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Colonial Cases

Surrey

Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, 30 August 1765
  The man who was found in a ditch near Streatham in Surry, with Marks of violence about his head, as mentioned in yesterday's paper, is said to Have kept formerly an earthen-ware shop near the Seven Dials.

 

Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, 31 March 1766
     A Habeas Corpus is made out to remove James Nicholson from the county gaol, of Surry to Maidstone, for his trial at the next assizes for Kent, he standing charged, on the Coroner's Inquest, with the wilful murder of Edward Jones, of Lewisham, in the said county, blacksmith.

 

British Chronicle, 17 April 1780
  On Friday last at Kingston, in Surry, the trials on the Crown side came on before the hon. Mr. Justice Gould and a special jury, when Mr. Donovan (who voluntarily surrendered) was tried for having killed in a duel, in November last, Capt. James Hanson.  It appeared by a number of respectable witnesses that the deceased was entirely in fault, and had forced Donovan to meet him in a field near the Dog and Duck; It also appeared that the only ground of quarrel between the prisoner and the deceased was, that Mr. Donovan interfered between Capt. Hanson and another person, and prevented their fighting, on which Hanson gave him abusive language, and insisted "that he would make him smell powder."  The deceased was wounded by a pistol bullet in the belly, and died about 24 hours after.  He declared to two eminent surgeons who attended him,  and to several other persons, that Mr. Donovan behaved during the action, and after it, with the greatest honour, tenderness, and concern; and he particularly desired that no prosecution should be carried on against him, as he himself was solely in fault, but an unprovoked rashness of temper and heat of passion.  The learned Judge gave an excellent charge to the Jury, and said, "Tho' he allowed that all the circumstances were as favourable to the prisoner as such a case could be, yet as the idea of honour was so often mentioned, he must say and inform the jury, and the audience, hat it was false honour in men to break the laws of God and of their country; that going out to fight a duel was in both parties a deliberate resolution to commit murder, and there could be no honour in so savage a custom, which, however disguised in words, is contrary to the principles and happiness of society, and ought to be reprobated in every well regulated community."
  The jury, without going out of court, acquitted Mr. Donovan of the murder, and found him guilty of manslaughter on the Coroner's inquest.  The Judge fined him 10l. to the King, which being paid in court, he was immediately discharged.

 

The Times, 5 September 1797
  On Saturday evening at seven o'clock, an inquisition was taken by C. JEMMET, Esq. Coroner for the County of Surry, at the Workhouse of St. Saviour's, Southwark, on the body of Mary, the Wife of Robt. Dinwiddie, supposed to have been killed by a blow of her husband.
  Wiliam Faburn deposed, that the deceased and her husband lodged at his house, No. 11, America-street.  On Wednesday the 31st of August, the witness came home about half-past 9 o'clock.  In the course of the evening he heard the deceased groan, and supposed she was ill.  The witness and his father passed the room door of the deceased, in order to go to bed, when he again heard the deceased groan, at the same time exclaiming, O dear! O dear! Murder! Murder!
  The witness supposed she was calling Mother! Mother!  The witness did not go to enquire the cause, but went to bed; he afterwards heard her groan, and heard her husband walking up and down the room. Between twelve and one o'clock, the husband knocked at the witness's door, and asked for a light, and begged of him to come down stairs.  The witness did so, and, upon his entering the room, he perceived the deceased lying on the bedstead, apparently dead; she was lying on her back, her head inclining to the right side.
  The witness exclaimed, Good God! The woman is dead! and Dinwiddie said, he feared she was.  The witness enquired how it happened? To which he answered, through her own passion.  He had struck her two or three times, not thinking to hurt her.  He desired the witness by all means to bring a Surgeon.  The witness did so; but, in the mean time, stationed a patrole at the door to prevent his escaping.
  Two Surgeons examined the deceased, and declared she was quite dead; upon which the witness took the husband into custody.
  The witness never heard the deceased and her husband quarrel; he was a quiet man, and she a quiet woman.  He seemed much concerned and alarmed, and expressed great impatience in sending for a Surgeon.  The witness knew nothing of any quarrel about a dog; but there was a dog in the room.
  Mary Faburn, the wife of the last witness, corroborated the above testimony.  She further deposed, that the deceased had complained of a pain in her stomach for some days before, but particularly all that day.  The witness heard her groan and cry murder!; but as she was an Irish woman, and spoke very broad, the witness thought she said mother.  The deceased had, however, before informed the witness she had no mother; she had also said that she was afraid the pain in her stomach could kill her.
  Mr. John White, of Queen-street, Surgeon, stated, that he did not see the deceased till he received the direction of the Coroner to open the body.  His assistant and another Surgeon had been first called in to examine the deceased, neither of whom had described any marks of violence.  The witness said that upon viewing the head, a slight contusion appeared on the frontal bone, or forehead, which induced him to take the cap of the skull off, in order to inspect it; on removing it, instead of finding the usual appearances which are consequent of a contusion, he on the contrary found none.  There was no appearance of coagulated blood, no extravasated fluid, generally found where injuries had been received on the brain.
  He afterwards examined the thorax, and on the left side found a considerable adhesion of the left lobe of the lungs; to the internal membrane of the chest, the consequence of an inflammatory disease.  The internal and external appearance of the stomach and viscera were perfectly healthy.  Upon the whole, he saw nothing to induce him to believe the deceased came to her death by a blow.  There was a very uncommon appearance about the heart, which was entirely emptied of its contents.  The vessels, instead of being distended, were collapsed, an effect which might have been produced by the violence of sudden passion.  He did not conceive that any Surgeon could declare the deceased died by a blow.  A blow to have occasioned death must have been attended with internal marks, and an extravasation of blood.
  This was the whole of the evidence offered.  The Jury consulted together about a quarter of an hour, when they returned their Verdict - That the deceased died by the Visitation of God.

