This case was a sensation in its time. Joseph Clark, 13 years old, died after a kick from his fierce-tempered and tyrannical master, Mr Simon Quy Viall. It was a time when the worst horrors of child labour had been eliminated. A spate of 'melancholy' accidents to children employed as chimneysweeps and agricultural labourers had incensed the liberal public, and laws had been passed prevent the exploitation of children. However, children were not safe from cruelty and neglect, both of which were evident here.
It is comforting to note the palpable revulsion that the people of Sudbury felt as the story came out. There has sometimes been the suggestion that the victorians were indifferent to child cruelty. It was not the case in East Anglia at any rate.
The evidence was given in such detail as to give a fascinating glimpse into the lives of ordinary people who would have normally gone unrecorded
Foxearth & District Local History Society
Bury and Norwich post
DECEMBER 30TH 1844
CHARGE OF MANSLAUGHTER AT SUDBURY
During the past week the greatest sensation ever known on a similar occasion has been produced here by a CORONERS INQUEST on the body of Joseph Clark, about 13 years of age, whose death was said to have been caused by a kick or blow given by his master, Mr Simon Quy Viall, of Middleton Hall, near Sudbury.
The inquest was commenced at the White Hart Inn, on Tuesday afternoon, but was adjourned to the Town Hall on Wednesday morning; and even here, from the intense interest manifested by the inhabitants of the town, and the farmers and others of the vicinity, the court was crowded to excess, so as at times to stop the proceedings.
The inquest was held before William Dowmam, Esq., Coroner for the borough, and the following jury - Mr William Spooner, foreman; Messrs William Warner, John Smith, John Purr, Benj.Faux, Richard Fenn, Joseph Garnham, John Loaning, Henry Ponder, Chas.Ray, Geo.Ready, Stephen Scott, Chas.Shoobridge, Henry Steed, William Woolby, James Hasell and John Hitchcock.
Mr J.F.S.Gooday stated that he attended as a Guardian, being desired by several persons to watch the case, but not to conduct it. He was then sworn, and deposed that on the 13th he went to Clark's house, in Cross street, and into the room where the child lay, and he heard that the boy had received some injury from his master
'"Mr Vialll, was it so?".The
mother said yes.
I then said, "This is a sad affair my little man, I am afraid you have been a naughty boy".
He said "No Sir; I was helping at the chaff for the other boy, and he did not put the water in for my pigs, so I couldn't help it. My master came and saw it, and hot me on the head first, and then he hot my back, and then he kicked me as I came out of the stable".
He was lying on his right side, but he showed me the hurt, which was just behind the hip bone. I gave him sixpence and left. The mother said her husband had got a place of work at Mr Viall's barn, and did not wish to have any piece of work about it.
I saw Mr Edwd.Stedman a short time after, and requested him to go and see the child, but I believe he did not.
On Thursday following I again went down to the child, and Samuel Plum accompanied me. I thought the child looked worse, and pulled the bed clothes down and examined him. I asked him whether the place I described was the part that was kicked, and laying my hand lightly upon it, he shrieked out with pain. The left thigh appeared swollen and inflamed, and there was slight discolouration, a little yellow.
His mother said Mr Mason had ordered her to dress it with warm vinegar and water. She did not wish for any law; and as Plum was putting his hand in his pocket as if to give her some halfpence, she said she would have no money; there was the same place for her children as for other people's; supposes she meant the Union. Did not infer she meant the grave. There was a great want of comfort, and the child was exposed to the opening of the door. The child did not appear to be suffering from pain in any other part.
Samuel Plum, of Ballingdon, deposed that when Mr Gooday turned down the bed clothes, the mother said "Dont turn them down, as he is asleep"; by turning them down the boy awoke, and she said, "you dont want them to turn down the bed clothes, for both limbs are alike , and the bed clothes are dirty". She then said it came from carrying heavy pails of water; both limbs were alike.
'Mr Gooday asked him if both thighs were alike, and he said "No, only on this side sir, where Mr Viall kicked me about". Both limbs were not alike, the left side was dicoloured from the hip to the knee. The mother said she got the parish, and she did not want relief; was not going to give her anything. The bed clothes were as clean inside as out. I observed Mr Gooday place his hand on the thigh, and when he did so the boy called out.'
An observation was made by a juror, that one witness, Mr Gooday, should not examine another. Mr Gooday said he attended there on neutral ground, as one of the Court of Guardians, and had the right to examine witness. The Coroner could not see any objection, provided the questions were put in a proper manner.
