Monday, November 26, 2012

The unlucky shoemaker

Rural scene, Scotts Creek near Timboon
State Library of Victoria image

A fatal accident occurred in the Heytesbury forest yesterday, to a man named John Brown, some time a resident of Cobden, where he carried on business as a shoemaker. Brown had recently selected land in the forest, and yesterday was at work on his holding in Cooriejong, clearing the land, when in attempting to remove a large fallen tree by the aid of a lever, the tree slipped and fell on the unfortunate man, crushing him so severely that he died in the course of a short time. Information was given to the police, and the coroner being telegraphed for, Dr  Hinchcliffe proceeded last night to Cobden for the purpose of holding an inquest, which, however, owing to the non-arrival of the body detained by bad roads, has been postponed until this day. The Hampden Guardian, December 31, 1875
Sixty year old John Brown was a shoemaker in Cobden where he resided with his wife and family. He had selected a bit of land in the parish of Cooriejong* (present day Scotts Creek), had erected a hut there and had begun the process of clearing the land of timber. One day in late December 1875 he was cutting a branch when it struck him in the chest. His son Francis, who was only twelve years old, found him and went to neighbours, Robert Howard and William Marshall, for help. He was carried to the hut where he died two hours later. An inquest was held at Cobden two days later with John's body present as was case in those days.


Cooriejong parish is south of Cobden, Victoria
John's wife, Maryanne, was left with a young family, including Martha who was not quite two years old. She was working as a housekeeper when she married a local farmer four years later. We have no way of knowing now but it must have been a huge shock for her to suddenly find herself a widow with dependants. She had a few shocks in her life. To find out more about this accident-prone family click on 'Brown' in the label list in the side panel.

*Cooriejong is also called Corriejong in some sources.

John BROWN, son of John BROWN and Jane PORTER was born in 1815 in Tyrone, Ireland. He died on 29 Dec 1875 in Scotts Creek, Cooriejong, Victoria, Australia. He married Mary Ann HOWE, daughter of Francis HOWE and Ann WEAR on 14 Mar 1850 (St Peters, Melb, Victoria, Australia). She was born in 1834 in Dublin?, Ireland. She married 2. John Lee at Camperdown on 26 May 1879. She died on 13 Jan 1907 in South Ecklin, Victoria, Australia.

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Lorraine