 

The Times, 21 October 1797
  Wednesday last, while Mr. Jennerett, the Coroner for Surry, was taking an inquest at Cuper's-bridge, Lambeth on the body of a Mr. Munns, who drowned himself on Saturday last, he was called upon to take another inquest on a boy about twelve years old, who had just the hanged himself at Kennington, in the same parish.

 

The Times, 2 September 1801
  About ten days past, a poor man whose name was HARVEY, and who had formerly been gamekeeper to Mr. CATOR, of Beckenham Lodge, died at the Crooked Billet, on Penge common, Surry.  Some awkward circumstances being publicly mentioned, the Coroner was sent for to sit on the body.  It appeared before the Inquest, that the deceased had spent the afternoon at the Gipsey-House, with a labourer, but nearly doubled with age, of the name of Evans; that they had quarrelled before they left the house, and were heard disputing on the same subject afterwards; it was acknowledged too that Evans had struck him two blows with a stick on the head and breast, and that then, about nine o'clock a night, Evans went home.  On the succeeding night, at ten o'clock, a period of twenty-five hours, Evans expressed a wish to some persons that they would accompany him to fetch the deceased from under the hedge where he had left him the preceding evening; they accordingly went, and found Harvey just alive, but he expired before medical aid could be procured. Evans alleged that the deceased was in the habit of drinking freely, and accustomed to lie under a hedge, as a reason for his inhuman conduct on leaving him to perish there; and in respect to the blows that he, a decrepit old man, was too impotent to hurt him.
  The surgeon who attended, declared himself unable, from the sudden putridity of the body, to say whether the blows were fatal or not; but if Harvey had laid himself down to sleep on that spot, either from fatigue or liquor, and had been unable through lassitude to rise in the morning, the lying there so long in the heat of the sun might have been the cause of his death.
  The Jury, after a patient and long investigation of the business, were of opinion, that the case was not brought sufficiently home to Evans, and gave their verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.

 

The Times, 10 April 1805
  An inquest was held yesterday before the Coroner for the county of Surry, at The New Inn, Westminster-road, on the body of Mary Harris, of Mason-street, Lambeth.  The deceased was supposed to have been murdered by her son, a working-black-smith, in a fit of intoxication, on Sunday.  After examining some witnesses, and the medical gentlemen who had, at the desire of the parish officers, been called in to view the body, the Jury returned a verdict - Died by the visitation of God.

 

