Deaths - Accidental and others

copyright Vivien Ellis, 2010

The following are deaths found in the Burial Registers of St. Andrew's Church, Aycliffe. Circumstances of the deaths of the people in the registers has often caught my attention. I have grouped these circumstances under several heading:


In the 1700s several strangers were buried:

Ellinor Conningham - buried September 14, 1709

Ann Thompson - buried April 14, 1711

John Cambell, boy stranger - buried August 3, 1726

John ? - buried June 15, 1727

Christian Scot - buried January 5, 1728

Johnathan Lancaster - buried Septmeber 19, 1762

Elizabeth Potts - buried October 17, 1762

A stranger from Woodham found dead in the fields - buried April 11, 1793.

In 1815, Mary Ordon from Durham but found dead in this parish, supposed to be 58, was buried June 15.


Sudden Death

In 1700 Katherine Smith was buried March 29, having been surprised by sudden death!



John Cummin, a traveller - buried November 16, 1727

An old man, a traveler by pass, his name unknown - buried September 2, 1729

Ann Willson, a traveller - buried March 11, 1743

Thomas Charles, traveller - buried October 4, 1864, aged 2 years



John Summers, mendicant - buried April 2, 1728

Thomas Appleby, mendicant - buried November 6, 1728



James Maclay, a Scott Pedlar - buried October 9, 1749

Bridget Dearden, no settled abode, tramper - buried August 9, 1847, age unknown



William Wynne, Bletchington, Oxfordshire, Private in the 11th Regiment of Light Dragoons - died June 19, 1801, buried June 21, 1801

George Bell of Aycliffe, a soldier, son of Ralph Bell - died March 12, 1806, buried March 15, 1806

Jane Robinson of Aycliffe, daughter of John Robinson, Militiaman - died March 29, 1807, buried March 31, 1807, aged 5

Mary Robinson of Aycliffe, wife of John Robinson, Militiaman - died September 20, 1812, buried September 22, 1812, aged 51


One Grave

Buried in one grave September 11, 1814, were two infants from Coldsides: Ralph Thomas and Dorothy Forman



The weather caused difficulties for Burial Processions on December 16, 1846 of Johnathan Bell, age 77, and George Bauthwaite, age 1, both of Brafferton. William Eade, Officiating Minister noted that there was a remarkably ???? snow, no getting to the Church by the usual road, but obliged to go across the field North East of the Church.


Old Age!

Johnathan Wearmouth of Aycliffe, died July 1, 1807 and was buried July 31, 1807, aged 77. He is described as a decayed farmer.


Burnt to death

William Hutchinson of Aycliffe, aged 4, was burnt to death and buried March 17, 1845.

Sarah Bradley, aged 5, of East Ketton, died from being burnt and was buried December 20, 1846



Richard Ward, aged 29, a drayman of Rushyford, was killed January 29, 1810, by a cart running over him. He was buried January 31, 1810

William Kelsey, a farmer aged 57, of Aycliffe, was found drwoned in the Skerne May 3, 1810 and buried May 5, 1810

Simpson Hutchinson of Aycliffe, aged 12, was killed by a kick from a horse and was buried December 10, 1849

Sarah Wilcock of Aycliffe, aged 5, was drowned in the Skerne and buried May 20, 1860. From a report in The Darlington Telegraph and Guisborough Mercury of May 19, 1860 states that a little girl, named Sarah Wilcock, about five years of age, was unfortunately drowned yesterday forenoon in the Skerne, near Low Mill. She had not been out at play more than ten minutes before her mother discovered her floating in the water quite dead.

Aaron Worth of Aycliffe, aged 15, was buried May 7, 1865 after an accident at the Lime Quarrries. This was reported in The Darlington Telegraph and Guisborough Mercury May 13, 1865: Aycliffe - Fatal Accident: On Wednesay, the 22nd ult., as reported in this paper, an accident, which has unhappily proved fatal, occurred at the Aycliffe lime kilns to a youth named Aaron Worth, son of Mr Worth, the manager at Messrs Ord and Maddison's lime works at that place. The unfortunate lad was at the timeof the accident minding an engine at the works, when one of the wheels in motion caught his jacket sleeve, and dragged his arm a short way round. On the engine being stopped, and his arm extricated, the flesh was found literally torn in pieces. Medical aid was at once despatched for, a a few days afterwards, in consequence of mortification aving set in, the limb was amputated a little below the shoulder, but all this was of no avail and death took place on Thurday evening se'night. No inquest has been held on the body, which was interred on Sunday afternoon inst. Deceased was only about 15 years of age.

