Thursday, 25 November 2010

Power of co-operation

One of the mysteries in my extended RICHARDSON tree has just been solved (not that I'd spent much time on it of late).
The death of William McCulloch son of James Russell RICHARDSON and Bessie McCULLOCH had eluded my initial searches.
Not surprising really, as my assumption was that he had died in Oamaru, or at least NZ.

A fellow researcher recently spent some time tracking me down (didn't take her long, although our mutual contact had forgotten my name, she remembered enough about me for it to only take one phone call to someone likely to be able to place me).

The first gem from our conversation was the she had found the death of the above William mentioned in an index of deaths (held at the North Otago Museum) reported in Oamaru papers - at age 17 of a bus accident in Sydney 14 Apr 1889, s/o James.

And so it proved. Having pointed her to Trove (the National Library of Australia's newspapers can be found there) I received an excited phone call this morning telling me that she had beaten me to some information (it's not a contest really you know ).

There, reported in The Mercury (Hobart) of 18th April was this report (I've corrected the OCR):
"An accident, resulting in the death of a youth named William Richardson, aged 16 years, happened on Saturday. Deceased was riding on the outside of an omnibus, when the harness on one of the horses became disarranged, and while the driver was in the act of adjusting it the animal becoming frightened backed the vehicle under a verandah, with the result that Richardson was crushed between it and one of the posts. He was removed to the Prince Alfred Hospital, where he lingered until shortly after noon to-day."

The link to this being our William is aided by the NSW death index showing a death registration Newtown, NSW to William with parents James and Bessie.

Wonder why he was in Sydney at age 17?
This is shortly after when his aunt was mentioning his father in her will as being in Australia (written Sep 1888), but he had been in NZ for a considerable time before that, and the Oamaru papers certainly thought so.
(James died in Oamaru in 1902 in tragic circumstance - perhaps the early death of his son contributed to that).

Cannot, yet, find any mention in our own NZ PapersPast, but did get sidetracked into what else was news of the time and found this accident reported in The Grey River Argus, of SATURDAY, MAY 18, 1889:
An extraordinary accident happened to a man who was driving along the Bayswater road, in the suburbs of Brisbane. He was in a spring cart with a number of hives of bees, when by some means he upset one of the hives. The bees attacked the horse, causing it to bolt. After galloping some distance the horse fell and fractured its for a leg. The bees swarmed upon the animal and soon stung it to death. So dense and vicious were the bees that traffic on the road was suspended for a considerable time.
Along with reports for "Arrangements for hoisting people to the top of Eiffel's Tower"
.. which will be raised to its thousand feet by March 31st"
they "are to consist of two lifts to carry fifty to one hundred persons each to the first platform. Two others will ascend from the ground floor to the second platform, 112 metres high in a minute. They will stop at the first platform, to take up or leave passengers. The complete ascent will take four minutes, and it will be possible to take to the top 750 visitors an hour. "

Wonder if the stats still hold?

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