8th September 1861


We are sorry to hear that another of those fearful accidents, of which fire and crinoline are the conjoint causes, occurred at Penton-place, Walworth, on Monday.

The sufferer was an accomplished and excellent young lady, Miss Allan. On Monday morning, she sustained agonizing and fatal injuries from her dress catching the flames while she was taking some article from an upper shelf of the cupboard near the kitchen fire. Her uncle, alarmed by her shrieks, rushed to her assistance, and found her standing upright, a pillar of fire, the flame of which reached up to the ceiling. He was himself, we regret to say, severely burnt in attempting to save his unfortunate niece, who survived, in a state of partial consciousness, until midnight, not unaware of her dying condition, nor unable to speak.

An amiable, intelligent and pious young lady has thus been added to the number of the victims of a style of attire which should never have been adopted.


A curious yet painful case happened during the past week in Taunton. The daughter of a tradesman had been ill for some time, and death was hourly expected. At length, to all appearance, the fatal moment came, and the spirit was supposed to have winged its flight. The necessary offices for the dead were then performed; the body was laid out and the shutters of the shop were closed.

In an hour afterwards, to the consternation and joy of her friends, re-animation took place, and the supposed dead was able to speak. The shutters were again taken down, but we regret to state that, after the lapse of a few hours, they were again put up, the sufferer having gradually sunk, until death in reality terminated her existence.


An inquest was held on Tuesday evening in Charing-cross Hospital, touching the death of a private in the 2nd battalion of Grenadier Guards, named James Hutchins.

John Simpson, a private in the same battalion, said that about ten minutes to one o’clock on the previous afternoon he was coming out of the barrack-room on the third floor of the barracks, when he observed the deceased quite outside the window, with the exception of the left foot, and before he could stop him he had got quite out and turned to the left of the parapet. He looked out after him, and found that he had fallen. He ran down and saw him impaled on the railings, the spike entering his stomach and protruding about four inches out of his back. The head and upper part of the body were hanging over one side of the barrack wall, and the lower extremities on the other. A ladder was got and he was removed, but he died later from his injuries. One of the men picked up the deceased’s gall bladder in the area.

The witness had seen the deceased only five minutes before, and believed him to be quite sober.

George Bird, also in the same battalion, said he was on sentry, and hearing a noise he looked up and saw the deceased try to clutch at the parapet ledge. This he failed in, and came straight down upon the spikes.

An officer of the regiment informed the coroner that one or two men had informed him that the deceased would often climb out of one window and pass along the parapet to the other, and that he considered it a feat of Blondin. He had been heard to say that he could not see why he could not do such feats as well as that French acrobat, who was recently seen at the Crystal Palace.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death through injuries caused by falling from the parapet.


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