Date: 12 Sep 1909
Place: Mickley Bridge, Mickley
William Taylor was found under Mickley Bridge on the Sunday morning, 12 September 1909.
Reports stated, 'A shocking discovery was made on Sunday morning in a lane near Clay Cross, and although the affair so far is shrouded in mystery, it is feared that a foul murder has been perpetrated'.
The bridge was over a disused railway cutting at Mickley, about three miles from Clay Cross. Mickley Bridge crossed a cutting made by the Clay Cross Coal and Iron Company who had at one time intended opening out the coalfield in the district.
The man that found William Taylor said that he had been walking along the by-path known as Mickley Lane near Higham when he found William Taylor's mutilated body, saying that as he neared Mickley Bridge he noticed something underneath it and found his body when he descended to have a look. He said that William Taylor's neck was dislocated and that his leg was broken.
It was said that the walls of the bridge were some five feet high and that it would have been impossible for anyone to accidently fall over it. The drop from the top of the bridge was described as being nearly 30 feet.
When the police found him, they said that his thigh was broken and that his neck seemed dislocated. They noted that he also had a black eye and that his upper lip was black and swollen, but that reports that his head had been battered in were not true. They also said that it was untrue that his braces were found in the lane. They said that they thought that William Taylor had caught his head on a sharp projecting girder at the bottom of the bridge.
The police said that they thought that he might have mistaken the bridge for a stile and gone over it. they said that there was no sign of a struggle and that there was very little blood on his clothing. The police said that the bridge was 23 feet high.
William Taylor was last seen in Stretton by a miner at about 7pm on the Saturday night who said that William Taylor was a bit fresh but not drunk.
His brother who lived with him at 6 Friday Yard in Wessington for the previous two years said that he last saw William Taylor alive on the Saturday 12 September 1909 at about 3.15pm when William Taylor was preparing to go to Stretton for a show. He said that they had previously been working together, finishing at 1pm and had drawn their pay together the previous Wednesday.
William Taylor's brother said that William Taylor was a strong and healthy man and that as far as he knew he had not had any quarrels with anyone. He said that he thought that William Taylor might have mistaken his way and gone over the bridge as it was a very dark and foggy night. He added that William Taylor usually got a drop of drink on Saturday nights, but that he always returned home safely. He said that when William Taylor didn't return home on the Saturday night, he assumed that he had stopped the night with a friend at Stretton.
A verdict of found dead was returned.
see Sheffield Daily Telegraph - Wednesday 15 September 1909, p5
see Sheffield Independent - Wednesday 15 September 1909
see Ripley and Heanor News and Ilkeston Division Free Press - Friday 17 September 1909
see Belper News - Friday 24 September 1909