Derby Mercury  Wednesday September 19th 1849

Inquest Before Mr.Mosley, Coroner

Monday, September 17, 1849


An inquest was held on Monday last at the Bear, Alderwasley on the body of Jedediah Winson, who had died on the 14th under the circumstances which appear in the following evidence of the first witness:

Miles Peat of Alderwasley, stated as follows— I have known deceased Jedediah Winson all my life; he was a labourer living in Alderwasley; on Saturday, the 8th day of September instant about seven o'clock in the evening I fell in with deceased at a place called the New Barn at a "shouting" or harvest home; he had two horns of ale and two horns of beer; William Spendlove was there, and many others, about eight o'clock deceased, William Spendlove, myself, and others came to the Bear; we were all talking together and joking each other; there was not apparently the slightest bad feeling between deceased and William Spendlove at the Bear, deceased had one pint of ale and William Spendlove two pints, which it took them about an hour to drink during which time deceased and William Spendlove had no angry words.

About nine o'clock deceased crossed the room to the fire to light some tobacco and then made some remark to William Spendlove which I did not bear; William Spendlove called deceased a rogue; deceased told Spendlove that if he would go to the door he would fight him: deceased went out of the room, and in a short time—perhaps half a minute- he put his head in at the door and shouted to Spendlove "Come Billy lad, come forward," and then Spendlove went out; a few minutes after—perhaps ten minutes I heard a scuffle outside and I went to see what was matter; I found in front of the house deceased and Spendlove—both down on the ground—deceased undermost.

I got them both up and parted them, neither of them at that time appeared hurt; Spendlove then went out onto the turnpike, and, deceased went to the door of the house and cried out for a light; there was no light brought, and after waiting about a minute he said to Spendlove " I’ll have you another round old Bill;" they stood up again to continue the fight, and Spendlove with one blow knocked deceased down; deceased dropped: heavy and never stirred again; he seemed perfectly insensible.

I was standing about two yards from deceased when the knockdown blow was struck; William Harris, myself, and another person brought deceased into the back-yard of the Bear; Spendlove followed us; we held deceased up for a long time hoping be would come to himself; Spendlove assisted us, during all this time be continued perfectly insensible; we then took him to his own house in a wheelbarrow, and delivered him to his family; I assisted in putting him on a sofa, and stopped about a quarter of an hour after, during which time also he was insensible; I observed that night a cut behind deceased’s head as if he had fallen on a stone.

On the following Monday I observed great discoloration behind the left ear, and a slight swelling there; deceased was a good deal younger than Spendlove and tall as he is, but Spendlove I considered the strongest man; both deceased and Spendlove at the time of the fight were fresh but not what I call drunk.

The next witness, William Harris corroborated the evidence of Miles Peat, and being nearer to the deceased at the time he received the last blow, distinctly stated that it hit deceased between the head and the neck.

Eliza Brocklehurst witnessed from an upper window the struggles between the parties outside the house before they were joined by the former witnesses; and

Sarah Winson, a relative, who had nursed deceased to the time of the death, proved that he continued perfectly insensible to the last.

Mr. Poyser, of Wirksworth, proved tbe immediate cause of death to be pressure on the brain of 5 or 6 ounces of extravasated blood, under the discoloured part of the skin behind the left ear produced evidently by a sever blow.

The jury, under the direction of the Coroner, returned a verdict of "Manslaughter against William Spendlove" and the Coroner committed him to the county jail for trial at the next Assizes