On this day in 1879: Harrogate man shot

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On this day in 1879, news of a Harrogate man being shot was making headlines.

March 7, 1879

“Mr Carter held an inquest on Tuesday evening at the Woodman Inn, Dartford, upon the body of William Fenwick, carpenter, of Harrogate, Yorkshire, employed at the new asylum near dartford.

He was at the lodgings of a companion named Stephen Johnson, also of Yorkshire, on Monday afternoon, and about to dine with him, when Johnson took a rifle in the parlour, belonging to the landlord, and, not thinking it was loaded as the landlord had bought it at a sale and not used it, put a cap on and drew the trigger, pointing at the wall, and with harmless result.

Johnson then put on another cap, and Fenwick, who was seated with his back to the window, is stated to have laid hold of the barrel and either looked down the muzzle or blown into it.

Johnson pulled the trigger, and Fenwick was shot dead.

Johnson and Fenwick were known to be on very friendly terms, and, with two other companions, were making preparations to proceed to Australia during the month. Fenwick was 24 years of age.

A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.”