William Gardiner 1848 - 1877
from - Pamela Green - nee Clewley - Gardiner
During research into her family history, Pamela Green, of Horsell in Surrey, has collected information on her Great Grandfather, which she has kindly sent to us. Part of that information, including his demise in Petworth Prison in 1877 is shown here.
William Gardiner was born 4 August 1848 in Chichester, as was his father before him.
He was married 3 August 1871 to Martha Goacher.
They had 3 children - William Henry b. 1873 - Charles b. 1875 [Pamela's Grandfather] and Annie b. 1876.
In 1877, then aged 28, and employed as a butcher in Chichester, he died after spending only 9 days of a six month sentence, in Petworth Jail.
The circumstances of his death brought about, what were termed in the local press, as "Unpleasant rumours". Even by Victorian standards, the prison at Petworth had a dubious reputation regarding the treatment of its inmates and an untimely death of a young man such as William, had caused "much concern within the local communities".
The six month sentence he had received, for an unprovoked, quite serious assault on an elderly lady, was by all accounts, to be considered quite lenient. The judge at his trial, had taken into account the facts that this was his first ever offence of any kind and that the attack was "quite out of character".
It was shown at the inquest that William had been suffering from stomach ulcers and that as a possible result of his exertions on the "wheel" a large ulcer had burst with fatal results.
Martha his widow remarried several years later, but in 1921 she committed suicide.
Copies of press cuttings from the West Sussex Gazette of 1877 describing his Trial and Inquest are shown here.
Due to difficulties in the clarity of the copies, these have been transcribed by Deidre Millington in Nottinghamshire.
Transcribed documents here - The Inquest - - The Trial
Although difficult to read, some of the originals are shown here -
The Inquest - - The Trial
Anyone wishing to contact Pamela may do so by emailing us & your message will be passed on
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