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1841: Man stoned or media hype?


A rumour has prevailed in the town for several days, that a man was stoned to death on Saturday by some labourers employed on the railway near Cuckfield.


On inquiry we understand the facts to be, that an Italian vender of chimney ornaments of plaster casts met with a party of railway labourers, who mischievously proposed to have a ’shy’ at the images; and that one of them accordingly threw at the image-board a stone, which, missing its mark, inflicted a somewhat severe wound on the unfortunate foreigner.


We have also heard that the party, with more humanity than generally characterises this class of men, anxious to atone as far as possible for the injury which they had wantonly caused, entered into a subscription, which amounted to 9s or 10s, and that this sum was placed in the hands of a constable, with a request that he would convey it to the sufferer


The constable, however, was unable to find the party; and the recompense has in consequence not been made to him. This rumour may be taken as .a fair sample of the exaggeration which is often used' with regard to trifling accidents by the eager purveyors of news.


The Times 23 April 1841 from Brighton Gazelle.


Artwork by contributor.


Contributed by Malcolm Davison.



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