Mr Gooday further stated that he saw the deceased at half past 12 on Sunday last, (he died at four); he was lying on his right side, with his arms extended, quite insensible. The father and mother were then present. Made no allusion to his death then, nor on his previous health. They seemed affected on the Sunday.
Joseph Clark, the father then deposed, that deceased had worked for Mr Simon Viall ever since he had the farm, four or five years ago.
' He was
employed to see after the pigs; worked seven days, and had 2s 11d, a
week; no victuals. Before this job happened, he complained two or three
days ago of his bones aching.
(By a juror-what job?)
. Why kicking my boy, as he said he was kicked on last Wednesday week, the 13th). A boy named Benjamin Rice, who worked about the yard, told me that his master had been hiding the boy. When he came home, I asked him about it. He said his master had hit him because the pigs had got no water.
He went again to Mr Viall's on Wednesday morning, and continued to go till the following Sunday; he went that day at 5 in the morning, and got home about one as usual for dinner. At a quarter to 2 in the morning, he called out, "Father, my thigh is full of pain; come and look at it." I looked but could see nothing.
On Monday morning I told Mr Viall he was lame and could not come, that he had no rest all night. I told him that I did not know what was the matter with him; but I had been told by Wm.Newman and the boy Rice that they had seen Mr Viall kicking him.
Mr Viall said he did not think he had hurt him. I told him he was in bed, and Mr Mason was attending him, and they could not afford it. He inquired several times after about the boy, and always said he was sorry for the boy.
On Saturday night last, I told him my boy was very full of pain and I did not think he would break it. Mr Viall said poor little thing, he was very sorry for it. Took my money and went home; had no wages for the boy; did not ask for any.
My boy died on Sunday at half past three. Mr Steggles came to my house before the boy died on the same day, some time in the forenoon. I went on Monday to my master for a Christmas box, and he said, I suppose the poor boy has gone, and I said, "Yes sir". He said he was very sorry for me; he asked me how my wife was. I told him very sadly indeed, and very uneasy. He gave me a ticket for three pints of beer at the White Horse. .
At this part of the examination Mr Mason, surgeon to the Sudbury Union, desired to be examined. Mr Gooday stated that he had been advised that a post mortem examination of the body should be made. .
Mr Mason observed that he was quite satisfied as to the cause of the death, and if he were examined, he thought he should spare the jury any more trouble; he could state the cause of death. It was acute rheumatism which produced an affection of the sciatic nerve. He could make a post mortem examination of the body if desired; but it would only cause the expense of an additional fee.
A juror remarked if he had fully made up his mind there was no occasion for him to attend the examination. Mr Gooday said it would not come to the question of an additional fee.
Joseph Clark continued...
came to my house after the boy had died, and said the body must not be
touched. He expected there would be an inquest on the body.
I have been at work today. Nobody said anything to me about this but Johnson; the master never called on the boy after the accident previous to his death. No offer of money or promise has been made to me by any party to compromise this matter.
Benjamin Rice, son of William Rice, of Ballingdon, labourer, aged 14;
'I worked with Joseph Clark; was in the stable last Wednesday week getting
my dinner. Mr Viall said, Betty(meaning me)come you here, I want you. Mr
Viall then said, "Clark, you're here are you? " Clark did not speak.
Mr Viall hit him across the head with a thatching stick, as he was going out of the stable; afterwards he heard the boy cry; he told me he had kicked him two or three times on that day; the last time he had hurt him. .
Towards the evening he sat down in the stables, and said his leg ached where his master kicked him; he afterwards laid down. I went home about half an hour afterwards with him; he cried more then, he said his master did not kick him on the backside but more on his thigh. Never complained before Wednesday, and did his work; on Saturday he complained, and I said perhaps you have a cold on the bone. He said he never had any pain before his master kicked him; master has hided me several times and kicked my backside.
Mr William Steggles, relieving officer, examined.
'I heard a report about one of Joseph Clark's children being ill; went down to the father's house, and then for the first time saw the child; it appeared to be dying and I said to the mother, how is it you have not been for an order - how long has he been ill. The woman said he had been ill for some little time; saying, See how he has wasted away; and pulled the clothes down. The father was in the room at the time; saw a blister on the left thigh; gave her an order for Mr Mason. She said Mr Gooday had been there with Mr Plum, endeavouring to make her say the child was hurt. The father came to me between 3 and 4 o'clock the same day to know what he had to do, the child being dead. I said you had better not disturb it ; I will go and aquaint Mr Dowman with it, I did so.