The Times, 25 August 1806
CORONER'S INQUEST.
  On Saturday night, an Inquest was held at the George public-house, opposite St. George's Workhouse, Southwark, before ----- SHELTON, Esq. the Coroner for the County of Surry, to enquire respecting the death of ANNE WINTER WEBER, alias ELIZABETH WINTERFLOOD, who was found dead, and supposed to have been murdered, at three o'clock on Friday morning, in Higler's-lane, near the King's bench Prison.
  We stated in our last some particulars of this cruel and mysterious affair.  The following is the substance of evidence given before the Coroner and Jury.
  John Todman, a watchman, no belonging to the parish, but employed under a subscription of several persons in the neighbourhood, stated that going his round at three o'clock on Friday morning past the gate and premises of a Mr. Gibbs, a charcoal-merchant, he saw something white lying at Mr. Gibbs's door. On examining further, he found it was a woman lying on the ground, in such a manner as to press her chin against her bosom. He spoke to her, and endeavoured to raise her, upon which Mr. Gibbs, from his bed-room window, which looked into the lane, called to him, said his dogs had been barking as if some persons had got into his premises.  Todman told him there was a woman lying at his door, he believed dead, and begged him to come down with a candle, which he did.  They found her person naked to the waist.  Todman again endeavoured to raise up the deceased, but on pulling her up by her arm, her head fell backward, and they perceived no sign of life; but, as the body was still arm, Todman ran to Blackfriars Road for a Mr. Rees Price, a Surgeon, who came and found the body lifeless, and almost cold. Her face, about the mouth and nose, appeared slightly smeared with blood, but no other marks of violence immediately appeared which could be the cause of her death.
  Todman had gone the same round half an hour before and aw no person there.  About the same time, a waggon had gone from Mr. Gibbs'S premises, driven by wo men, laden with iron, and other articles, for the country.  At the time Todman came up, at here o'clock, he perceived, a few yards from the deceased, two carts turned on their ends, shafts upward, and he searched by the light of the candle about them, to see if any person might lurk there, or if any weapon could be found that might have been the cause of the woman's death.  He found in one of the carts a tortoiseshell crooked comb, such as is usually worn in women's hair, and a muslin handkerchief, tied at the end in a hard knot, but cut quite across the middle, and smeared with blood; in the other cart was found a straw bonnet, trimmed with pink ribbons; on the ground, between both carts, a pair of velvet shoes, which had been worn by the deceased, and near the tail-board of one of the carts, a piece of human flesh, which he gave to Mr. Price.
  The body remained there until six in the morning, under the care of Todman.  He felt her hands through her loves, and perceived she had a ring on her finger; but took nothing off.  The body was, at six o'clock, conveyed to the Bunch of Grape public-house, where the pockets were searched, and about 19s. found in one of them, and from thence the body was moved to St. George's workhouse.
  John Gibbs corroborated that part of Todman's testimony relating to him, and said the waggon which left his premises about two o'clock, was driven by his brother, who owned it, as a common carrier, and his servant-man, who accompanied him.  He had heard his dogs barking violently about two minutes before Todman came his round, and, suspecting some thieves had got into his yard, wanted to come down, but his wife would not suffer him until the watchman arrived.
  Mr. Rees Price, Surgeon, proved also what Todman had said respecting him, and the other circumstances of the straw bonnet, the comb, the piece of flesh, which appeared to have been partly cut and partly torn from the body of the deceased, and the handkerchief, which last he said was tied in a very hard knot, and on placing together the parts which had been cut asunder, it would scarcely reach round his arm; he saw no marks of violence upon the body at that time that could have occasioned death, but afterwards, in the workhouse, h observed some livid spots round the neck.  Upon the whole he could form no judgement how the deceased actually came by her death, but the bias on his mind was that she might have died by strangulation.
  Mr. Charles Phillips, Surgeon, of Union-street, in the Borough, proved that he had opened the body, and examined minutely the viscera. Lungs, heart, trachea, and great vessels, and found every thing in a state perfectly healthy, and without any sign of violence or irregularity that could have caused death.  The stomach was a good deal distended, and its contents appeared to be a quantity of apple lately eaten, and, strongly saturated with spirituous liquor.  He examined the brain and found there no signs of apoplexy; but that might often proceeded from causes so slight, as not to be very perceptible on dissection.  He saw the livid spots on her neck, which was short and fat, the flesh thereon fell in folds, which might have detained the blood so as to cause the livid appearances there when dead.  He should have thought, if she were strangled, the marks would have been much stronger; but he admitted that respiration might have been so long suspended by pressure on the wind-pipe or chest so as to cause death without leaving any very strong marks of external violence; the cutting away of the piece of flesh could not cause death.  He could form no certain judgment from any thing he saw, as to what was the actual cause of death.  Excessive intoxication by spirituous liquor, and the body and head thrown into certain positions, night cause death.
  Emma Huntingdon, of No. 2, Mansfield-street, proved that she saw the deceased, on the evening before her death, looking out of the window of her lodgings next door, and afterwards treated her with a glass of rum.  She also saw her at one in the morning opposite to a public-house, the corner of the London and borough roads, leaning on a post, with her hand supporting her head.  She spoke to her; the deceased complained of head-ache.  Witness asked what was in her hand, and the deceased answered, two half guineas and some silver.  She parted from her then and saw her no more.
  Hannah Bryan said she lived at No. 3, in Mansfield-street, and that the deceased, who was about nineteen years of age, occupied a single room in her house since the 27th of last October, for which she paid five shillings per week.  She was an unfortunate girl of the town; received many different men at her lodgings; but more particularly, since Easter last, a man named White, a journeyman carpenter, employed at the Circus, cohabited with her some time; but the witness understanding this man had a wife, and that the deceased had sole her clothes to support him, she forbid him the house.  The deceased told her, if he was not allowed to come, she would quit the lodgings, which the witness desired she might do.
  White staid that night, but next morning leaped out at the window, and never came there since.  The witness heard that two other girls had destroyed themselves on White's account, and that the deceased once threatened to do so.  He had brought one of those girls from Whitefriars, where she lived, and introduced her to the deceased as his wife; but the deceased told him to be gone, and that she desired to hear no more of him or his wife.  The deceased was much addicted to drinking spirituous liquors, though she rarely appeared intoxicated; she had told the witness of her having drunk nine glasses of brandy in one evening.  The witness often advised her to abandon these habits and her way of life, offering to get her into service, but she refused
  She left the house of the witness upon last Thursday evening at nine o'clock, and the witness never heard more of her till next morning at Peckham fair, where she and her husband kept a booth, and where she heard of he murder.  The real name of he deceased was Anne Winterflood; she was the daughter of a reputable family near Bury St. Edmunds, was brought up by her grandmother, and came to town two years since.  She had a brother in town, a Quarter-master of cavalry; but she would never go near him, alleging he would not own her.
  These were all the material points of evidence,  which pMr. SHELDON summed up with great precision and perspicuity, educing from the whole, that the obvious probability was that the unfortunate deceased must have been strangled with the handkerchief; that however inclined she might be for self-destruction, it was utterly impossible she could have strangled herself, and afterwards have cut the handkerchief in the manner described; much less was it within any range of probability that she had perpetrated on her own person the other act of shocking barbarity; having no knife, or other instrument found about or near her, and it being also obvious, from the situation in which she was found, that the act of atrocity must have been committed after she was dead.  She was not robbed of any part of her apparel; her rings were found upon her fingers, and some money in her pockets, and therefore the deed could not be done for the sake of robbery; nor was it possible to account for it on any other ground than as the result of frantic and ferocious jealousy on the part of the murderer, whether male or female, to whose identity at present no clue could be traced.  If it appeared to the Jury that any other evidence was likely to be discovered that could throw any farther light on this mysterious and dreadful event, he should have no objection to adjourn the inquest to any future day.
  The Jury, however, after four hours investigation, were satisfied on the evidence they had heard, to find their verdict - Died by strangulation, and Wilful Murder against some person or persons unknown.
  Hannah Bryan appeared a god deal affected in giving her testimony, and offered to bury the deceased at her own expense.
...
  There was another Coroner's Inquest held on Saturday evening, at St. Saviour's Workhouse, in the Borough, upon the body of a young man, clerk to a pawnbroker in the Strand, who was drowned while bathing in the Thames on Saturday morning.  This was the third Coroner's Inquest held at the same place upon cases of drowning within the last week.

