About Margaret Gordon
Coronial Inquest described in the "Empire" of Friday 21 December 1855:
"NEWCASTLE. [FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.] CORONER'S INQUEST.-An inquest was held on the 18th instant, at Tomago, before J. E. Stacy, Esq., and a jury of seven, on the remains of Miss Margaret Gordon, of Tomago and Ash Island. The only witness examined was Mrs. Sarah Reynolds, of Ash Island, who deposed as follows :-Yesterday about half-past four o'clock in the afternoon, Margaret Gordon came into my house and returned a reaping hook she had borrowed. I told her to go to the fire to dry herself as her clothes were wet. She had not been there a minute before my husband, myself, and Margaret Gordon were knocked down, I mean stupe- fied, by something, I cannot recollect what. The first thing I recollect was taking my husband's hand and said John I am done ; I looked into thc kitchen and I said, oh John, Margaret is on the fire. I then ran, to her brother's to tell him. From what I remember there was thunder and lightning ; I returned in about two br three minutes. Margaret Gordon was then dead-there was no pulsation or breath in her; my husband was attended by a doctor and bled. The' body of the deceased had been removed to her father's bouse at Tomago across the Hunter and opposite to Ash Island, and the husband of the witness was too ill from the effects of the shock to bc removed to give evidence, and it was quite apparent that the deponent's system was unhinged by it also, from the manner in which she gave her evidence and the meagre amount of informa- tion she was enabled to afford touching the cause of death, but that link was supplied by several of the jury who had witnessed the descent of the electric fluid, and described it as entirely enveloping the cottage in a mass of lurid flame, the internal appearance of which bore evident traces of the violence of the shock in broken chairs, tables, and crockery ; is had stopped the, clock, and placed the matter beyond all doubt as to the nature of the agent that had caused it, and the death of the deceased, who was a remarkably fine young girl of 16 years of age, and had been in the harvest field during the day, until the storm came on. The body exhibited no signs of external injury, except a slight abrasion on the chest, and a livid appearance from the neck downwards. Newcastle, December 19,1855. "