was not quite sober. It was supposed by the landlord of the Boot that deceased was going straight home to Pattishall. He had left a can, however, at the side of the canal, where he had been working, breaking slag, and it would seem that he went to fetch it, and by some means fell into the water. When found, deceased ’s clothes were much torn; his head was badly wounded, as was also his left shoulder, and both his arms were broken. On Saturday, a steamer which passes up and down was stopped at the place where deceased was found by something catching in the screw. Mr Walker, surgeon of Bugbrooke, stated in his evidence that the above mentioned injuries, it was his opinion, had been caused by machinery of some kind after death. The cause of death he attributed to drowning. At the conclusion of the evidence the jury returned a verdict of found drowned.”
The reference to ‘the Boot’ must surely be a mis-spelling, as the pub at Heyford Wharf was called ‘the Boat’. It was the white building now known as Wharf Farm.
Extract from “The Story of Heyford” – Local book series published in the late 1990’s
Volume 3 of 4 | Chapter 13 of 17 | Page 27