Eliza Tiffen, Ballingdon, wife of Henry Tiffen, labourer, and aunt of the deceased;
' I attended him after death. A blister was on his thigh. All across his back was black; quite putrified. There were no black marks on the upper parts of the back, as there are now; all the the lower parts of the back were mortified. The boy never had the senses to tell me how he met with the accident. When he was sensible all his cry was about pain in his leg and thigh. The mother told me that the illness was from Viall's kicking him.
Mary Ann Lewsey, wife of William Lewsey, bricklayer, knew the deceased.
'I saw him on Monday and Tuesday week in his father's house. He was crying, and asked me whether his leg was likely to be like the poor boy Rice, and lose his leg. He complained of pain where he said his master had kicked him. Advised the mother to send for Mr Mason; she said she went to Mr Mason on Sunday night; but did not tell him what had befallen the child; she said she told him the child had been ill for a fortnight or three weeks; she expected it was a cold the child had got. Mr Mason had sent an emetic, which the child took, and was more full of pain after it. I told the mother for God's sake, to tell the truth to Mr Mason. She afterwards told me that she had told Mr Mason that she was afraid he was injured by a kick from his master.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 27TH, 1844.
In consequence of the number of persons in attendance, the inquest was adjourned from the White Hart Inn to the Town-Hall.
Mr Gooday attended to watch the proceedings as a member of the Court of Guardians, and Mr Stedman on the part of Mr Viall.
Helena Tiffin, of Cross-street, widow;
'The mother came to me on Thursday afternoon and asked me to come and dress the blister. Saw him several times between Thursday and Saturday; he complained of pain and said "oh my thigh, oh my thigh" The mother said she had heard that Mr Viall had beat the boy. The father put the blister on. I observed no discolouration in the thigh; saw nothing particular about the blister when I dressed it on Saturday. The child died on the following day.'.
William Newman, labourer, works for Mr Viall.
'I never saw Mr Viall beat the deceased; I have
seen him talk to him. Never saw anything of the transaction now under
investigation. On this day fortnight was at plough in Turbise's field;
came home from plough to dinner. Saw deceased in the stable. I was a
quarter an hour in the stable; the boy made no complaint.
Young Rice was in the stable with him at half past three or a quarter before four o'clock. I left off ploughing at three o'clock, and went home to the stable; was in the yard till five o'clock. Master came into the stable just after I came home, about half past three, when they were at dinner. Master did not say anything to them; They were in the same stable I was. Nothing was said or done between the master, myself or the lads; did not see master any more in the yard that afternoon. Master has hit me two or three times, but not to hurt me.
No-one has offered me any money, or directed me what to say. Quite sure deceased did not tell me what my master had been doing to him;
I did not tell the boy not to lay there crying; for if it had been me that he had kicked, I would have thrown a stone at him. He had no conversation with the boy Rice on the subject. Never told any person that my master had beat the boy, could not hear any one cry out in the Pigs Court, when he was busy about his work.
Clark never complained to me that Mr Viall beat him. Will swear that he did not say to Joseph Clark that he had seen his master ill use his son.'
'I never told Lewsey he saw Mr Viall kick the boy; if Lewsey says he did he must swear falsely. Went yesterday to work; my master said I must go somewhere else for a job, he had got nothing for me today; he said nothing about the boy. I then went home; master set me on this morning. I have stated that Mr Viall hit me; he did so by me and by others.'
Seth Walcot Lewsey; is out of work now;
'I was in company of Wm.Newman on Sunday afternoon; went to see the child. He told me he did not he should have known the boy, he was so altered. I said "would you have thought the child got it from being kicked?", and he then told me he had seen his master kick him.
Mr Sinclair, Surgeon
' a timere was an abscess internally communicating with a
fracture of one of the procasses? of the thigh bone, an angular part of
the bone, at the end that forms the round of the hip. There must have
been inflamation on account of the abscess immediately after the
fracture. The thigh downwards was clear, except where the blister was,
and it was properly applied; the kidney on the left side was perfectly
healthy, and the parts surrounding the whole intestinal canal appeared
perfectly healthy. Mortification had not taken place in the part injured,
the bone was partly denuded and dead at the fracture;
the part was dead before the death of the child, the appearance would not have ensued unless the constitution had been previously feeble. The cause of death was from symtomatic fever produced by the abscess on the hip; the fracture was the result of external injury;
Did the abscess result of the fracture?
