Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The tragic death of Andrew Millington

A copy of Andrew Millington’s death certificate: killed by a cart in 1840

Our direct ancestor, Andrew Millington from Tibberton, died tragically on 30th June 1840 aged 68 years old. On his death certificate it states that Andrew was "accidentally killed by a cart" whilst working as a Carrier in the Parish of Wombridge, near Wollaston. The accident happened at a place called Coal Pit Bank in Wombridge.

A coroner's inquiry was carried out over the corpse of Andrew Millington and before a jury at Wollaston. The coroner who recorded Andrew's death was Joseph Dickson, his report is archived at Shrewsbury Public Record office and once again I was able to make a pencil copy of the original:

‘An inquisition indented in Wellington. Joseph Dickson coroner viewed the body of Andrew Millington before a Jury charged to discover the means of death of Andrew Millington, on 30th day of June, in the 4th year of the reign of Queen Victoria.

Andrew Millington was of the age of 68 years and driving a horse drawing a cart loaded with stone and in coming from a path in the Parish of Wombridge and by some means he fell down and the wheel of the said cart went over him and crushed and pressed him the said Andrew Millington.’

Andrew's Will

The will of Andrew Millington of Wellington is dated 14th July 1840 and can be found on page 361 of the probate calendars at Lichfield public record office. On inspection, this is not a will drawn up by Andrew himself but an application by his wife Elizabeth to gain his estate and effects in the absence of a will. There are three documents comprising the will of Andrew Millington, the first is a Letter of Administration, a document which was drawn up by the local church court to grant authority to the surviving spouse or individual with the greatest claim on an estate, to act as executor and administer the estate of the deceased in the absence of their own will. The Letter of Administration reads as follows:


In the Bishops Court of Lichfield, In the Goods of Andrew Millington, Deceased

Appeared personally Elizabeth Millington of Wellington Salop, the party applying for letters of Administration of the Estate and Effects of the said Andrew Millington late of Wellington in the county of Salop.

For in respect of which the said letters of Administration are to be granted, exclusive of what the said deceased may have been possessed of as a Trustee for any other persons, and not beneficially but including the Leasehold Estate or Estates for the years of the deceased, if any, whether absolute or determinable on lives and without deducting anything on account of the Debts, due and owing from Andrew Millington are under the value of One Hundred Pounds, to the best of my knowledge and belief.

Sworn on the 3rd July 1840 by Elizabeth Millington before me Edward Pryn Owen, Court ’

The second document relating to Andrew’s Will is an Administration bond. The administrator had to take out a bond which was relative to the value of the estate, to make an inventory of the goods of the deceased and render account (the accounts usually only being produced if there was a dispute). The Administration bond taken out by Elizabeth bears three stamps as follows:

(i) One pound

(ii) Three halfpence pr. Sheet

(iii) Stafford 20.3.40

The bond reads:

"Know all then by these presents that we Elizabeth Millington of Wellington in the county of Salop, widow, Thomas Robert of the same place and William Turner of Wellington, Salop are held and firmly bound unto James Thomas Law, Clerk Vicar General of the Diocese of Lichfield the sum of two hundred pounds to be paid unto James Thomas Law or to his certain Attorny his Executors Administrator. Sealed by us the 3rd July in the fourth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lady Victoria, 1840".

Then follows "The Condition of this Obligation". In summary Elizabeth is obliged to present a perfect inventory of all of Andrew’s goods, chattels and credits into the Registry of Lichfield before 1st October for Administration at or before the 1st July 1841. The bond is sealed by Elizabeth Millington in the presence of E.P.Owen, Com., Thomas Robert and William Turner.

Incidentally, Elizabeth Millington’s maiden name was Turner, so the witness William Turner was more than likely a relative, possibly her brother.

The third document seems to be a second letter of Administration referring to the previous two documents and containing another Oath. This document seems to be from the Court granting Elizabeth authority to execute the estate:

"James Thomas Law, Clerk Master of Arts, Vicar general of the Right Reverend in God James, Bishop of Lichfield, to Edward Pryce Owen and Clerks, jointly and severally Greeting: whereas we have decreed Letters of Administration of the goods and personal estate of Andrew Millington late of Wellington in the county of Salop and Diocese of Lichfield deceased to be granted to Elizabeth Millington the widow relict of the said deceased, we therefore commit and grant to you full authority as well to administer the Oath underwritten to the said Elizabeth Millington as to see the Bond hereto annexed signed sealed and delivered by her and two sufficient sureties and also swear the persons whose names are subscribed to the Affidavit annexed to the truth thereof: and what you shall do in the premises you are to certify to us, or our surrogate, within three months from the date thereof, provided nevertheless that this Commission shall be of no effect, unless certified and transmitted to us within that time: dated at Lichfield the 1st Day of July in the year of our Lord 1840.


In Haworth."

Then follows "The Oath". In summary the Oath states that Andrew Millington died without a will and as widow relict Elizabeth believes she should administer his goods and estate. The final sentence reads "and that the goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased therefrom, do not amount in value to the sum of one hundred pounds".

Finally, this document finishes:

"Qry: When he died?

Ans: 30 June last

On 3rd July 1840 this commission and the bond were duly executed and the said Elizabeth Millington of Wellington Salop was duly sworn according to the Oath before me, Edward Pryce Owen, Commissioner, Adm. On Ext. at Lichfield 14th July 1840"

As to the fate of Andrew’s widow Elizabeth, there are references to the deaths of two people named Elizabeth Millington in Wellington, one in 1854 and one in 1859. I have no further evidence to allow a conclusion as to whether either one or neither of these records appertains to our own Elizabeth Millington (nee. Turner).

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