As we're in the dying days of 2008, here are some more literal deaths: all reported in the newspapers of 1744. In just a sentence or two, each obituary encapsulates some aspect of Deptford's agricultural, nautical and professional activities.
It would of course be unseasonably cynical to wonder just how Mr Stanley made that huge fortune as a 'collector of the Customs'...On Tuesday last as Mr Sturgis, a noted Cow-keeper at Deptford, was coming out of the Fields to his House he was suddenly taken ill, dropt down on the Grass, and died immediately. He was a very honest Man, and respected by all that knew him.On Monday last one Mr Lanburn, who went to visit an Acquaintance on board a Ship at Deptford, had the Misfortune to fall overboard, and was drowned in sight of several Persons.
Last Tuesday Night died, after a lingering Illness, at his Lodgings at New Cross, Mr Stanley, aged 76 who was posses’d of a Fortune of 30,000 l. in the publick Funds: He had been a collector of the Customs in the North of England upwards of twenty Years.
Tuesday died, at his House at Deptford, Mr Giles an eminent Attorney, in which Capacity he acquir’d Fortune of 10,000l.