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MELANCHOLY OCCURRENCE' AT THE PELORU3. The schooner Augusta, G-eorge W. Calvert, master, arrived in this porfc from Miirlborough, afc 9 o'clock on Sunday morning, hating left the Grove near Picton, on Saturday afternoon .vith a I cargo of timber for Wellington, which is consigned to Mr. Edward Pearco. Captain Calvert brings intelligence of a most melancholy occurrence — the drowning of Captain Hood, tho master and owner of the Augusta, under very mysterious circimistiinrps. -A. copy of the Marlhorough Press of last Wednesday, contains particulars of the occurrence, which are subjoined, but Captain . Calvert imd the men belonging to the vessel suppose that during their absence Mr. Hood had boon allowing his dogs to swim round the schooner, and while helping them on board had fallen into the water. Mr. Hood had been a member of the Provincial Council of Morlborough i Ho leave* a widow who is the sister Mr. Arthur Sawyer of this office. The following are the par- ! ticulurs referred to :— A melancholy occurrence look place nfc Queen Charlotte Sound, near the Grove, on Friday last. Ifc appears that Mr. Augustus Hood, master and owner of tho barque Augusta (which wus loaded t with timber and ready to sail) left the Grove Hotel about 3 o'clock p.m., and went on board with the male and one of the crow. Shortly afterwards, by Mr. Hood's orders, part of the crew went ashore to transact sorao business, and the mate, sent the other part, of the crew for fresh water, leaving Mr. Hood on board by himself. In sibout an hour afterwards, when both | parties returned, Mr. Hood was missing, and, on searching the ship, could nowhere be found. The alarm wi>b soon given ashore, nnd v search made round tfie vessel and along the beach ; but the body was not found till the following day. The particulars of this distressing case will bo found dctuiled in the following proceedings :— i THE INQUEST. George L. Mellisli, Esq., Resident Magistrate, Picton, held an inquest on tho body, on Monday forenoon, tho 30th ult., at Mr. Henderson's, tho Grove Hotel, before a Jury of twelve persons. The first witness called was Nathaniel Pole, who, being sworn, said— l am a laborer, residing at the Grove. I was on board the vessel belonging to Mr. Hood on Friday last. George Johnstone was with in c. Wo were the only men on board, when we left to geb water, except Mr. Hood. When wo returned, William Sinclair was on board. He asked me whero Mr. Hood was. I said he was on board. Ho .said, " No, he was not." I then went- to see if ho had got on shore, but could not find him, nor get any tidings of him. Wo were about twenty minutes awav° fetching tho water, out of sight of tho vessel. It was about half-past four when we went to.get the. water. I informed. Mr. Henderson that Mr. Hood was missing. We searched ' the bank up and down, but could not find him. On Saturday the body was found aboufc_ forty ynrcb from tho vessel, in about two feet six inches of water. Mr. Hendorson picked him up. I did not see anything that would lead mo to suppose that ho had died by unfair means. It was about three o'clock on Saturday when tho body was | found. I saw no boat near the vessel when we went for the water. When we left . the vessel Mr. Hood was standing near tho main hatch. I did not, think he was drunk. He seemed to have been drinking a little. I brought one bottle, of ! wine on board for Mr. Hood. When we left for I tho water it was full ; when wo returned it was empty. Two dogs were on board at tho time wo went for the water j but they were not on board when wo returned. 'J'hey were afterwards found on shore ; and had apparently swam ashore, ns I hoy wore wet. George Johnstone, being sworn, said — I am. a mariner, and on Friday last was left on board the Augusta with Nathaniel Pole. Mi 1 . Hood was on board also. Pole and I went to fetch a cask of water about half -past four. Mr. Hood was- left on board with two dogs. Wo were about half-an-. hour away. When wo returned with the water Mi\ .'Hood was not there, and tho dogs wore on shore. William Sinclair was not on board when' we returned "with tho water, but came on board about dii hour or an hour and a-half afterwards. Mr. Henderson and some others came ■ on board,, and we searched tho ship, and got candles and searched the beach. I was present when the body was found ilie next day by Mr. .Henderson. William Sinclair .j left the vessel .to go to Mi. Beauchamp'e about an hour or an hour and a-half

