HistoricaLeigh: Elijah Risby - The Compassionate Shrimper

May 21, 2019 by Carole Mulroney

In October 1876 Elijah Risby was out shrimping near the Red Buoy off Leigh when he picked up an object. The object turned out to be a dead body which was very badly decomposed and partially devoid of flesh.

He brought the body home to Leigh and after investigation it was found to be that of a young sailor, who had fallen from his barge on 8 September between the Blyth and Chapman lighthouses by the name of William Page..  Somehow the boy’s parents were able to identify him.

A reward had been posted after the accident and this was offered to Elijah.  He declined to take the money as he could see the poor condition of the parents and no doubt did not want to add to their sorrow and circumstances. 

An inquest was held at the Bell Public House and a verdict of accidental death was recorded. However, the jury took the opportunity to stress how important it was in their opinion that life buoys should be carried on all such craft. 

It had been quite an eventful week in the Risby family, as in the same paper and page there was a report of Elijah’s cousin, Samuel Field, having an accident on Victoria Wharf when he was unloading pipes.

This article is by Carole Mulroney of Leigh Lives - www.leighlives.co.uk
To read all of Carole's previous article of the History of our little town, click here