Sunday, 27 December 2020

Burned at the Stake

18th December 1557 and Joyce Lewis of Croxall, Staffordshire hits the headlines. She had been married to Sir George Appleby until he was killed at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh on 15th September 1547. Before the 1547 was out she had married again, this time to Thomas Lewis of Mancetter, it was then she started to question her faith and eventually divorced herself from the Catholic church, thereafter worshiping as a Protestant. Her change of ideas was noticed by none other than Ralph Baines, Bishop of Lichfield who referred to her ‘irreverent behaviour in church’. After spending a year of contemplation in a prison cell, on the bishop's orders she was taken to Lichfield and burned at the stake.

Sunday, 20 December 2020

Trouble Brewing

Tuesday 9th January 1906 and brewer’s labourer James Cannon is at the Lichfield Brewery Co. Ltd. At 12:30 he is wearing heavy clogs as he slipped while adding hops to the contents of the copper boiler. Witness emptied the first can and was taking it away when he heard a splash. He turned to discover just Cannon's right hand hanging on to the side and immediately pulled him out. He walked to the office, badly scalded, where they stripped him and oiled the scalds. Dr Welchman arrived and ordered him to the Victoria Nursing Home, where James Cannon died three days later.

Sunday, 13 December 2020


Wednesday 6th June 1900 and railway guard Harry Cliff is in his van as the engine is detached for shunting. The train travelling to Walsall stopped at Hammerwich.
With no brake applied, the train began to roll down the incline. Telegraph message sent from Hammerwich to Lichfield City and points turned for the now hurtling wagons and vans sending them into a siding where they impacted with empty cattle trucks. Piled on top, littered all over, Harry Cliff's body was found in the very middle. He was just 40 years of age and lived at Stafford. The runaway train comprised 21 loaded wagons and 9 empties and was travelling at least 50mph. During the search they first spotted his feet and a part of his leg enabling rescuers to find the body fairly quickly.

Sunday, 6 December 2020

Lichfield's First Motorcycle Accident

Sunday 12th June 1904, the date of the first ever motorcycle accident in Lichfield. Between 3 and 4pm a Mr Savage, and electrical engineer from Burton-upon-Trent, was travelling along Pipe Hill when a dog ran out in front of him. He was thrown from his bike with what was described as ‘considerable force’. Injuries included an arm broken in two places, and fractures of the knee and skull. He was taken to the Victoria Nursing Home where he was treated by Dr Fraser and had been sent home on the Wednesday. The newspaper also reported the dog had died, its neck broken.