Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Trove Tuesday - John McCarthy's Accident, 1885

I found this very sad report about the death of my Great Great Grandfather, John McCarthy (1835-1885) on Trove recently. I already knew that John had died after being kicked by a horse, but reading the newspaper reports always make the incidents of the past more real for me. I found the line "after suffering great agony" particularly upsetting. 

Rest in peace Great Great Grandfather McCarthy. 

The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser, 3 April, 1885. 
SAD FATAL ACCIDENT - A very lamentable accident occurred about 5 o'clock on Saturday evening last resulting in the death of a very old resident of the place, Mr John M'Carthy, of Commissioner's Flat. Mr M'Carthy had just returned home with a load of chaff from the township, and after taking out the horse and putting it in the stable proceeded to carry in the chaff through the stable door. He was in the act of carrying in one of the bags, when the horse kicked out striking him violently in the abdomen, causing serious internal injuries from which he died about 7 o'clock on the following morning, after suffering great agony. The deceased was quite conscious to the last and stated how the accident occurred. We believe some of the children were standing by when the accident happened. Immediately after the accident Dr Clark was sent for and saw the deceased about 20 minutes after the occurrence and in company with Dr Scobell about two hours later. Under the circumstances, and inquiry was not considered necessary, thus, we are glad to state,relieving the family and friends from further pain. Very general sympathy is felt for the widow and children of the deceased, Mrs M'Carthy being left with nine children to lamest their sad loss.We understand it is the intention to start a subscription for the relief of the family in their distress. The funeral took place on Tuesday and was numerously attended.
Local and General News. (1885, April 3). The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic. : 1863 - 1918), p. 2. Retrieved March 15, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90145303

The Heathcote community did start a subscription for the relief of John's family. The following advertisement appeared in The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser on 8 May 1885.
PERSONS having Lists of Subscriptions in aid of the Widow and Family of the late Mr John M'Carthy are respectfully requested to hand them in without delay to Mr John Long, Heathcote, or the undersigned.
Michael Manton.
Heathcote, 6th May, 1885.
Advertising. (1885, May 8). The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic. : 1863 - 1918), p. 3. Retrieved March 15, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90145247

Thank you John Long and Michael Manton and the residents of the Heathcote district for helping my McCarthy family all those years ago. As stated in the top article, Mrs McCarthy (Catherine nee Mannix) had nine children to care for. The eldest daughter Norah was aged 20 years and the youngest Denis (Din) was under 3 years of age at the time of his father's death. My Great Grandfather, Patrick (Paddy) would have been 15 years of age.
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  1. It's bad enough reading about anyone being in agony after such an accident, let alone a direct relative. It may be good to have the story but sad to think of them suffering.

  2. A very sad story... how hard that must have been for all the family.. for his wife and children seeing his agony and for him, knowing how bad he was and that he would in all probability be leaving his wife and family of nine...

    Aillin, hard as it is reading this actual account, it is also a way of honouring your great great grandfather's memory and a lovely thought to thank the community who helped care for the family. A suggestion, perhaps you might like to send a message to whatever newspaper serves the area now, including a link to your post. This would be a way of taking it home as it were. There could still be descendants of the people involved in the area.

  3. Oh... very sad indeed Aillin. It's good that an "inquiry" was not required, causing the family even more pain, because of all the eyewitness evidence.
    I found it very difficult to read a newspaper report of my Granfather's accident and also other family info so can understand your distress.
    Wonderful to read of the community support and your post honouring,and remembering,your Great Great Grandfather John McCarthy. May he always R.I.P.

  4. How sad that he had to suffer so badly. Thankfully it was a caring community. Things would have been so hard in so many ways back then.


Your comments are appreciated. Thanks.

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