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Source: Bell's Weekly Messenger, No.1828, Sunday, April 10, 1831


Disastrous Occurrences.

On Tuesday morning, about five o'clock, a middle aged French lady, elegantly attired, hired a waterman, named Oxley, belonging to Waterloo bridge, to row her to the Old Barge House stairs. On the man being about to land her, she desired him to return back and proceed to Westminster bridge. He instantly pulled round, but, previous to his arriving near the bridge, he asked the lady which stairs she would like to be landed at? To which she replied the lower one.

When nearing them the lady placed her muff and purse in the boat, and taking a portrait out of her bosom, and taking her bonnet off, she precipitated herself into the river before the waterman could prevent her. By great exertion, however, he succeeded in catching hold of her after she had floated through the second arch, and by prompt assistance, she was rescued from the death she meditated. She was conveyed into the Swan tap, where every attention was paid her, but she would neither give any explanation of her rash conduct, nor her name or place of residence. Her friends, however, by some means, became acquainted with the circumstance, and they sent a coach for her, the coachman being desired to drive to Thornhaugh street.

On the same evening a young man of the name of Gillingship?, the son of a respectable tradesman residing near Astley's Amphitheatre, endeavoured to terminate his existence by precipitating himself off the East side of Waterloo bridge. Fortunately a waterman, named Fishwick, was conveying two passengers across the water at the time, and he succeeded in saving him from destruction.

On his being conveyed ashore, the unhappy young man said, "Why did you prevent me dying.—I have no wish to live." He was taken in a coach to his father's house, and from what we are given to understand, it was a touch of the "tender passion" that distressed him; he jumped into the river as the most speedy and only sure means of cooling it.