Old news from Armidale and New England

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Death in swollen river

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Tuesday 10 March 1857, The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser


(From the Armidale Express, Feb. 28.)

Another instance of the fatal result too often following rash attempts to cross swollen rivers has taken place in this locality. On Monday last Thomas Milroy, a servant of Mr. King, of Tenterfield, brought some sugar to Bolivia, in a horse dray, and at the same time stated that the river at the crossing-place (about eight miles off) was high. As it was then raining, with every appearance of a wet night, Mr. Irby told him that he would find it impossible to get across the river next day. However, on the morning following his arrival, Mr. Irby, while at breakfast, observing a black boy running Milroy’s horse into the yard called the boy, and requested him to tell Milroy that it would be madness to attempt crossing. Nevertheless, Milroy persisted in starting, and be did so, accompanied by a young man named Schofield, who had come from Deepwater on the previous evening. The next day (Wednesday) three travellers left this on foot for Tenterfield. On dred (sic) yards below the crossing place, from whence they appeared to have been washed by the current. Some dogs belonging to Milroy and Schofield were on this side of the stream ; one of them, on perceiving the travellers, ran howling down the bank of the river for about half a mile. The men followed, but as they could see no signs of a body, they camped near the river that night, and returned to Bolivia on Thursday morning, to report what they had seen. Mr. Irby immediately went out with a party, but on reaching the river the latter was rising, while the rain continued. It was therefore utterly useless attempting a search. They again went out this morning, and found the body of poor Schofield, rather more than a mile from the crossing place, hanging across an oak-tree. Every bone in it had been broken by its passage down the fearfully rough and jagged bed of the creek. The party found the blankets of deceased at a short distance from the body ; and being duly provided with prayer book and spade, gave poor Schofield’s mutilated remains a Christian burial. They searched for the body of Milroy, but could not find it; however, they picked up his blue shirt, which had the appearance of having been torn in rags from him by the force of the current. Mr. Irby and party will again resume their search to-morrow, in the hope that they may have the melancholy satisfaction of completing their charitable intention of committing the poor fellows, remains decently to the earth, instead of their being left to be desecrated by native dogs, or birds of prey. Schofield had only been in the colony twelve months, and had just left Mr. Windeyer’s service. He was a native of Boston, Lincolnshire. Of Milroy, I only know that be had been in Mr. King’s service, about twelve months.

Bolivia, Feb. 21, 1857.

Written by macalba

March 19, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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