The Sussex Express – August 9 1879 - Fletching
INQUEST ON A GAMEKEEPER
Yesterday J.E. Fallagar, Esq. opened an inquest at the Prince of Wales Inn on the body of Mr. Amos Welfare.
Mr. John Carey, farmer and higgler, deposed that the deceased lived at Black Ven, Fletching. He was a keeper in the employ of Sir Spencer Maryon Wilson, and between 40 and 50 years of age. Witness went with him on Tuesday afternoon to a pond about 150 yards from the Prince of Wales to bathe. The deceased began to undress to bathe and witness felt the water and said it was too cold. The deceased said, as he was undressed, he thought he should swim to the boat on the opposite side of the pond (about 100 yards). He went about three parts of the way across and witness went up the meadow to keep him in sight. Thomas Marchant [second witness] hallooed out that he was coming back, and witness returned and saw him swimming back again, rather slowly. When about 40 yards from the bank, his head went under the water, but came up again at once. He swam a little way further, and then sank without struggling. The boat was locked and they could not get it loose. The pond is about 14 or 15 feet deep where the deceased sank. The policeman was fetched, who broke the chain off the boat and the pond was dragged for the deceased's body. The deceased did not call for help at all.
Thomas Marchant corroborated, saying after deceased's head first went under water, and he had swum about five yards, witness called for a rope as he thought deceased might want assistance. Carey did not seem to have been drinking.
PC Kidd gave evidence to the effect that the body was not recovered till Wednesday afternoon, and also said he did not think there was any loose timber or rafts near the spot that could have been thrown in to deceased.
The jury returned a verdict of “Accidentally Drowned”.