Leeds Intelligencer (04/Sep/1828) - Melancholy and Fatal Accident

The accidental death of Sigismund Schwann on 30 August 1828 resulted in his brother, John Frederic Schwann (c.1799-1882), journeying to Huddersfield to take over the business. In May 1841, John Frederic founded the Huddersfield Young Men's Mental Improvement Society, later to become the Huddersfield Mechanics' Institution and eventually the present-day University of Huddersfield. His wife Henrietta, was instrumental in the founding of the Huddersfield Female Educational Institute in 1846 which merged with the Mechanics' Institution in 1883.


The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.

Melancholy and fatal Accident.

As Mr. S. Schwann, stuff and fancy merchant, of Huddersfield, was returning home from Halifax, on Saturday evening, his horse took fright at a post covered with hand-bills, at the Edgerton turnpike gate, became unmanageable, and galloped back with Master up a lane, near the toll bar, called Blacker Lane. The animal then turned round with him several times, and shortly afterwards passed through the turnpike, towards Huddersfield, at a very swift rate.

When opposite Moorhouse's Chapel, (near New House,) Mr. S. lost his seat and clung with his hands round the horse's neck. He was observed by a man, who was only a short distance from him, (20 or 30 yards,) in this situation, for a short time, when at last both the animal and his rider fell, and the former rolled over the latter two or three times, and before the man who saw him could get up to the spot to assist the unfortunate gentleman, he was a corpse. Mr. Schwann was a very pleasant gentlemanly man ; he was a German, about 29 years old, of small stature, has been established in Huddersfield about five years, and was doing a considerable trade in fancy waistcoatings, stuffs, &c. principally to Germany and Italy, in which latter place his brother is now travelling for him. He had no relations whatever here, nor, we believe, any in this kingdom. Mr. Thos. Starkey, Mr. Jas. Brook, and some other friends, however, have taken the management of his affairs in their hands until his brother shall arrive from the continent. An inquest was held upon the body on Tuesday, at the George Inn, before Mr. Stocks, and a verdict returned of Accidental death and a deodand on the horse. The remains of Mr. S. are to be interred in a vault in Trinity church, Huddersfield, this morning. His body was conveyed, immediately after the accident, in a chaise to his house, at Spring Grove Terrace, but was, before the inquest, so shockingly disfigured, that his most intimate friends could not recognise him, being much bruised all over, the cartilage of his nose broken, and also the bones between the eye brows, his head swelled double its ordinary size, and his whole body nearly as black as ink. His death is said to have been caused by his chest being crushed in when the mare fell upon him. It is extraordinary that blood, for some days after death, almost continually gushed from his wounds, so much so that two men were constantly in the room with him, employed in staunching it with cloths. Mr. S. was riding a hired mare, belonging to a man of the name of Roebuck ; she is completely knocked to pieces and good for nothing ; he always rode very fast, was bold, but sat very loosely, and very short.