 

The Salopian, 21 February 1810

   In the 5th inst. an Inquest was taken at Bradford on the body of W. Smith, eleven years old, son of Sarah Smith, who died in consequence of a wound received by means of an instrument used as a poker, which was thrown by the mother, and stuck in the head of the lad, from whom it was taken by his sister.  A verdict of Wilful Murder, was found against the mother, who ...

 

Cambrian, 10 April 1819

Surrey Lent Assizes, April 2.  Robert Dean was put to the bar, charged with the wilful murder of Mary Ann Albert, a little girl, between four and five years old, on the 16th of October last, in Saint George's Fields, by cutting her throat with a case knife.  [Evidence by Mary Ann Albert, mother; Mrs. Sarah Williams, her mother, and Joseph Williams, brother; May, police officer.]

... The case went to the Jury under the Learned Judge's directions, and the prisoner was found Guilty.  Mr. Justice Parke pronounced sentence of death in an impressive and pathetic manner, and the prisoner was ordered for execution on Monday next.

 

Cambrian, 7 April 1821

   Between one and two o'clock on Wednesday morning, three men and a woman, in a spring cart, with one horse, driving furiously from Petersham towards the road leading to Richmond, refusing to stop when called upon to do so by the watchman, the latter fired his blunderbuss, by which one of the men was killed, and another man and the woman were wounded.  The party drove on to Richmond, and gave notice of what had occurred; in consequence of which, the watchman was taken into custody.  He attempted to justify his conduct, on the ground that he was obeying instructions which he had received, to stop all persons of suspicious appearance travelling at an unseasonable hour.  The jury sat from ten o'clock in the morning until four in the afternoon; and after a laborious investigation, and the most mature deliberation, returned a verdict of "Wilful Murder against Richard Wigley," who was immediately committed for trial at the Kingston assizes.

 

The Cambrian, 4 September 1824

EMBEZZLEMENT AND DREADFUL SUICIDE. - Goldalmin, Surry, Thursday night.

   A suicide has just taken place here under circumstances of the most appalling and affecting nature.  The evidence at the Coroner's Inquest, and communications made by several respectable persons, have furnished us with the following particulars:-

The deceased, Mr. Edward Chapman, was the son of a gentleman of consideration, residing at Croydon, and having been placed at the mercantile house of Messrs. Paxton, Cockerell, and Co. in the city of London, at an early age, conducted himself with so much propriety and attention as to gain the esteem of those gentlemen, to win their confidence, and finally to be intrusted by them in a situation in the counting house of the highest importance.  For some time his conduct was marked by the same close application and devotion to business for which he had been previously distinguished; but, as his connections in life were most respectable, the number of his acquaintance daily enlarged, and his income, which increased with his promotion, gave hymn the means of joining with them in scenes of pleasure from which his limited means before debarred him.  The love of pleasure has been the source of ruin to many young men, and the ardent and gay temperature of poor Chapman was not proof against its allurements.  One excess led to another; extravagance dissipated his resources, and pecuniary difficulties, and habits which he could not shake off, corrupted his principles, and eventually prevailed over his integrity.

   The confidence of Messrs. Paxton and Co. left him the command of their funds.  It would seem that this wretched victim to vice and folly took advantage of their goodness, and made small peculations as his necessaries compelled him.  These peculations he contrived, by management in his accounts, to keep undiscovered.  In time he was led to more serious expenses - the love of play - the turf, engaged his affection; and his ruin is said to have been accelerated by one of those thoughtless connections where the heart and the feelings of a young man become enslaved to be calculated to be the blessing of man, but in this, as in many other instances, proving his greatest curse.