Also at the Lime Quarry at Aycliffe a man, name unknown, supposed about 30 years, was found dead. He was buried January 5, 1866.

George Mills, of St. Andrew's, Auckland, aged 24, was burnt by gunpowder and buried July 1, 1866.

Aaron Worth above , 1850 - 1865, was the nephew of George Mills above. Information kindly sent by Nigel Temple.




James Moor of Aycliffe, died July 24, 1812 and was buried July 26, 1812. He is described as late Schoolmaster, but latterly a lunatic.

Mary Jane Munby of Aycliffe was only 13 months old when she died of English Cholera and was buried September 27, 1852.

Jeremiah Harland of Aycliffe was buried February 25, 1864. He died of Smallpox. His death was announced in The Darlington and Stockton Times: At Aycliffe, 22nd inst. aged 56, Mr Jeremiah Harland, farmer and cattle dealer.

Wheatman Readman also died of smallpox. He was of Moor Cottages, Aycliffe and was age 36. He was buried April 19, 1864 and his headstone is still extant:

Wheatman readman, April 1864


Scarlet Fever took the lives of brother and sister, Elizabeth Ann Binks, age 2, and Thomas Binks, age 3, who were buried 4 days apart on November 23 and November 27, 1864



Benjamin Dobson, of Shildon, aged 50, was killed on the railway (S & D), and buried July 14, 1847.

From a family that had lived at Aycliffe since the late 1700s was Joseph Dixon Kent. He was killed on the Clarence Railway at Simpasture and buried March 26, 1871. His death was reported in the Darlington and Stockton Times Wednesday, March 22, 1871: Aycliffe - Fatal Railway Accident near Aycliffe - Yesterday, a platelayer on the Stockton and Darlington Railway, named Joseph Dixon Kent, 56 years of age, whilst at work at Simpasture, was knocked down and had his feet taken off by an engine, and died within two hours of the accident - An inquest will be held on the body tomorrow.

On Tuesday morning, about half-past eight o'clock, a melancholy accident happened at Simpasture Junction, near Aycliffe, which caused the death of Jos. Dixon Kent, and severely lamed Robert Hodgson, whose internal injuries were thought at the time to be very serious; but we are glad to state that under careful medical treatment he is now in the way of recovery. It appears that the two men, who were platelayers on the Darlington section of the North-Eastern Railway, were engaged removing some material that had been placed betwixt the rails of the down line, when an engine coming up unoberserved they were both knocked down, causing the death of Kent. Mr Joseph Dixon Kent was a man of superior intellect and active temperament. He took an interest in most of the public institutions connected with the parish, was kind and affectionate to all his family, and greatly respected by all who know him. He always showed a willingness to assist in anything that would tend to advance the interests of his fellowmen, to whom he has been of great service during the latter part of his life. Mr Kent was 56 years of age, and just completed 15 years service upon the railway.


Also killed on the North Eastern Railway near Preston on Tuesday, September 5, 1871, age 51, was Henry Wilcock of Aycliffe, late Pudsey. He was buried September 8. Reported in The Stockton and Darlington Times September 9, 1871- Fatal Accident of the Railway at Aycliffe - On Tuesday afternoon the engine driver of the train arriving at Darlington at 4.10 p.m. reported that the train had run over and killed a platelayer near Ayclife. We have not been able to ascertain the names of the unfortune man. This was the second tragedy for his wife Sarah, They had lost their daughter Sarah in 1860 - burnt to death as shown above. There is a large headstone in the graveyard:

Henry Willcock, 1871


Joseph Vickers, of Dean Head, Coatham Mundeville was killed on the railway and buried May 24, 1873, age 26.

Thomas Gladwin of Aycliffe was killed on the railway and buried June 6, 1873. The following day the Stockton and Darlington Times reported: Killed on the line - On Tuesday night a young man, Thomas Gladwin, a fitter on the North-Eastern Railway at Aycliffe, while returning home was knocked down by a passing train as he was crossing the line, and killed on the spot. Deceased was 23 years of age, and lived in Darlington. He is named on hs parents headstone:

Thomas Gladwin 1873