Provided to me by Norman Denney about his grand-father, Charles Wesley Fancey


A magisterial inquiry was held in this office on Wednesday, the 9th and Saturday the 12th Sept. Before James Fitzgerald, Esquire, Stipendiary Magistrate, to investigate the circumstance touching the death of George Powell, aged 25 years, of Red Rod Cove, Change Island, who was accidentally shot dead in the woods near Farewell Pond on Tuesday evening, Sept. 8th, 1885, by Robert Hodder of Dog Bay. It appears from the evidence adduced, that Robert Hodder, (one of the Fogo Winter Overland Mail Carriers) a respectable married man, was in the company of his nephew George W. Oake, age 20, deer hunting in the neighbourhood of Farewell Pond, during the day named without meeting any success, and in the evening, having arrived near the pond, erected a temporary tilt for the night.

Now, it so unfortunately happened that on the same day, two young men from Red Rod Cove, Change Island, aged respectively, 25 years, named George Powell (unmarried), and Charles W. Fancey (married), left their homes in Change Island, to proceed to Farewell Pond to shoot geese, and having landed near the pond, just at dark they were creeping through the bushes toward the pond, when Powell, who was a little in advance of Fancey, saw an American axe stuck in a stump, which he took in his hand, and Fancey was going to remark that someone was there before them, just at that moment, Fancey heard a shot and saw Powell face dead on his back and feet. He was shot in the breast. He then ran a few steps, and met Robert Hodder running toward him who said that he had fired a shot, thinking the noise in the bushes was made by a deer, and he fired in the direction of the noise, and did not think that there was anyone there but himself and his nephew, George W. Oake.

Robert Hodder, George W. Oake, and Charles Fancey, examined the body of George Powell, and found that life was extinct, and then Hodder and Oake assisted Fancey to their punt, and carried him to Jessie Troakes’ Dog Bay and the next morning a crew brought the wounded man to Dr. Malcolms, Fogo, when it was found that he had about 24 shots in his breast, abdomen, and other places. Only three of which were extracted; but Doctor Malcolms pronounced him out of danger, and after a short time went home to his family.

The body of George Powell was brought home to his father, examined and found to have between 60 and 70 shots, from his neck to his breast, and nine in his face. Powell’s family and friends were satisfied that it was a most deplorable accident.

James Fitzgerald
Taken from the
Twillingate Sun
Tuesday, October 6th, 1885

Copyright ©: Sean Fancey, 2000

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Last Modified January 9, 2000
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