   The depredations on his employers' capital became of considerable amount - it is said 3000l.- and Chapman's ingenuity was successful in concealing it.  A few weeks since distress of mind affecting this young man's constitution, he solicited and obtained leave of absence, and went to Brighton for the benefit of sea-bathing.  In the mean time at the counting house,  it became necessary to refer to his papers, and some errors being discovered, suspicion was awakened - a further investigation then took place, and the whole system of fraud was laid open. The shock which this discovery occasioned to Messrs. Paxton and Cockerell may be easily imagined, and however enraged these gentlemen may have been at their confidence betrayed, and their property plundered, considerations for the young man's family, and perhaps some remains of kindly feeling to himself, induced hem not  to make a public exposure, until they gave hymn a full opportunity of explaining the transactions, and of making, with the assistance of his friends, some reparation of their loss.  With this view, a letter, not calculated to alarm him, was written to Brighton, recalling him to town, for the purpose of arranging some business of the firm; but however cautiously the letter might have been worded, suspicion tortured the unfortunate man's mind, and he saw in it discovery, infamy, and ruin.  He instantly left Brighton, where he was last seen on the race course, and went, in company with a lady, whose name or situation in life does not appear, across the country to Sutton, near Epsom, where all trace of him or his companion were lost to those who followed his movements by order of the firm in London, whose suspicions were confirmed on their not receiving an answer to the letter of recall.  After some time being expended in vain to discover his route, bills were placarded describing his person, and offering a reward for his apprehension.

   About three weeks since, a gentleman (since proved to be the unfortunate individual in question) drove up to the King's Arms Inn, at Godalmin in a very handsome Dennett.  The horse s a remarkably fine animal, and the appearance of the gentleman and carriage was calculated not to excite any doubt of his respectability.  He rose early, and retire at night at seasonable hours - read a great deal, and walked about the country.  Her lived moderately, and never exceeded one bottle of wine after dinner.  He never affected any concealment of himself at the inn, but stood at the window, where the London coaches went by at every hour of the day, looked on as the horses were changed, and making remarks on the passengers.  One of the lads at the inn had seen the  bill at the Post-office, and was struck with the exact description of the dennett and the fine horse belonging to the strange gentleman, and was communicating the circumstance to his companions, when he was overheard by Mr. Moon, the landlord, who prudently not appearing to notice the conversation, went instantly to the Post-office, and was struck with grief and pain by the certainty that the person described was the unfortunate visitor at his house.  The horse was described as being fired in both hocks, and Mr. Moon having returned to the stable, found the horse exactly to correspond, and thus the fact was placed beyond a doubt.  This discovery of the landlord took place on Tuesday last, and at that time he was not informed that Chapman had any notice of the bill at the Post-office; but it has since appeared, that on the previous evening (Monday), the unfortunate man saw the record of his shame and guilt, at which he was so shocked that his reason gave way, and he returned to the inn in a state of the most acute mental suffering.

   It should be observed that the wretched bring wrote on Monday two or three letters, one of them to a clerk in Messrs. Paxton and Cockerell's, and another to a gentleman of great respectability, well known to the landlord, to whom the letters were given for the purpose of being forwarded by the post.

   The next morning (Tuesday), the last of his existence, the ill-fated young man came down to breakfast at his usual hour of nine o'clock.  He had paid the common attentions to his person, and was neatly dressed.  He wore a green riding frock coat, light striped waistcoat, white ribbed small clothes, drab gaiters, and shoes.  He ate some breakfast, but still seemed to be in a most desponding state - wretched and dejected, though he made no observations to the waiter who attended him.  He remained indoors until twelve o'clock, when he walked a little on the London-road, where he was noticed by a son of Mr. Parsons, the surgeon.  About two o'clock he was noticed again in the town; and in passing the Post-office, saw a person with whom he had formed a slight acquaintance at the cricket-ground, and nodded to him, at the same time pointing to the bill for his apprehension, that still remained at the window.  He then returned to the inn, which he soon after finally left; and proceeded to a retired lane, where he immediately committed suicide, by firing a pistol into his mouth. Not far from the place were a parcel of boys playing at cricket, and a little time before the fatal act the workmen employed at a neighbouring bleach green passed through the lane. About four o'clock one of these workmen, returning the same way, saw a gentleman lying on the ground, as he thought, asleep, with his face under.  He attempted to rouse him, but found that the body was without life.  From the appearance of the body, and the situation in which it lay, the wretched man must have been kneeling at the time he discharged the pistol into his mouth.  Death must have been instantaneous, as the body presented no symptom of a struggle having taken place; it appeared to have fallen forward, and remained with the head slightly averted, in the exact situation in which it fell.  The face was scarcely disfigured.  The hole though which the ball passed was perceptible in the upper palate; being discharged in the mouth, it had not force enough to pass through the skull; and it appeared afterwards, on the back of the head being opened by the surgeon, to have struck against some of the hardest bones of the skull, and to have rebounded into the cavity of the brain, where it was found, and by which instantaneous death was caused. The body being recognized to be that of the unfortunate Chapman, was taken up, placed on a hurdle, and left at the parish workhouse.

Such was the shocking termination of this young man's life; had he deferred the dreadful purpose for one day, he might have been re-established in society, as the friends to whom he had written had exerted themselves most powerfully in his behalf, not only in procuring for him pecuniary assistance, but in softening the severity of those gentlemen whom he had treated with so much ingratitude as well as dishonesty.  On Wednesday, two gentlemen came to the King's Arms, and inquired if a person, describing the deceased, was staying there. Mr. Moon then acquainted them, with all the particulars of the melancholy story, at which they were deeply affected - the more so, as they were the bearers of good news.

   The Coroner's inquest sat on Thursday, and after a patient investigation, a verdict was returned of Temporary Derangement.

