This article appeared in The Cambridge Independent Press, May 21, 1859.
Sarah Casbon was the second child and first daughter born to John and Rebecca (Speechly) Casbon of Peterborough (see “How doth your garden grow? Part 2”). She was baptized November 11, 1855, and probably named after her maternal grandmother, Sarah (Delanoy) Speechly.
The news story gives the location of the incident as Boonfield. At the time, this was a mostly rural area on the northeastern outskirts of Peterborough.
Map detail showing Peterborough and Boon Fields. Source: Ordnance Survey First Series, Sheet 64 (1856); online image, A Vision of Britain Through Time (http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/ : accessed 1 February 2017). This work is based on data provided through www.VisionofBritain.org.uk and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth. (Click on image to enlarge)
This is the kind of story you hate to see. Although death in childhood was a common occurrence in Victorian times, the loss of a child to drowning must have been an especially hard blow. We would like to think the major causes of death in childhood have been overcome. While that is largely true, there is a sad exception. Other than birth defects, drowning remains the most frequent cause of death in children 1-4 years old.