Shooting Accident, Greenhall 1897


Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 12.53.22An hunting accident took place at Greenhall, Blantyre around New Year 1897.

William Welton, the Coachman to Mr Wardrop Moore of Greenhall was out shooting rabbits in the Greenhall Estate Glen, beside the river. Mr Welton was standing near a local farmer who had a ‘hammerless gun’. The farmer and Mr Welton formed two people in the party out shooting rabbits.

The farmer had fired one shot and was reloading, when the gun went off, emptying its contents into the right heel of Mr Welton, shattering it badly. Dr Grant attended the injured man, who was then taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where his entire foot ended up being amputated.

We can only imagine what the farmer must have felt!


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  1. Wow, that’s fantastic Paul. Thank you so much. I will look forward to your article. I’m very glad he wasn’t shot and killed. As a matter of fact, his son, my grandad, another Matthew, died of a stroke many years later so maybe a family weakness. Your advice about the insurance makes sense as my gt. grandmother Catherine Cornfield Lindsay lost six members of her family in the Dixon’s Pit explosion.
    I’m looking forward to purchasing your books , this is a great site !
    A very Happy New Year to you also from Perth W. Australia.

  2. My gt. grandfather, Matthew Lindsay married to Catherine Cornfield, was fishing or poaching probably, salmon from the River Clyde on 27th May 1878 He was spotted by the gamekeeper who set off across the river in a boat and Matthew took off running. He collapsed and died at the scene and it was reported that he had died of a stroke. He was only 23 and left two young sons and an unborn daughter.
    My older relatives always believed he was shot as his widow apparently received a substantial sum of money. I was wondering if anyone knows where I could find more information.

    1. Hi Bernice – Happy New Year to you. I have some notes on this and have scheduled a post on this site for 17th February 2019. Meantime, the 27th May 1878 was a Monday. Matthew Lindsay was a miner, employed by Dixon’s Collieries and lived at 33 Hall Street, Dixon’s Rows, Stonefield in Blantyre. Those rows were still relatively new and it was only 7 months or so since the Blantyre Disaster had happened.

      Matthew was actually with a friend named McVey and the two of them were fishing in the River Clyde, directly opposite Bothwell Castle, near the Blantyre Priory. The gamekeeper on the Bothwell side, did indeed spot them and started rowing across the Clyde to their position.

      The men weren’t up for being caught illegally fishing, so they ran off through the Priory Plantation and it was in those woods, where Matthew Lindsay suddenly dropped. McVey, realising the seriousness of the situation, went back to fetch assistance from the pursuing gamekeeper. Dr Downie was fetched from Blantyre but Matthew had died by the time he arrived.

      Catherine, his widow could not write and signed the death certificate with a “cross” as her mark. I have retrieved the death certificate which states apoplexy referring to sudden death. This would have began with a sudden loss of consciousness, especially one in which the victim died within a matter of seconds after losing consciousness. It is an early term for what we now know as “stroke”.

      I could not find any evidence of Matthew being shot, either in documentation or in any newspaper report. The information above is gleamed from the Dundee Courier newspaper which also suggested he died suddenly with no suspicious circumstances.

      As for the widow Catherine receiving a sum of money? It may have been from insurance. The severity of the Blantyre disaster killing over 200 men and boys would have been recent in the minds of this family and may have prompted life assurance to be taken out. Alternatively, and perhaps more likely the community may have rallied to raise money for her, for a widow with 3 children would NOT have been permitted to stay in the tied miners homes and the family would have lost their home. Hope this helps.

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