County Express

Vol. 1, No. 44 ] SATURDAY, 2nd.., NOVEMBER, 1867 [ Price 1d.


"Yesterday afternoon, about 5 o'clock, a singular accident resulting in the destruction of nearly thirty sheep, occurred on the private railway of the Earl of Dudley, near Hollies Farm, Pensnett. From the particulars which we are enabled to glean last night it appears that a flock of sheep belonging to Mr.Phineas Parsons, farmer, were being driven across the line, and while passing under a bridge they were run into by two coal waggons which were being braked down the incline. The waggons were travelling at great speed, and before the poor animals could get out of the way the waggons were upon them. The slaughter was of a wholesale character, and about thirty of the sheep were either killed or so seriously injured that their sufferings were mercifully shortened by the application of the knife. The boy who was driving the sheep escaped, we are glad to say, without sustaining any injury. Mr.Parsons loss will be heavy if he is not insured as many of the carcasses are so mangled as to render them totally unfit for market.


(Before F.Dinsdale Esq., Judge)

"SMITH v. THE GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY COMPANY:- This was a jury case. Mr.Perry appeared for the complainant, and Mr.Young for the defendants. Mr. Perry, in stating the case, said the complainant was a farmer in the parish of Pedmore, and his farm abutted on the Great Western Railway. The fences near the railway were in a bad condition, and on the 7th.July last, a horse valued at £40, had got through the fence, and fallen over an embankment and been killed. The complainant was examined at considerable length by Mr.Perry. He said he occupied a farm at Pedmore, and the Great Western Railway ran through his farm. At one part the cutting was 35 feet deep. The posts and rails at the bottom of his meadow, near the railway, were in a very bad state, and could not keep his cattle out. On Sunday the 7th. of July, he had some horses in the field. Between seven and eight o'clock, he saw his grey horse fall onto the rails. He was going sideways. The horse had something over his eyes. The post and rails went with the horse when he fell into the ditch. The horse then stumbled over a signal post and fell onto the line. The value of the horse was #30. He had been offered #40 for the horse in April last. He directed his son to write to the railway company on the subject. The letter was read by the registrar, and the reply from the railway company, where in it was stated that the matter was referred to the engineering department. The result of this correspondence was that the company did not admit any liability, as the horse had been chased through the field by several others, and while in frantic state had burst through the fence. The complainant said that when the horse fell through he was not chased by other horses. Since the accident had happened, the rails had been repaired by the railway company. In cross-examination by Mr.Young, complainant said he had repeatedly complained to the railway company of the state of the fences. The horse was blindfold because he grazed over the hedge in the barley field. Witness stated in cross-examination, that the horse was not chased out of the field by other horses, but that it got through the fence, and fell over the embankment. After a number of witnesses had been examined on the part of the plaintiff, the judge gave a verdict for the plaintiff of #35. On Tuesday, Mr.Young, barrister, applied on the part of the defendants for a new trial, on the ground that the verdict of the jury was against the evidence. Mr.Perry, on the part of the plaintiff, endeavoured to show that the verdict of the jury was in accordance with the evidence. His Honour said the defendants were entitled to a new trial, but he trusted the case would be settled between the parties without bringing the matter before the court again.