The fracture could have been caused by a kick or a blow. That would be the stated inference on my mind.
Mr Frederick Nunn Fitch, of Sible Hedingham, surgeon; had attended the post mortem examination, confirmed the evidence of Mr Sinclair, as to the appearances of the body, and to the cause of death.
Mr Gooday here moved that the man Newman be detained in custody till the termination of the inquest, - The Coroner declined.
Mr Maurice Mason, surgeon, Sudbury;
'I have no remarks to make on the
evidence of the two medical gentlemen, the mother of the boy came to see
me on Monday week, and asked me to send her son some medicine as he was
not well.I Asked her on Sunday evening, what was the matter with the child;
she said he had complained of sickness, bad cold and bad chills. I sent
the child an aperient mixture; not an enemic, but it made him sick.
Do not recollect her telling me, on the next day, of the by kick by his master;
she told me so on Monday. The child complained of pain in the left thigh. Saw no marks of external violence whatever. Sent him some fever medicine and ordered hot formentations on the back of the thigh, to relieve the pain and inflamation at the back of the thigh. Saw no bruise or discolouration whatever.
Considered there was inflamation of the sciatic nerve, which passes downwards of the back to the thigh. Visited him again on Tuesday. Applied a blister over the course of the sciatic nerve. Sent medicine everyday, fever and anodyne, until his death. On Wednesday attended him twice. Attended the post mortem examination, and perfectly agree in all the preceeding witnesses have said.
'I said yesterday my opinion was that he died of fever; this abscess was so deep seated that I would defy any surgeon to say there was a fracture of the thigh; Nothing but a post mortem of the body could have discovered this; there was an appearance of the bone being diseased. The bone could not have been denuded previous to the injury.
Mr Benjamin Francis Symmons, of Bures, surgeon, had attended the post mortem, and agreed with the other witnesses as to the cause of the death.
William Johnson, of Ballingdon, labourer. Works for Mr Vial. Recollects the day the boy was hurt;
'I know the day well; was at work in the barn,
along with the threshing machine, Pawsey and Newman were cutting chaff in
the lower part of the yard. Saw deceased in the stable when Mr Viall was
there at meal time, twelve o'clock. He asked the boy what he had been
feeding the pigs peas for, he said he gave them because he had not got
Mr Viall had a small springell, or split thatching stick, in his hand; hit him on the back with it. Did not see him kick him as he went out of the stable. Did not see Mr Viall with the boy in the pigs court, but heard him;
did not hear the boy crying out. Mr Viall swore at him; he said", D--n you boy, mind you see after the pigs, and feed them t'rights, do; ". did not hear the boy cry out, as if the master struck him; did not see the boy any more that day. Master never struck me. My wages are 9s.per week (six days). The boy did not work like another boy.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 28th.
William Newman, re-examined;
'I was frightened yesterday by my master Mr Viall; that is the reason I did not tell the truth. I was turned off from work yesterday morning; I went to the stable, my master told me I must go and get a job somewhere else, he had got nothing for me to do; he was going down into the yard, I asked him if he would give me a job tomorrow morning; he said I dont know but I will see. I then went home'.
'On Wednesday morning, the 27th December, I saw Mr Viall about two
o'clock; George Scrivener and William Snell were in the stable when Mr
Viall came in; they were collaring their horses. He said "Bill, did you
see me kick the boy Clark".
I said "Yes Sir".
He said "do you go to the house and get seven and a half pints of beer for the men's breakfast;"
I went to the back-house; he followed me, and called me into the kitchen;
he said "When you go you must know nothing about it."
I said very well sir"; he meant about the boy Clark. I have worked for him for between four and five years; I have 7s per week; at plough some times, some times filling tumbrils. I have lately worked at the threshing machine.
On Wednesday, the 13th December, I recollect seeing the boy Clark in the yard, I had been at plough that day, I left off at three o'clock. After I left plough I went into the stable to get my dinner; the boy Clark and the boy Rice, William Johnson, Robert Pawsey and George Scrivener, were there.
Mr Viall called me Moodyer; he asked the boy Clark why he had given the pigs peas; he said it was because there was no barley meal;
he had a piece of springel in his hand, and hit the boy Clark across the head and shoulders with it; the stick was about eighteen inches long, and about as big as my middle finger; he said go and give the pigs some water. I did not see him kick him then;
the boy went out of the stable; this was about half past three or a quarter to four; I saw the boy coming up the yard and Mr Viall going down; they met; Mr Viall turned round and kicked him. I believe it was with his left foot; the boy was on the right side of Mr Viall as he passed; he then told him to make haste with his work. I was going across the sheep-yard, about eleven or twelve yards from the stye. About ten minutes after the kick, I went on the right of the pig's court; I heard Mr Viall say, "Boy leave off making that noise."
