Tragic death of Philip Clamp

From the Birmingham Daily Mail, April, 1893

Philip Clamp – “intemperate habits”

Early on Saturday morning Philip Henry Clamp, who resided in Upper Thomas Street, Aston, and was until comparitively recently well-known in connection with the Aston Villa Football Club, was found incapably drunk in Parliament Street, Aston, and was conveyed by a constable to the lock-up in the Victoria Road. In consequence of his behaviour he was subsequently seen by Alderman A. Johnson, a magistrate, with a view to his removal from the station. Alderman Johnson after seeing Clamp, however, refused to sanction his removal, and a bed was prepared for him in the cells, and Dr Bark sent for. On arriving, the last-named gentleman said that Clamp was suffering from the effects of alcoholic poisoning, and ordered that he should be treated in his cell, inasmuch as it would be unsafe to remove him in the condition in which he then was. He was well looked after, and should in the ordinary event of things have been dealt with at the court sitting today. As he was unable to appear before the magistrate, Mr A. Hill this morning announced that as Mr Clamp had been in custody since early on Saturday morning he would be discharged. Immediately on the rising of the Court a visit was paid to the cells, where it was found that Clamp had just died. The deceased, as previously stated, was at one time hon. secretary of the Aston Villa Football Club, but of late had given way to intemperance.

THE INQUEST

The coroner Joseph Ansell JP,
who later became President of Aston Villa.

Yesterday, Mr J. Ansell held an inquest at the Aston Police Court on the body of Philip Henry Clamp (44), agent, 58 Upper Thomas Street, Aston, who died in the cells at the Aston Police Station on Monday afternoon. Mrs Clamp stated that fro some time past the deceased had given way to habits of intemperance. Police constanble Wale said that about quarter-past one on Saturday morning he was in Parliament Street, Aston, when he found the deceased sitting on a doorstep. In reply to a question, deceased said he had fallen off the top of a tramcar at the Barton Arms, at the same time putting his hand at the back of his head. The ambulance was sent for and the deceased removed to the lock-up. When the charge was being taken he said, “Who is taking this charge?” and on the sergeant saying that he was, deceased asked, “What is it?” Receiving the reply “Drunk in Parliament Street” he made no reply, and was locked up. At the station he denied falling off the tramcar. Police-sergeant Howkins said he was on duty at the police station when the deceased was brought in, and heard him deny that he had fallen off a tramcar. As he felt cold when being put in the cells witness fetched four rugs and wrapped him in them. Shortly after five the same morning witness saw the deceased and found him more cold than before. He got a bed and placed the deceased upon it, and put more rugs over him. He remained with the deceased until half-past seven, and on the instruction of Superintendent Walker, he sent for Mrs Clamp, and also for the doctor. Dr Bark also saw the deceased about eleven o’clock and ordered his removal to a cell which was waramer than the one in which he was. The deceased denied to witness that he had fallen off the tramcar but said he had had “much champagne” at the Villa meeting on the Friday evening. Mr Bark, surgeon, Aston Road, said he attended the deceased in 1882, when he ordered him to give up dinking. After this he left off drinking for four or five years. Death was in no way attributable to foul play, but was due to syncope, primarily attributable to his drinking habits and neglect of food. The Coroner saaid it was very satisfactory to find the police administration under the circumstances was in every way above complaint. A verdict in accordance with the medical eevidence was returned.

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