Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Struck by lightning 1816 - Trove Tuesday

In October 1816 it was reported in the Sydney Gazette, that a young lady had died in the Hawkesbury after being tragically struck by lightning. 

Mary Ezzy who lived on the outskirts of Windsor NSW was finalising the preparations for her forthcoming marriage, which was to take place on the 21 October. Ironing her wedding gown adjacent to a window, Mary aged 16, was observed by her older brother and a friend Miss King. A storm hit mid-afternoon with rain, thunder and lightning. All three were knocked over by the force of the strike but Mary was “enveloped in a blaze, her hair having taken fire.”  James Mileham, the local surgeon, was sent for but was unable to do anything and it appears she died instantly.  A dog was also “found dead” at the scene. Mary was singed on her chest, back and one of her arms. 

Mary died whilst ironing her wedding outfit in 1816. Photo: M. Nichols, 2014.

Ten of the twelve panes of glass where the lightning struck were broken and the floor scorched from the window to where Mary lay. The vehicle which was to carry Mary and her mother to Sydney for her special event a few days later was then used to convey the news of her death and later transport the family to her burial on the 19 October held at St. Matthew’s Church of England Cemetery, Windsor.