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From the Sussex Express, 30th June 1863


The late distressing accident

The fatal accident to Mr and Mrs Weller and their niece during the late storm, has cast quite a gloom over this parish, and the circumstances in connection with the death of the young woman Bingham are of a particularly distressing character. She was in the service of Mr Charles Smith, of 20 Lansdown Place, and was a native of Glynde, and was about to be married to a young man named Lusted, a carpenter of brighton, brother to Mrs Weller. With the view of making some arrangements for the wedding, she intended to go to Glynde by the train which leaves Brighton for Lewes at 8 pm on Wednesday evening; but her uncle, Mr Weller, calling upon her in the meanwhile and offering her a seat in his cart, she gladly accepted the offer and started on Wednesday evening in all the joy of such a trip, before the storm came on.

Over the fatal catastrophe of the night there's a veil which can never be drawn aside. On the following day the young man to whom the unfortunate young woman was engaged called at her master's to announce the fatal result of the journey. It need hardly be said that he was overwhelmed with distress; and this feeling was shared by the family in which the young woman was a servant and had been such for ten years, only having left Mr Smith's a few days since in order to be married on Friday next.


The funeral of Mr and Mrs Weller, and the young person, Elizabeth Bingham, who met their deaths in the melancholy accident on Wednesday night last, by the overturning of the cart near Ranscombe, took place in Glynde churchyard. Hundreds of persons with mournful countenances were present from the surrounding neighbourhood, and Glynde Church was crowded to excess during the ordinary Sunday afternoon service, in fact large numbers were unable to gain admission at all. The afternoon service was performed by the Rev W De St Croix, assisted by his brother. The sermon was preached by Rev W De St Croix, who made a touching allusion to the fearful calamity that had so suddenly deprived three human beings of their existence. There was not a person present who did not shed a tear, and every one wore a mournful look, a look of deep concern and sympathy.

After the service was concluded, the solemn tolling of the bell denoted that the time was approaching when the unfortunate sufferers were to be laid in their last resting place. In the churchyard, one large grave had been made capable of containing the three bodies, and when the time approached, the churchyard and the roads to it were completely thronged by persons, many of whom had travelled a long way to be present. There must have been 1000 or 1500 persons present [the population of Glynde in 1861 was 321, Ed.]. At the appointed hour the three bodies were conveyed from the house of the deceased Mr Weller, where they had been lying since the inquest, to the church. They were carried on the shoulders of men living in Glynde, all of whom, according to ancient Sussex custom, were attired in white round-frocks.

There were a very large number of mourners, as many as twenty-five or thirty couples, and the funeral service was a considerable length. The funeral service was very impressively performed by the Rev W De St Croix, who was assisted by his brother, and the three bodies were lowered into the grave side by side, the deceased Mrs Weller being placed in the centre. For a long time after the ceremony was over did the spectators linger in the churchyard, wearing a look of grief and pity, and waiting to catch a farewell glance into the grave of the sufferers. The blinds of the houses on the road to the churchyard were closely drawn to show a mark of respect to the deceased persons. During the day a great many persons visited the spot where the lamentable catastrophe occurred, traces of which still remain.

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