The death of Thomas Seager

In my recent post about law stationer William Seager, I noted that his father Thomas died in 1839 and was buried on 8 September at St. Andrew’s, Holborn. The burial record gives Thomas’ age as 69.

I’ve now obtained a copy of what I believe to be Thomas’ death certificate, according to which he died on 1 September 1839 in the sub-district of Somers Town in the St. Pancras registration district. The actual location of Thomas’ death is said to be ‘New Road’ and the cause of death as follows: ‘Mortal injury to the head by an accidental fall from a chaise cart’. The informant was the coroner, Thomas Hakley (?) of Bedford Square, suggesting that an inquest was held.

The New Road, which we now know as Euston Road, was a turnpike road built in 1756 across fields around the northern boundaries of London. By the 1830s, it was lined by fashionable houses. A chaise cart was a light carriage, sometimes used for transporting lightweight goods. Dickens’ Mr. Pumblechook, in Great Expectations, was ‘a well-to-do cornchandler’ who ‘drove his own chaise-cart’.

19th century chaise (Credit: Pearson Scott Foresman)

The death certificate describes Thomas as a ‘general dealer’ and this is certainly compatible with the occupation of ironmonger, which his widow Sarah can be found pursuing in the 1841 census.

If this is indeed the same Thomas Seager, then it appears that he died as the result of an accident, perhaps in the course of his daily business, about a mile or so from his home in Little James Street, Holborn.

Both this record and the burial record confirm that Thomas was born in about 1770. However, neither of them provide any further information about his place of birth or possible connections with my Seager ancestors.

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