18 - Priestfield – nothing like leather till it breaks 1850
Description‘Family Annals by Road and Rail, By Flood and Field’ By Samuel Tuke Richardson Of Darlington c.1890 ‘I met with a serious accident when we were residing for a few weeks at Priestfield Lodge, a pretty place on the side of a steep hill overlooking Chopwell Woods, it was a central situation convenient for my various Collieries. One morning I was rather late, having an engagement at Shotley. I mounted a light Chestnut Mare very quiet in many respects but on first mounting it had a trick of setting up its back and taking short steps requiring a little care until it got warmed. This morning she was especially troublesome and losing my patience I gave her a rap with my cane. She plunged forward and at the same moment my stirrup leather broke, before I had time to recover my balance the mare commenced kicking, plunging and galloping down the steep rough hill to the horror of the Coachman who had seen a former master killed in the same way. She soon threw me over her head on to a sharp stone which inflicted a deep wound and stunned me and I was dragged in a gallop with a leg caught in the bridle down to the field gate where the terrified creature stopped and was caught by the man who had run down with all haste – he lifted me up and I felt the warm blood trickling down his sleeve from the wound in my head but this happily brought me to myself and I was able to walk back to the house. It was afterwards found that my spine had been injured and instead of a few weeks in the country I spent a whole winter on my bed in this wild and windy region’.
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