Dover, December 14. A most melancholy and fatal accident happened here this morning. – at about a quarter past six an immense portion of the cliffe situated directly over the Ordnance Yard at the top of the Upper Rope Walk adjoining Guilford Battery, came down, burying the unfortunate inhabitants of the house below. By this dreadful catastrophe, a woman and six children were crushed to death. The father of this unhappy family – a Mr POOLE – a worthy and industrious man, was just leaving the door of his house at the moment of the accident, part of the rubbish fell on him but he was extricated alive, although most dreadfully bruised. Within a few minutes after, an immense number of persons were collected together and commenced digging with the hope of extricating some more of the sufferers but from the great quantity of earth which had fallen several hours elapsed before they came to any of the bodies, which have been all taken out except one of the children. All of course dead and shockingly disfigured. – The quantity of earth and chalk fallen down is computed at many thousand tons; - indeed it is impossible to form an idea of the ravage it has occasioned. The greatest praise is due to all the persons employed in clearing away the rubbish for their prompt and unwearied exertions.
Dec. 16: A coroner’s inquest was yesterday held on the bodies of Mrs POOLE, her five children and a child of Mrs POOLE’s sister, who were crushed to death by the falling of the cliff on Friday morning last. Verdict. – accidental death. – the poor man is as well as can be expected. The last body was taken out about five o’clock on Friday evening. – most fortunate was it the accident happened so early as a workshop adjoining POOLE’s dwelling was also buried and in a few hours many workmen would have been employed therein. - Certainly with the exception of the Earthquake, this is the most dreadful of all human calamities – not a moment’s warning to the unhappy sufferers of their approaching fate – all instantaneously crushed to death!!
(Kentish Gazette 18 Dec 1810 back page col.4. ) and the next paragraph reports there was a tremendous fall of cliff in the middle of Snargate Street, eastward of the Barracks which stood above the street. Many people left their beds to run across the street. Both these accidents have happened in parts of the cliff which appeared to have been the most solid.)
POOLE John: aged 60, for many years foreman of the Ordnance Dept, Dover – death.
Died 24 Sept at Dover. (his wife and 6 children were killed by a cliff fall in Dec. 1810)
(Dover Telegraph 26 Sept 1835 p.8 col.4)