Link to Brentford High Street Project

Home and Search
Site Guide
Brentford Basics
Privacy Policy
Contact Families
Photos of people
Name indexes incl WW1
Lists, Documents, News
Occupations Properties: High Street
Properties: non-High Street
1909/10 Valuation Index
Pub Hub Seeking...
Mystery photos A-Z list History
Beach's Jam
Nowell Parr
Turner the Artist
Queen Victoria 1840
Brentford Market
80 High Street
Clitherow of Boston House
Four Croxford Brothers They Said
Books etc.
Web Links

Site Technology

Home and Search

Not Brentford

Inquest of Frances McCarthy, 1903

Thank you to Mike Perry, for locating the original newspaper article and to Maggie Luscombe for providing a transcript.


Taken from the County of Middlesex Independent: Page 4, columns 1 and 2

An inquest was held by Dr Gordon Hogg at the Fire Station, High Street on Monday afternoon last on the body of Frances McCarthy aged 67, a widow late of Starnage Road, Old Brentford who died from injuries sustained from being run over by a van belonging to Messrs. Carter Paterson in the Ealing Road, Old Brentford on Friday last.

The first witness called was Mary Ann McCarthy, daughter of the deceased, who said she last saw her mother alive at 6.30 on the evening of the accident, when she was in her usual health. She had good sight and hearing and was perfectly sober in her habits. Witness was at Kew Bridge later in the evening when she was told by a friend that her mother had met with an accident. She afterwards identified her body at the mortuary.

Mr. Robinson of the York Mineral Water Company, said he was near the spot where the accident occurred when he heard a shout from the driver of the van belonging to Messrs Carter Patersons and afterwards heard a scream from the deceased. A van belonging to the York Mineral Water Company was standing still near to the scene of the accident. There was plenty of room for the van to pass. After the accident he heard the deceased say she wanted to go home. He sent for an ambulance and she removed to the police station. In a reply to a representative of Carter Paterson witness said deceased was lying before the fore and hind wheels of the van when picked up.


Frank Lewis, the driver of the van said the only other person in the van was a boy who was in the rear of the van. As witness was driving he saw a van standing still on the near side of the road, and a lady crossed in front of the horse from the near side to the offside. His horse was traveling a pace of four to five miles an hour. The spot where the accident occurred was about twenty-five from the High road as was very dark. He had driven over deceased before he knew what happened and he pulled up immediately. Deceased walked right in front of the shaft and the front wheel went right over her. The boy went to the horse’s head. the deceased had been removed before witnesses came to her. He then went to the police station. He had been in the employ of Carter Patersons for some years. He was driving in the Ealing road having come from Netley Road. The accident occurred in front of the “Princess Royal” the outside lamp at which place was not alight. He was driving up the near side of the road, and the woman came in front of the horses.

PC Harwood said he was on duty in the Ealing Road at about half past seven in the evening in question, when he was informed that a woman had been run over. He at once went to the scene of the accident and sent for the ambulance. The woman was taken to the station, where she was examined and found to be extinct. The road at the spot was about 24 feet wide from kerb to kerb, and it was a very dark spot the nearest lamp being about ten yards distant.

Inspector Wettons said he was on duty at about half past seven on the evening in question, when the ambulance was sent for. The woman was afterwards brought into the station and died before the arrival of a Doctor.


Mr. Olds, who picked the dead woman up, said he was crossing the road behind the wagon at the time of the accident. One van was standing still, while the other was passing up the roads. He saw the woman knocked down by the shaft, and both wheels passed over her. He moved her on to the kerb. She tried to speak, but could not. It was very dark at the time. He did not see the van coming from Netley Road; he was crossing from the Princess Royal to the High Street. The head of the horse belonging to the stationary van was towards High street, and the other van was driving towards Ealing. The woman was nearly in the centre of the road when picked up. The driver tried to pull up in time, but could not. He was driving at about four or five miles an hour.

The driver Lewis and the witness recalled stated that the mineral water van was going towards Ealing.

The Coroner observer that, although the evidence of the witness was quite conflicting, it showed they had not been comparing their opinions. It was for the jury to decide whether deceased met her death accidentally killed or whether there was any blame attached to the driver.

A verdict of “Accidental Death” was returned.

Return to Snelling/McCarthy page