Between three and four o'clock on Monday afternoon, February 26th great consternation and sorrow was caused at Gayhurst and the neighbourhood by the report that Miss Cadogan, daughter of the late Rev.E Cadogan of Wicken, who had been staying at Gayhurst House, was drowned whilst boating with Mr W W Carlile, in the River Ouse. Unfortunately the report proved only too true.

It appears that on the morning of the day in question Miss Cadogan, who was very fond of sailing on the river, had arranged for Mr Carlile to take her on the water, but owing to pressure of business, Mr Carlile could not start till the afternoon. Accordingly, shortly before 3 o'clock Miss Cadogan proceeded to the boathouse followed shortly after by Mr Carlile.

The sailing boat, a good sized river boat, and considered very safe, was got ready and they started together down the long reach, over the Regatta Course, the wind at the time blowing a fair breeze. They scudded along at a good pace and were evidently enjoying the pleasure, for both were especially fond of boating. When they had gone about half a mile down the river Mr Carlile put the boat's head to the wind and tried to bring her up in order to make tracks home. Before, however, she came round, a sudden and heavy gust of wind caught the sail and sent the boat right over on to her side and she would not right again, and began to fill.

The accident was witnessed by a MR W Tarry, a traveller for Messrs Westley and Sons, millers of Northampton and Blisworth, who had been on his rounds and was returning home. He had just passed Gayhurst Village and was going along the road to Stoke Goldington (from which) a commanding view of the river and the roof of Ravenstone Mill can be obtained. He saw a boat on the water going along at a good pace. A bend in the road took the boat out of his sight for a minute or two, but when he saw it again a sudden gust of wind appeared to have caught the sail, causing the boat to heel over to such an extent that the side appeared to duck right under the water and not to right itself. It began to fill and sank, the sail only being seen.

Owing to the distance Mr Tarry was, he could not discern whether anyone was in the boat, but he turned his horse's head round and drove as fast as he could along the road and down the Ravenstone Road, to the nearest point from which he could reach the bank of the river. He then left his horse and gig in charge of the lad he usually has to accompany him, and ran as fast as he could to the river.

A labourer, however, named Warren, who was working in a field near the river, and saw the boat lying on its side and heard Mr Carlile calling out for help, was endeavouring to assist Mr Carlile to the bank with a spade he had in his hand, and ultimately succeeded in dragging him on to the grass, where he became unconscious.

Warren, at the instance of Mr Tarry, proceeded in that gentleman's trap to the residence of Mr Oliver for assistance. In the meantime, Mr Tarry, seeing the condition Mr Carlile was in, tried all he could to restore consciousness, and possessing "First Aid" knowledge, he succeeded, after rubbing for some minutes, in causing water to come from his mouth followed by a slight moan.

Shortly after Mr Carlile spoke, his first words on coming round being "where is my sister?" Till this Mr Tarry was not aware that there was any other person in the boat. When told that no-one was to be seen, Mr Carlile realised the result of the accident and that his sister was drowned, and he relapsed again into semi-consciousness, and though raised to his feet it was with difficulty he could stand, and he had to be supported by placing his hands around Mr Tarry's neck. Assistance was now at hand, and Mr Carlile was conveyed to Mr Tarry's trap and driven by him to Gayhurst House.

Stimulants were administered to Mr Carlile, and he recovered a little, but scarcely seemed to realise the terrible accident that had happened, and that he had been within an ace, as it were, of his own life.

The butler, Mr Rogers, who was naturally alarmed at seeing Mr Carlile standing in the hall with his clothes dripping. enquired as to the whereabouts of Miss Cadogan, and was told by Mr Tarry of the distressing truth. As quickly as possible the butler ran a warm bath and subsequently ensured a telegram being at once dispatched for the assistance of Dr Bull.

In the meantime a number of men from the estate, and several of the tenant farmers had reached the river, and thinking Miss Cadogan might probably have been caught by the ropes and taken down with the boat, the mast of which was just above the water, proceeded at once to drag it to the side, which they succeeded in doing by the help of Mr G Whiting's horses.

A boat and ropes were also brought into requisition. As soon as the ill-fated barque was brought to the bank it was lifted out of the water, but with great difficulty, in order to see if the body of Miss Cadogan was entangled with the ropes, but this was not the case.

Drags and grapnels were then used and after upwards of an hour's search the body was found in from 15 to 2O feet of water, and was removed as speedily as possible, and with much care to Gayhurst House, the features of the unfortunate lady being, happily, not the least disfigured by the long immersion.

