The Foxearth and District Local History Society

The Hysterical Hystorian

For occasional articles, snippets and announcements by the Resident Historians.These articles are presented in date order, but if you explore the back-catalogue, you may find much of interest. Historical information doesn't really go out of date! Any member of the F&DLHS may add an entry or make a comment to an existing entry once they have got their userID and password from the Webmaster.

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Thursday, September 03, 2020

Dead Dogs in the Thames


Sometimes, the raw historical evidence is hard for the Local Historian to read without wincing. However, we must study it to appreciate how much progress has been made.  I'd hate to have to give lecture courses in vernacular history to 'easily-triggered' students.

From the Bury Free Press of 1893.August 26th 1893

Dead dogs in the Thames.

At a Coroners Court at Mortlake, which held an inquiry into the death of a female child of unknown parentage, George Newman said he was engaged by the riverside when he saw a parcel floating in the water, upon getting it out he found it was a young child. 

The Coroner said "what were you doing? It is a wonder you did not bury this!"
Witness "If it had been in a sack I should have buried it". 
Coroner to witness "how many dead dogs do you get?"
"Well me and my mate have buried 41 dogs today that is from Putney to the Ship at Mortlake"
-Coroner- "I hope there are no sausage shops in the neighbourhood,  One would never have thought there were that many dead dogs, how often do you hunt for these dogs?"
"Every day sir, sometimes we get 60 some days 40 sometimes only 25"
----Coroner, "Then you have had field day today with 41, how much per head do you get for them?"
"I get so much per week, Sir"
"I suppose it would not do as you would be putting them back."
"I wish they would, Sir!" 
Open Verdict.

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