Lytham St.Annes Coat of Arms
Lytham St.Annes, Lancashire, England


Parrox Hall Death, 1852. 

The Preston Guardian, Saturday, 20th December, 1852


FATAL ACCIDENT FROM FIRE-ARMS —Yesterday week, as Mr: J. J. Elletson, surgeon, of Fleetwood, was shooting rooks with a party at Parrox Hall, the residence of his cousin, Daniel Elletson, Esq., he shot a rook, which, being suspended in a tree, he assisted a boy to reach. In pushing him up the tree with the butt end of his gun, the contents were accidentally discharged in his breast.

He was immediately conveyed to Parrox where he lingered until five o'clock the following morning, when death put an end to his sufferings. As soon as possible after the accident, Dr. Ramsay, of Fleetwood, was sent for, and afterwards Mr. Bowness, surgeon, of Poulton and a special train was despatched for Dr. Norris, of Preston, all of whom remained with the unfortunate gentleman until he expired.

An inquest was held on his body on Saturday, before John Gardner, Esq., coroner, when the following evidence was given :

—Thomas Gaulter,said, I am gamekeeper to Mr. Peter Bourne, and live at Preesall. I knew the deceased intimately. Yesterday afternoon he was shooting rooks at Parrox Hall rookery with a rifle. Between seven and eight o'clock last evening, I was assisting a boy into a tree, where three dead rooks were gibbeted ; whilst so doing, the deceased came, and, with the butt end of his rifle with which he was shooting, reached over my shoulder to keep the boy up the tree, the muzzle of his rifle being towards his chest.

He was holding the rifle at arm's length, in doing which he pressed the butt end of it against the boy, when it accidentally went off, and the ball with which it was charged entered his breast near the shoulder. The deceased ran back a few paces, and I went to assist him ; but he fell, and the blood freely discharged from the wound. At the moment I believed it fatal, and assisted in conveying him into the hall; we were, perhaps, a hundred yards from the door.

He walked a little, but soon became incapable of doing so. I remained with him till about midnight, when three surgeons came to him. Before I left him I observed life was departing, and the deceased was in great pain. There were several persons in the rookery at the time ; but none were so near the deceased as myself when this misfortune happened. The rifle was loaded with powder and one leaden. ball.

—Henry Kidd said :

I am servant to Mr. Elletson, of this place. The deceased was shooting rooks in the rookery yesterday. About seven o'clock in the evening he was brought into the hall dreadfully wounded. I assisted in stripping him, in doing which I observed the wound in his chest, near the right shoulder, as if a ball had entered his body there.

 He continued in great pain till about a quarter to five o'clock this morning, when he died. I was present when he died, and I have no doubt but his death was caused by the wound I have been describing. Surgical assistance was instantly sent for, and all assistance possible rendered to the deceased, but ineffectually. I believe the wound was beyond human art to cure.