RT Tanner & Co Ltd
Accounts of accidental death of Anthony Tanner
Brighton Guardian, Wednesday 26 Sept 1832
We are concerned to announce the shocking death of Mr Anthony Tanner of Wivelsfield. The particulars of his lamentable end will be found in our account of inquests. Mr Tanner was, as we learn, generally esteemed; but we cannot conceive that we shall be discharging our duty as public journalists unless we draw the attention of our readers to the sad and fatal consequences which are ever to be apprehended from too free an indulgence in the seductive vice of drinking.
The following inquests have been taken before F H Jell esq during the past week.....
We have the pain of recording the death of Mr Anthony Tanner, of Wivelsfield under very distressing circumstances. On Saturday last he was in Brighton nearly the whole day, and spent the afternoon with a friend in Ship Street. He left the Brunswick Arms about 7 o’clock in the evening on horseback, and proceeded up the Ditchling road on the way home. About 10 o’clock Mr Tanner was found quite dead on the road, near the bottom Ditchling Bosthill, by a man in the employ of Mr Bennett, lime burner. The body was almost cold, the back part of the head was dreadfully cut and the coat much torn. It is supposed that whilst riding down the hill, the deceased fell asleep and overbalanced himself, it appeared from marks of blood on the road, that he must have been dragged a considerable distance before he was clear of the stirrups. The horse went on to the turnpike. On the following day a Coroners Inquest was held on the body, and a verdict of accidental death returned. The deceased has left six children, but no wife.To the editor of the Brighton Herald,
Sir- In the Brighton Guardian, of the 26th instant, there appeared an account of the death of Mr A Tanner, of Wivelsfield. Now, Sir, to expect any thing but the most cold-hearted malignity from this quarter would be to imagine any impossibility could be realized. The shameless and cowardly Guardian must make this affair a vehicle for his ravenous appetite for slander. The grave was not suffered to close on the unfortunate man before he is held up as an example for drunkards to beware and take warning by his untimely end. Think you, Sir, that the inhabitants of Brighton will not appreciate the conduct of this excrescence; who, perhaps, cannot be more justly described than in the words of the poet:-
“A bloated mass, a gross unkneaded clod,
A foe to man, a renegade to God;
From noxious childhood to his present age
Sacred to infamy, thru every stage.”
It is an act of common humanity, Mr Editor, if justice be dear to you, if you would rescue from attempted insult the memory of one of the most benevolent, one of the most kind hearted men that ever existed. Pray give publicity to these remarks. Nor, Sir, do I shrink from avowal, if required, of whom I am: and here throw down the gauntlet and bid defiance to the base maligner- and stigmatize him thus, as a libeller and a coward!!!
Sept 28, 1832
Brighton Herald, Saturday 29 Sept 1832
FATAL OCCURRENCE- On Saturday night last, between 11 and 12 o’clock Mr Anthony Tanner, a respectable farmer, residing in Wivelsfield, in this County, was found lying dead in the road, at the foot of Ditchling Bostell. An inquest was held the following day on the body, when it appeared that on Saturday, the deceased had been to Brighton, and had agreed to ride home with Mr Boddington, a surgeon, on Ditchling. The deceased was at the King & Queen between 5 & 6 o’clock, but as Mr Boddington had not arrived, he started alone. No more was seen of him until he was found by some labourers at Ditchling lime-kilns, as above stated. The deceased’s skull was fractured, and his horse was found at the road side, near Ditchling. It is rather remarkable, that Mr Boddington, who left Brighton soon after Mr Tanner, saw his friend lying in the road, at the foot of the Bostell, and called out to him; but, receiving no answer, judged it was some person in liquor laid down to sleep, and passed on. Verdict, “Accidental Death”.