Friday, 6 March 2015

A Victorian Drink Driver

A drunk shandry driver who knocked over a woman who died was convicted of manslaughter in 1866.

On the morning of Saturday 21st April that year milk dealer Peter Seddon was driving a shandry along Ford Street whilst under the influence of drink and unable to control the gallop of his horse.

A 42 year old woman named Elizabeth Brannon was walking along the causeway and one of the shandry wheels struck her on the shoulder, leading to her falling down. Elizabeth's head hit the kerbstone and she died shortly afterwards.

At the coroner's inquest Seddon maintained that Ford Street was narrow and as such it was solely an accident, but due to the speed he was travelling a verdict of manslaughter was returned.

Seddon was committed to the assizes where he was found guilty on 10th August and sentenced to three months imprisonment with hard labour.

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