Poor Old Mifter Perriman

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 21 February 1789

A letter from Exeter, Feb. 18, fays, On Monday laft a Coroner’s inquifition was taken on the body of William Perriman, labourer, at Crediton, who died of poifon on Saturday laft, and a verdict was returned - Accidental Death.—The circumftances of this cafe are fomewhat remarkable. The deceafed had been employed as an affiftant to the bailiff who had taken a diftrefs on the goods of an inhabitant of Crediton. Whilft the goods were under his guardianfhip, a looking-glafs was miffed, which he pretended to know nothing of, and faid, the rafcal who had taken it ought to be made a public example of. After his death on Saturday laft, feveral perfons went into his chamber, and there the loft glafs was found. It appeared before the Coroner, that the deceafed had carried the glafs and feveral other articles from the houfe he was put in poffefion of, and told his wife that they had been given to him. Among thefe articles was a paper of arfenic, marked with the word Poifon which he could not read, and miftook the contents for cream of tartar. On Saturday morning laft he took fome of the poifon with flour of brimftone, and expired in great agonies about four in the afternoon. His wife and child had taken a fmall quantity of the mixture but fortunately not enough to occafion their deaths.

William Perriman was born in Sandford in 1747 where he and Mary Lewis were married in 1770.


They had four children between 1771 and 1780. In Rev Bent's census of 1775 the family is shown living at "Little Lany" in Sandford.


He died aged 42 and was buried in Sandford. His wife lived to be 79.