before we went for the water. I next saw him on board the vessel about an hour afterwards. I cannot say whether Mr. Hood was drunk or sober ; but he appeared quito sensible. George William Calvert said — I was mate on board the Augusta... I remember Friday' last. I came to, see Mr. Hood at the Grove Hotel, about j two o'clock in the afternoon. I found him there, j nnd asked him for money to pay souio bills. He , followed me to the beach with a pony. Wo put j the pony on board. Mr. Hood also went on board. I aiid William Sinclair went to Mr. Beanchamp's to pay some bills. Nathaniel Polo and.; G eorge Johnstono were left on board with Mr. Hood. I told them to fetch a ensk of water while I was away. This was about three o'clock. Wo were away at Mr. Beauchamp's about threequarters pf an hour. William Sinclair got on board fivat, nnd wont into tho cabin and began playing the epnccrtiim. I asked where Mr. Hood was? °Ho said ho did not know; and nsked mo if ho was not in tho hold. 1 went and lookod, but could not find him, and then thought ho had gone with the men to fetch tho wator. I left Sinclair on board, and went on shore for some tilings. I enquired for Mr. Hood at tho Grove lioti'l, but did not find him. I then left the hotel and went. | I further on On mj return Mrs. Henderson told | me that Mr. Hood' could not be found ; and on going to tho beach saw people searching for him: Mr. Hood was tho worse for liquor when I saw him on board ; but. appeared able to take care of himself. The gangways were shippsd. The horse I was in tho hold. The vessel was in two fathom < of water. His pipe was found between tho loose timber and the deck. The men had not returned from fetching the water when Sinclair and I returned from Mr. Beauclmrap's. William Henderson said— l kcop the Grovo Hotel. I remember Friday last. I assisted to search for Mr. Hood. I found the body in about two feet and a half of water, about forty yards from the Augusta. The body was half floating, with the face downwards. I saw no marks on the body except what might be caused by fish. He had nothing on his hands. His clothes were not disordered nor torn. Ho had no hat on, and it had not been found. I called Sergeant Emerson to see tho body before I moved it. It was then taken to the Grovo Hotel. SergcnntEmorson corroborator! Mr. Honderson's evidence, and added — I found his clothes wore buttoned, and his handkerchief tied, as if nothing had occurred. I assisted in searching for him, and found several receipts, a bank book, and 15s. I then gave orders to remove the body to Mr. Henderson's Hotel. Julus Deoiraus Tripp, on his oath, said — I am a Doctor of Medicine, residing in Picfcon. I havo this day examined the body of Mr. Hood. Tho eyes, lips, and soft part of tho face are much eaten away. I examined tho body. There arc no external marks of violence on the body judging from tho external appearance. I believe that he died from asphyxia, caused by drowning. In consequenco of his eyes and lips being oaten away, it. is impossible for mo to tell positively whether ho died from that cause or not; but from tho general appearance of'tho body, I believe that was the cause of death. The. Jury, without retiring, returned a vordict of Found Drowned, but how or by whatmeaiw no evidence appeared. The deceased has left a widow, but no family. Ho was for some years a member of tho Provincial Council for tho district of Queen Charlotte Sound, and it ia a singular coincidence that, haying lately vacated his seat, John Groensill Esq., was elected his successor afc noon on tho same day as Mr. Hood was drowned.

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LATEST FROM MARLBOROUGH., Wellington Independent, Volume XXI, Issue 2398, 7 August 1866

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LATEST FROM MARLBOROUGH. Wellington Independent, Volume XXI, Issue 2398, 7 August 1866

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