On Sunday last I went to see the boy;
'I told his father I saw Mr Viall kick him; I never saw him kick him before. I cant say how long t'is since Mr Viall flogged me; it is two or three years since; I left in consequence. I think it was a hazel rod about as big as my middle finger, and a yard and a half long; it was because I went home one night; I used to sleep at the Hall, I went after the door was locked and could not get in. I was not confined to my bed from the beating but my left arm was sore.
(By a juror)
'I said I was frightened yesterday because Mr Viall told me to know nothing about it; and I thought as I have brothers working there, that he would turn them away.
Mr Viall wears high shoes as thick as mine, the soles are covered with nails; I have cleaned them. I did not hear the boy call out when he was kicked. My father last night begged me to come and tell the truth, which I have now done. '
Joseph Clark, re-examined;
'On Monday after my boy told me Mr Viall had kicked him, I spoke to Mr
Viall about it; he told me he did not think the boy was hurt; he was very
sorry for the boy, and asked if a doctor was attending him. I said yes. I
have had no offer of any pounds from any person;
I know of no man of the name of Green, of Nayland. Mr Viall has said nothing to me.
The deceased called me up on Sunday morning about a quarter before two o'clock and complained about being full of pain in his left thigh. He went to work at half past five o'clock in the morning; he said his foot and toes were very full of pain; he left his master about twelve that day, and got home at one; he could go no more; he laid down on the bed, and was confined until his death.
Mr Viall never denied kicking the boy. '
The court now adjourned from 2 til 5 o'clock in the evening.
George Scrivener deposed, that he was in the stable when Mr Viall asked the boy why he gave the pigs peas; and did not see him kick or hit him. He stood sideways to the door, and was mixing the chaff and corn. Abraham Snell, of Cross Street, labourer, saw Mr Viall go in the stable with a stick in his hand, and saw him hit the boy Clark on the back. Is sure it did not hurt him; did not see him after that.
Robert Pawsey, labourer, living at Middleton Hall, saw Mr Viall give the boy a little rap on his back in the stable, but did not see him kick him.
William Johnson re-examined;
'I did not see Mr Viall kick the boy. I do not recollect telling Joseph Clark that I saw Viall kick him; I only saw him lift his foot up, he lifted his foot up on the right side ; I can't recollect which but I think it was the right. '
Friday, December 29th.
Elizabeth Clark, wife of Joseph Clark
' Last Wednesday fortnight my son
came home about half past six; he said his master had kicked him in the
afternoon; he would not have told me, but the boy Rice told his father;
who asked him if he had done wrong; he said he had not;
he had been driving the horse for cutting the chaff; he went to see after the pigs, and his master followed him into the the pig court. I asked him on the Thursday or Friday if he felt anything of the kick; he said no. On Sunday morning my husband went upstairs and rubbed some stuff on his thigh; but could not see anything.
When he came home to dinner at 12 o'clock on Sunday, he complained violently about his left thigh; he said it must be from the kick his master gave him. He said he had been some time getting home. He ate about two mouthfuls of food, and had lain down until his father undressed him; he kept his bed from that time till he died.
He complained on Friday of no other part except his thigh; on Tuesday he
complained of his shoulders, loins, and his other leg, down to his toes,
with pain; he was worse; he was sensible till the fore part of Wednesday;
in the evening he was in the greatest agony, and out of his mind at
On Thursday he continued to get worse, groaning and crying; he tore his shirt to pieces, and continued delirious till he died, about half past 3 on Sunday, the 24th; he died very easy at last.
On Sunday morning after the injury, I first applied to Mr Mason. I told him my boy complained of a pain all on one side. He gave me a powder, Which I administered; after the powder he was very sick; his inside had been very loose for two or three days before.
On the Monday morning I told Mr Mason the child had had a violent kick from his master; the boy showed him where the kick was, by putting his hand on the upper part of his left thigh; Mr Mason nipped and examined the thigh very much, and the child cried out for the misery. Mr Mason gave me some mixture to be taken every four hours which I administered, and applied hot flannels to the place every quarter of an hour. Of my own accord, on the Sunday night, I applied warm vinegar and water, as the pain was so great;
I told Mr Mason that on the Monday and he said I had done nothing wrong. On the Tuesday morning Mr Mason came again, told me I must keep applying hot flannels, and must have more mixture, which I did the that day.