News of the sad and distressing accident quickly spread to Newport Pagnell, Olney, Wolverton, Fenny Stratford and the neighbourhood, and many expressions of sympathy and regret were manifest on all sides at the unfortunate event which had thrown a much respected family so suddenly into bereavement.

Mrs Carlile who had not been well, and had been staying at Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, had gone to London, and Dr Bull, the family's doctor was entrusted, we understand, with the task of breaking the sad news to her. She was much distressed and left by the midnight train for Northampton, and drove to Gayhurst.

On Monday evening the news reached Olney, where Mr Carlile was announced to speak at a Conservative meeting, who was to have been accompanied by Miss Cadogan, and much sympathy was naturally expressed, and the Olney and District Conservative Association at once postponed the meeting sine die.

On Tuesday telegrams and letters of condolence started to arrive.

The following evidence was given at the inquest. (Mr Carlile). She was his sister-in-law and was 21 years of age. On Monday afternoon, about 3 o'clock, deceased and witness went down to the boathouse for a sail.

The boat was got ready and they proceeded down the River Ouse, in a sailing boat. When they had got down the river some distance, in the Parish of Stoke Goldington, he was trying to bring the boat's head up to the wind as quietly and safely as possible, when a sudden gust came and struck the sail. He believed one of the ropes got caught, as the boat did not come up quick enough, and consequently she lay over on her side and began to fill.

None of the ropes were tied, but were in his own hands, and he was used to sailing. The boat refused to right and began to sink. He then caught his sister round the waist and pulled her up to the side of the boat, as it began to fill so fast. She made no sign or cried out, and therefore he concluded that she was stunned by the boom striking her, for she appeared to be unconscious. The boat then sank from beneath them, and he looked about to see anything floating. He saw the rudder on the water and caught hold of it and put it under his sister to try and keep her up, but as it was weighted with lead it would not bear her weight. They were then in mid-stream. He turned over on his back, and laid hold of his sister's hair to try and swim with her to the bank as he was good swimmer. He could not move her, and thought that something was holding her down.

He let go her hair and got under the water to see if there was a rope holding her, but not being able to find anything he swam towards the bank, and whilst doing so he looked around to see if there was anything floating on the surface of the water. He did not remember anything more.

If his sister had been clear from the boat he believed he could have brought her to the bank. There was a mark on his sister's head which he thought might probably be have been caused by the boom striking her. He was not present... the body was recovered, (by Inspector Pitsoe).could not say whether she could have swam to the bank.

Edward John Warrren said he was working in a field near the River Ouse on Monday afternoon, about 3 o'clock, when he saw Mr Carlile and a lady coming down the river in a sailing boat. When he looked again he saw the boat had turned over and was lying on its side, and Mr Carlile was in the water, but he could not see anything of the lady. Mr Carlile called out for assistance, and he ran to the bank at once, carrying a spade in his hand. When he reached the bank he held out the spade to Mr Carlile, arid he took hold of it quickly, and was drawn to the bank, but was quite exhausted. He looked for the lady, but could not see her. The water at the point the boat went over was very deep.

Mr Carlile told him his sister was in the water and to run for assistance, and for a boat and a rope. Witness was present when the body was got out. He did not see the boat turn over. The boat was drawn to the side of the bank and the body was got out of the river about mid-stream.

Police Constable Dickens said on Monday afternoon he received information of the accident on the river and went to the spot indicated. When he arrived there, he assisted in getting the body out of the river, and saw it conveyed to Gayhurst House. He afterwards gave information to the coroner. A juror (Mr C Buggins) said the boat had been pulled from mid-stream to the bank.

The Coroner said he did not imagine the jury would have the smallest shadow of a doubt that death (was) due to one of those regrettable accidents that occurred from time to time. Everything was done that could possibly be done, and it seemed to him a mercy that there were not two victims instead of one. If they were satisfied they would easily arrive at a verdict.

Dr Bull was present at the express wish of the family but he did not know whether any information he could give would help them. It was very probable, as Mr Carlile had stated that the boom swung round and caught deceased on the head. Had she been conscious Mr Carlile might probably have swum with her to the land. She might have been entangled in the ropes and dragged down, but that was only surmise.

The jury returned a verdict of "accidentally drowned".

The jury, many of whom were tenants and employees on the estate, expressed deep feelings of sympathy for Mr and Mrs Carlile, and Mrs Cadogan, mother of the deceased in their sad and sudden bereavement.

The jury afterwards, through kind consideration and forethought which always characterises Mr and Mrs Carlile's action, were supplied with tea before leaving the premises.

Funeral held at Gayhurst Church - Friday 2 March 1894 at 12.30 pm Gravestone in churchyard reads:-


Born September 11 Died February 26 1894


Transcribed by Pam Matthews