1788: Cuckfield widow makes fatal leap from second floor window to escape household fire

Stamford Mercury - Friday 20 June 1788


Last Sunday evening the following melancholy circumstance happened at the house of Mrs Bell, a widow lady near Cuckfield in Sussex.

17th century property ablaze

As Mrs Bell was retiring to bed, the light of her candle communicated to the curtains, and presently set them in a blaze, which having no person at the time in the house with her, she did not attempt to extinguish, but ran downstairs, in order to let herself out at the street door; this however in her great flight, she was not able to affect, and in consequence went up stairs to escape the flames; she had the resolution to jump out of a two pair-of-stairs window, whereby one of her legs was miserably broken, and her body otherwise so much bruised that she languished till Friday, and then expired.


By the timely assistance of the neighbours, the fire was soon extinguished

Photograph courtesy of Dean Baxter (Facebook)

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