On Wednesday, Mr Mason came ; the child was dozing, and Mr Mason said he would call again. He looked in again, and told me to go up about four o'clock for a blister; the blister was applied about nine o' clock in the evening, when the pain was just below the hip and the left thigh. Mr Mason attended him on Thursday, and ordered me to go on with the mixture.
He came again on Friday, and the child was in violent misery; he did not look at the blister; I told him I thought blister looked well; it had been dressed, and he did not examine him. I was ordered to keep on with the mixture.
He attended again on the Saturday; said the child was very bad; he took the cup and administered the mixture himself. He did not examine him on the Saturday. He was delirious nothing was done to his head.
I think on Saturday Mr Mason examined the part. Mr Mason called on the Sunday afternoon about half past three, just before the child died, and said "The poor little thing is certainly going." Mr Mason attended for a week without an order; it was the Monday or Tuesday after Mr Mason attended that I went to the barn to tell my husband the pain got worse.
I saw Mr Viall against the house; he did not speak to me. On Wenesday I went to carry my husband some tobacco, and Mr Viall asked me how the child was. I said he was very bad, and like to be very bad;
he said "Is he poor fellow". He said nothing more, and walked off; I dont recollect he asked me about the doctor; nothing was said about money, he did not give me, nor tell me I should have anything; I did not tell him that he had kicked him; he made no offer that he would pay the doctor, nor any other party for him. I have had no other talk with Mr Viall, nor seen him since.
.Benjamin Rice, re-examined;
On Wednesday night I saw the boy's father coming through the farmyard to
go home. I did not say anything to him. I saw the boy; we came home
together; the boy cried to me. I asked him what was the matter; he said
his leg ached where his master had kicked him; he cried all the way to
On Thursday night he said his leg ached more. The next morning he told me he had no sleep. I walked home with him on Friday night; he said his leg ached more and more.
On Saturday morning he said it was worse; he could not do one job on the Saturday; he laid down and cried properly on the forenoon of Saturday; he could not keep up to us on Saturday night; he walked very lame.
On Sunday morning he told me his leg ached, and he looked very bad; I walked home with him; he rested near Mr Leader's, nearly half way home, and said he had not got so far he would go back again and lay on the horse stover until I came back from dinner; but I said you had better go home as your mother will get something to make you better.
I saw him no more until the next Sunday just before he died.
(Here the poor boy cried very much, and was highly commended by the jury for the kind feeling manifested to his deceased work fellow.)
About two o'clock he could not talk to me. He was a very quiet boy, he would not fight. I saw Mr Viall go into the pig stye; the boy went in the stye first. He had got no dinner on the Wednesday; he ate all for breakfast.
He said his master had made a black place, but did not hurt him much. On Sunday he said he did not know whether he should come again; he felt so bad. I told the father about it, and he told me I ought to served the same. My master hided me often.
I told his father I had it (a hiding) that day; he said, so you ought. My master gave me two or three spanks on the head; he (master)do not know what he do it for. Master hided a good many at one time; sometimes with his hands if he had not a stick. He was worse before than he is now.
The Coroner, in his address to the jury, said they deserved the thanks of the town and public for their very careful attention to the inquiry. It was clear the deceased had not died a natural death; he had received an injury from someone. If they were satisfied that Mr Viall had given the kick or blow which had produced death, it was their duty to return a verdict of manslaughter against him; but if they had any doubt as to Mr Viall, they would return a similar as against some person unknown.
The Jury retired at about half past five, and returned shortly after seven, with the following unanimous verdict; " That Joseph Clark came by his death from a kick or blow given by Simon Viall, of Middleton Hall, in the County of Essex, and that the Jury return a verdict of Manslaughter against the aforesaid Simon Viall. The Jury also wished to express their feelings on the neglect and indifference of the parents towards the deceased child.
During the whole of the proceedings the Town Hall was crowded to excess; and it was with difficulty order was preserved.
The Coroner issued a warrant for the apprehension of Mr Viall, who it is understood has gone away.
February 7th 1844.
We understand that Mr, Simon Viall of Middleton Hall who was found guilty of manslaughter is on bail to appear to answer the charge at Bury Assizes.
April 24th 1844.
There was no true bill against Simon Viall who was charged with having committed a felonious assault against a lad named Joseph Clark of which he languished and died. Mr Viall was then released on the verdict of the coroners jury.