 

North Wales Gazette (Bangor), 25 November 1824

ANOTHER DEATH BY FIGHTING. - On Wednesday the 10th inst., two lads, the one 17, and the other 18 years of age, apprentices to a wheel-wright at Franham, in the county of Surrey, agreed to settle a trifling-dispute by a pugilistic rencontre.  They accordingly proceeded to Franham Park; and after fighting upwards of an hour, one of them received a severe blow about the temple, which knocked him down.  He lay on the ground for some minutes, and was taken up in a state of insensibility, and brought to the Seven Stars public-house, where in the course of the same evening be expired.  An inquest was held on the body; and after the examination of several witnesses, returned a verdict of "Manslaughter against the survivor," who was immediately committed to Horsemonger-lane Gaol to take his trial  The seconds are allowed to escape because they did not attend officially, but were casual spectators that assisted them up when down. - The deceased had often been heard to say, that if ever he fought he would sooner be killed than give it up to any one.

 

North Wales Gazette (Bangor), 25 November 1824

Coroner's Jury, which sat on the body of Caroline Dewhirst, killed by her father at Walworth, returned a verdict that the child was killed by the violence of her father- the latter since committed for trial at the Kingston Assizes - two persons examined before the inquest, deposed he was insane.

 

The Cambrian, 27 November 1824

   Thursday, a man, named William Dewhurst, was charged at Union Hall on suspicion of having so beaten his younger child, Caroline, that she had died.  The prisoner had failed in business about six months ago, and subsequently went to live at No. 16, Bronti-place, Walworth, where he carried on business as a plate-glass manufacturer.  His wife and five children resided with him.  The prisoner is rather a genteel-looking man, about 35 years of age.  - A watchman stated, that on Wednesday night Mrs. Dewhurst applied to him for protection from the violence of her husband; and that, upon going up stairs into a room on the first floor, he saw a female child, apparently about a year and a half old, lying dawn completely naked, in one corner, and covered with blood from head to foot.  He immediately ran for a surgeon. - Mr. Swift, the surgeon, stated, that upon his arrival he went up stairs, and examined the child, which was lying in the state described.

   "In fact," said the surgeon, "I never beheld such a mass of violence in my life, as that which the body of the infant presented; the whole length of the spine and legs were covered with desperate bruises; blood flowed copiously from its mouth and nose; no feature in its face was discernable, the behead presenting the appearance of having been repeatedly dashed against a wall, or some hard substance: the pupils of the eyes were dilated, and the infant was in a comatose state.  There were also some violent bruises on the back of the head, and most of the hair appeared to have been dragged off.  The child was at that time in a dying state.  On the wall there was a quantity of  clotted blood, with hair intermixed.  These marks bore the appearance as if the child's head had been beaten against it.  A thick leather strap had evidently been used, as it bore marks of blood, and some heavy wails, which he observed on the child's back and loins, appeared as if they had been inflicted by such a weapon."  Mr. Swift said, he had visited the child again that morning, and found it was dead.  The external violence on the body of the deceased, the witness proved was sufficient to cause death.

   A Coroner's Inquest returned on Saturday, a verdict against Wm. Dewhirst, for the murder of his child, and he will take his trial for a capital offence.  Since the committal of Dewhurst he has exhibited strong symptoms of insanity; his violence very much alarmed the two men who were appointed to sit up with him and prevent his doing himself any personal injury.  As it was suspected that his conduct was feigned, a surgeon of the prison was called to attend him.

 

The Cambrian?, October 1826

 

MURDERS NEAR FETCHAM COMMON. - Friday morning, the whole of the immediate country in the neighbourhood of Leatherhead, was thrown into a state of considerable excitation and horror, in consequence of the barbarous murder of two aged individuals, who resided on the borders of Fetcham Common, within two miles of Leatherhead, and a short distance off the road to Guilford.

   The names of the unfortunate persons are John Akehurst, a helpless old man, aged 96, and his housekeeper, Elizabeth Haines, aged 74.  They inhabited a cottage in the midst of a small orchard, in a very solitary and lonely situation, being at least a quarter of a mile from any other habitation.  It was generally rumoured in the neighbourhood, that the old man was possessed of some property, as the house, and some acres of land adjoining it, were in his possession, and it is supposed that the miscreants were prompted to the commission of the murder in the expectation of finding money, the produce of the fruit, which had been exceedingly plentiful this season, in the grounds belonging to the poor old man.  The murder, which was perpetrated either on Thursday night, or early on Friday morning, was first discovered by a  lad, named Brown, who resided at one of the neighbouring cottages, and who, it appeared, had been recently employed by the deceased to gather in his crop of apples.  The lad had, it seems, left his home on Friday morning, at six o'clock, for the purpose of commencing his daily work on the old man's premises. When he came near the cottage, he called out the name of Elizabeth Haines,  as was his custom, and not receiving an answer, as accustomed, was astonished on observing the door leading into the house, as well as one of the windows on the ground floor, wide open.  He at once suspected that something dreadful had happened, having repeatedly called the inmates by their names and received no answer.  The boy then hurried off with all the speed he could, to inform his parents of the circumstance.

