Extraordinary Death of an Acrobat.
Dr M'Donald, M.P., coroner for Northeast Middlesex, held an inquiry at the Metropolitan Hospital, Kingsland road, into the circumstances attending the death of James Webb, aged sixty-three, a street acrobat and performer, who died of injuries received in a singular manner. Charles Norland, a sawyer, stated that he was out with the deceased, assisting Webb in his performance. They pitched the ring in Rotherfield street, and soon got a crowd round. After going through various feat?, the deceased said that if he could collect a shilling he would go through the wonderful performance of having a paving stone broken on his chest. The money being collected, the deceased placed himself on the chairs, his head resting on one and his feet on the other. He then asked if any of the persons standing round would like to break the stone on his chest. A young man said he would break it, and a 101b sledge hammer was given him for that purpose. He stepped into the ring, and gave the stone three blows, breaking it at the last one, but it slipped down to his stomach as it was struot on the corner. Deceased afc once complained of pains in his stomach, and after sitting for a short time he went home. He did not blame the man for the accident. Mr Herbert Williams, house surgeon, deposed that he had made a post mortem examination, and found the cause of deatli to be peritonitis, the result of the blow. The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death."
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Extraordinary Death of an Acrobat., Evening Star, Issue 8038, 15 October 1889