The following is a report in the papers of Middlesbrough of an incident at the vicarage of Marton in 1875.
FATAL GUN ACCIDENT NEAR MIDDLESBROUGH. A HOUSEMAID SHOT BY A CLERGYMAN’S SON.
On Saturday 1875, the housmaid, Margaret Barnett, was shot and fatally wounded in the kitchen of the vicarage in Marton village. The vicar’s son, Richard Bailey, had just loaded the gun, which was a breach loading double barrel gun, when one barrel went off hitting Margaret Barnett in the left breast. The groom, called Carver was also in the kitchen at the time and had just gotten up from the table, if he had stayed at the table then he would have taken the fatal shot. Margaret staggered into the other kitchen followed by Richard, whereupon she fell to the floor dying. the Doctor was sent for but she died before he arrived. Richard had been pestering his father, the Rev Bailey, for a gun of his own and so his father borrowed one from Carl F Bolckow. On the morning of the fateful day Richard had spotted a hare in the garden and had asked Margaret to fetch the cartridges from upstairs. She stood in front of him a couple of yards away and watched him load the gun, it was just after this that the trigger was caught and the gun went off. Margaret Barnett was buried in St Cuthbert’s churchyard on the 25th January 1875 after an inquest decided it was accidental.
The Stewart Park and Marton History Group was a small local history group that now, no longer meets . It had a website that was in the process of being updated with local history when the group disbanded and these are the pages that survived.
The lasting legacy of the group is the graves of Bolckow and Vaughan in Marton Churchyard, a project the group started and fund raised for and it eventually came to be, through the work of Middlesbrough Environment City.