   His mother accompanied him back to the cottage, and on her entrance observing no one below, she proceeded up stairs, and at the head of the staircase, on looking where the old man slept, the door being wide open, she was shocked on beholding the lifeless corpse of Elizabeth Haines.  Mrs. Brown was so much terrified, that she ran down stairs, and immediately sent off to Mr. Gibbs, a gentleman in whose employment her husband worked.  Mr. Gibbs lost no time in visiting the scene of the murder, and was horror struck on  witnessing the bodies of the two old people, which were mutilated in a shocking manner. That gentleman at once dispatched messengers to the different County Magistrates, resident in the immediate neighbourhood, and in less than an hour from the discovery of the murder, a number of gentleman in the Commissions of Peace were on the spot.

   Information was dispatched to Union-Hall Police Office, from whence Mr. Hall, the Chief Constable, together with Richard Pople, a zealous officer of the establishment, proceeded in a post-chaise and four, and soon arrived at the cottage where the inhuman murder was committed.  They proceeded to examine the premises; and at once discovered that the house had been entered by the murderers, by the expedient of taking a small pane of glass out of the window that led into the wash house, and removing a very slight iron bar.  None of the property below stairs appeared to have been touched, for every thing was in the same state as had been observed by some of the neighbours a few days previous to the murder.  The officers then ascended into the room up stairs, one of which, at the head of the stair-case, the female slept in, at the extreme end of which was as door leading into that occupied by the old man.  On entering this room, the unfortunate woman was observed lying on the flat of her back, with her feet towards the door.  There was  a pool of blood surrounding the head, the back part of which was fractured in a shocking manner, apparently by a blow of a heavy bludgeon, or some blunt instrument.  There were black marks on her neck, and one of her hands was bruised, apparently in consequence of holding it  up , to avert the blows of her inhuman murderer.  From the position in which the body was lying, it would seem that the poor old creature was in her own bedroom immediately opposite that in which her fellow-sufferer lay, and that hearing a noise below stairs of persons getting into the house, she arose, and, in her fright, was about to seek the protection of the old man, and had just time to enter the door of his room, when she received the blow on the back part of her skull, which fractured it, and laid her prostrate on the floor.

   To the right of the door the body of the old man lay extended on the bed, to which he had been confined for the last few years.  It presented a shocking spectacle; both of the hands were raised up over the head, as if defending it from the blows of the murderers.  The knuckles, and across the back part of the hands, were dreadfully lacerated; and on the right side of his head, a little above the ear, appeared the wound that caused his death.  The bed-clothes were streaming with gore, and his night-cap, which was lying close alongside the pillow, was saturated with blood, .

   As soon as the officers had minutely examined each of the bodies, they proceeded to search the room, in order to discover whether the murders had left behind them any clue by which it would be possible to trace them.  Nothing, however, was found, to throw the slightest possible light on the discovery of the perpetrators, although every part of the house was minutely examined from top to bottom.  The chests in the upper room, occupied by the deceased persons, were found to have been rummaged; but none of the property which they contained, consisting of clothes, together with the will of the old man, bequeathing the little voltage and spot of ground to his daughter, were touched.  On questioning several of the persons who beside in the neighbourhood, and who it appears, were well acquainted with the deceased, it did not seem that a vestige of property belonging to the old man had been taken off the premises.  Indeed there was nothing of any value in the place that could possibly induce any persons to commit to  dreadful a crime in the expectation of acquiring much plunder. 

   Notwithstanding the vigilance of the several Magistrates, all of whom have been indefatigable in their exertions in procuring some clue to the perpetrators of so atrocious a murder, nothing yet as transpired to throw any light on the horrible affair. - The coroner's inquest have returned as verdict of Wilful Murder against some person or persons unknown.

 

The Cambrian, 28 October 1826

THE MURDERS AT FETCHAM. - The officers returned to town on Saturday evening, not having succeeded in apprehending Mary Ayres, the grand daughter of Mr. Akehurst, though they have visited many encampments of gypsies, with whom it was supposed they sojourned.  Her paramour is well known to most of the gangs.   {details and description.] 

      Subsequent to the examination of the premises, after the perpetration of the murders, the police officers, it will be remembered, did not discover any money secreted in the cottage.  Since that search took place, however, 21 guineas have been found in a place of concealment that was little expected.  Mr. Hankey, the Magistrate, all along conceiving that the poor old man had a hidden treasure in the house, did not feel satisfied with the search that had previously taken place, and accordingly commenced one himself on Thursday last, and succeeded in hunting out the above sum in gold.  After having diligently rummaged all the crevices and places above and below stairs, Mr. Hankey went into a small pantry where the old people used to keep their victuals.  In this place he observed an old churn that had not been in use for years, and, on taking off the lid, and looking into it, he perceived part of an old sticking.  On taking it up the above guineas rolled out of it.  The stocking was covered with cobwebs, and appeared to have been concealed there for many years.

 

The Cambrian, 26 January 1828

DEATH BY THE BITE OF A TAME FOX.

   About a fortnight ago, as a man in the employment of Mr. Morton, the landlord of the Derby-Arms, at Croydon, was engaged cleaning a horse in his master's yard, a tame fox, which was kept chained on the premises, bit him on the calf of the leg.  The wound, which was very slight, was dressed; but in a few days afterwards, the unfortunate man began to show evident signs of hydrophobia, and although the usual means were adopted for mitigating the paroxysms, the unhappy patient expired after suffering all the tortures produced by that dreadful malady. .  .  .  . 

