ANDREW CORNISH of Trenchford.
I make this memorandum by way of transmitting to posterity my conviction that this man came unfairly to his end. He was a worthy, upright, inoffensive, and God-fearing man, and it maybe that this secret of the prison-house may never be known until the day of Doom, but strange discoveries come to light, and time itself has not always been able to hide blood foully shed - I took pains to examine all particulars - the cart he was driving was too light to have injured him - had his death been occasioned by the cart he must have fallen before the wheels which then must have passed over the body, and we should have detected an interruption in the impress of the wheel; which was perfect throughout. He had carried some wool to Moreton and received the money - The body was not plundered, but this proves nothing, as two Moor-men of the name of Mortimer, who were returning rather noisy from liquor, sounds appearing to proceed from persons much nearer than in reality they are of a fine clear evening in October, might have interrupted the robbery - They gave the alarm to the family.
The injury which occasioned the death of poor Cornish was a wound rather low down the back of the head, just above the atlas or highest of the vertebrae, about an inch and a quarter up and appeared inflicted by some blunt instrument - like the nob of a bludgeon - The body could not have been much agitated by the death struggle and lay extended on the sandy ground a little on the eastern side of Didworthy Down gate which opens on Trenchford Lane. This event took place on Wednesday the 2nd October 1833.
Poor Andrew was buried at North Bovey on Sunday 6th October in the year above mentioned, and his funeral very numerously attended, and his death generally lamented.
By an examination of the spot it will be seen that the lane is much deeper than the fields on each side, a person therefore upon the hedge might have struck the blow with great additional power and effect.
From the Rev. Robert Palk Carrington's "Parochiales Bridfordii" (1805-1842). Rector of Bridford. pp 452-453.