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1841: Man stoned to death by navvies?

Updated: Dec 8, 2023

Old England - Saturday 24 April 1841


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 fact 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.

Navvies in the 19th century (from Doncaster Drawn - follow link below article)

We have also heard that the party, with more humanity than generally characterises this class of man, 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 man 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…

Unacceptable historical treatment of navvies....



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