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1874: 'I was sure my head was not shot proof'

Updated: Aug 30, 2021

Hastings and St Leonards Observer - Saturday 24 October 1874

The Secretary the Nawab of Bengal was out shooting at Cuckfield one day last week. He mistook a young man's head for a legitimate head game, and lodged the whole of the gun's charge therein. It is satisfactory to learn that the young man has been able to resist the effect to the present. He is going favourably. When he recovers he will be able to make many jokes about the advantages and disadvantages of a thick head when out shooting.

Lead shot being loaded (photograph courtesy of Project Upland)

Hastings and St Leonards Observer - Saturday 31 October 1874


Sir; —In the 31st paragraph of the "District Notes," your last Saturday's paper, an incorrect account of the above accident is given. You assert that I owe my life to the advantage of having a thick head.

Allow me to say that such was not the case at all. I owe my continued existence to my own presence of mind. Perceiving that a pheasant was flying toward me, and expecting the gentleman would shoot (not knowing whether he saw me or not), I instantly threw myself flat on the ground; in another instant I felt myself wounded in different parts of my body, some forty or fifty shots having pierced me.

My object in falling was the simple reason that I felt pretty sure that my head was not shot proof, and, as I before said, it was through exercising this presence of mind that my life is secured to me.

Should you, Sir, if ever find yourself placed similar circumstances, I strongly advise you to do likewise.

I am, Sir,

Yours truly,


[We regret very much that the words to which our correspondent objects should have appeared, since they are entirely misapprehended. We beg to assure him that the paragraph was penned in jocosity, and had no reference whatever to his mental faculties. We were merely jesting upon the resisting power of Nature, and we cordially congratulate our correspondent that, notwithstanding his severe accident, he is able to write so good-humoured and able a letter.-Ed.]



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