ROUSER this week seems to have been in a rather morbid state. He has been perusing East Sussex Coroners’ Records (1688-1838) by R. F.
Hunnisett (Sussex Record Society) - not exactly a jolly read, but instructive nevertheless.
l On December 30, 1750, when Thomas Dunford, late of Cliffe [Lewes], labourer, was standing in the open street, John Green, labourer, assaulted him, beating, wounding and ill-treating him; whereupon Dunford killed him in self-defence, strking him with his right fist ....
Dunford [at the Assizes] pleaded not guilty and was acquitted of murder but convicted of manslaughter; he had no chattels and was burnt on the hand and discharged.
l April 16, 1781. Wilmington. On March 31 Robert Hitchcock, late of Warbleton, murdered Thomas Holloway at Arlington with a hanger of iron and steel which he held in one hand, giving him a wound on the left hand side of the head ....
At the East Grinsterad assizes Hitchcock pleaded not guilty but was convicted and sentenced to be hanged and then dissected and anatomized.
l August 19, 1795.Little Horsted. Thomas Muddle went into a pond to wash himself and was drowned.