1862, October 31 (pre): Live Toad found in Stone

A friend of William Howitt, author of The History of the Supernatural (1863), received a news clipping from the 'Stamford Mercury' on October 31, 1862... Howitt didn't know what day the clipping had been printed, however, thus I date it from his receiving it.

        The article stated that as the ground in the brewery yard of Mr. J.B. Burbridge & Co., brewers in Spittlegate, England, was being dug up to make a new cellar, one of the workmen about seven or eight feet down in the hole, struck a layer of stone with his pickaxe which broke it open... and exposed a live toad, who had been in a 'shallow cavity' in the rock. A Mr. Wartnaby, who was apparently in charge of the workmen, was in the hole with three of them at the time of the discovery, and took charge of the animal. It had been injured by the blow of the pickaxe on one of its hind legs, but it lived and moved until the following morning. Both the toad and the stone were preserved; where they are now of course, I haven't a clue.

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