 

Carmarthen Journal, 14 August 1829

   A young man named Hanmore, while fishing in Chertsey head, was struck dead by lightning on Wednesday, having imprudently taken shelter under a tree to avoid the storm.  Trees being conductors of electric fluid, should always be avoided, as decidedly dangerous.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 14 August 1830

   At Chiddingfold, Surrey, on the 2d instant, Mr. Enicknap, a respectable farmer of that parish, attended by one of his servants, of the name of Humphrey, went out with their guns for the destruction of vermin, and in passing by the side of a hedge, Mr. Enticknap having  spied a hare or rabbit in the adjoining field, leaped into the ditch for concealment, and desired his servant, who remained a few feet behind him, in a stooping posture, to shoot instantly at the object if he missed his aim.  Mr. Enticknap then discharged his gun, and having most unfortunately raised himself a little from the ground to watch the effect, placed his head in such a position as to receive the full contents of his servant's gun.  This melancholy event has involved a young widow and six children in the deepest calamity   An inquest was held on Wednesday, and a verdict returned of accidental death.  - County Chronicle.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 1 September 1832
FIRE AND LOSS OF LIFE. - About four o'clock on Saturday morning an alarming fire broke out at the shop of Mr. Bonhead, tobacconist, King-street., Camberwell, which threatened destruction to the whole neighbourhood.  Before he engines could arrive from London, the burning element had obtained such a height that the greatest apprehensions were entertained hat the whole street would be enveloped in one general conflagration.  At length their fears subsided upon the speedy arrival of he London engines, and at witnessing the promptitude and vigilance of the firemen.  At half-past five the house fell with a tremendous crash, and the corpse of a female, nearly burnt to a cinder, was found among the burning pile of ruins.  It was proved to be that of a lodger in the house named Lee, aged 58, a very inform lady.  The fire was totally extinguished by eight o'clock.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 30 November 1833
MURDER.
  On Monday afternoon an inquest was held at the Rose and Crown Tavern, Union-street, before Mr. R. Carter, Coroner for Surrey, on the body of Mrs. Elizabeth Bedwell, aged 63, late of Southwark-square, whose death was occasioned by a stab on the left side inflicted by the hand of her husband.  Since the dreadful occurrence took place the husband of the deceased has been confined in the county gaol, where it was found necessary to keep a strict watch upon him, owing to the excessive state of irritation of mind under which he has laboured ever since.
Mary Ann [Barnes] sworn: I have been living in the service of Mr. Benjamin Bedwell and his deceased wife for the last two years and a half.  On Tuesday morning last my master and mistress came down stairs into the kitchen, where the breakfast was laid.  My mistress poured out two cups, of which they partook without sitting down.  The deceased appeared to be unhappy in her mien, and desired me to go over to Mrs. Hopkins, to tell her to come to the house.  I went up stairs, and while I was going my mistress came after me and passed up stairs, as if going to the lodger's room.  When she was proceeding up stairs Mr. Bedwell ran after the deceased and tried to pull her down stairs, when she called out to Mr. Plummer, the lodger, to make an alarm at the window. The deceased having spoken the words, escaped down stairs, and ran into the parlour, into which she was followed by her husband, who dragged her out, and she again made from him and ran down stairs into the kitchen, whither he followed her, and, in attempting to escape up the front area, he her again seized her clothes, and drew her back into the kitchen.
  Witness was exceedingly alarmed sand cried aloud, upon which Mr. Bedwell placed the deceased in a chair near the kitchen door, and turning round to her exclaimed, "Be off out of the house, and don't stop here making a noise." Instead of going out of the house, Mr. Bedwell having previously locked the door, I went into the back kitchen, leaving my master and mistress in the front kitchen.  While I was in the back kitchen, and I should think about a quarter of an hour after I was turned out of the front, I heard my mistress exclaim, "he has stabbed me - he has stabbed me! "  I then went into the front kitchen and saw the deceased lying down near the front door; her clothes were partly up, and I saw blood issuing in quantities from a wound in the lower part of her right side.  I also saw a huge knife lying on the tea-tray with blood upon it.  Mr. Bedwell, at this time, was standing near the deceased.  Upon seeing my mistress lying on the ground, I gave an immediate alarm by crying out murder, upon which a Mr. Leach got over the iron railing, and made his way into the kitchen, and seized Mr. Bedwell. Several other persons came into the house, and the deceased, by her own desire, was conveyed to the house of Mrs. Hartley, an intimate acquaintance, residing at No. 120, in the same square, where she died on Friday evening, at eight o'clock.
By a Juror: The lodger, upon quitting his own room, went down stairs, and the street door, which was previously locked, was opened by Mr. Bedwell, who, on letting him out, desired him not to come there again' and he afterwards locked the door again and took the key out.
Mr. Joseph Husack, surgeon, of Union-street, sworn: I was informed of the circumstance soon after it had occurred, and on going to No. 20, Southwark-square, saw the deceased, who was then lying in bed in a very exhausted condition.  Herr clothes, which were deluged with blood, were upon her at the time,, and as soon as I saw them cut away I perceived, on examination, that she had received a wound in her right side, about an inch and a quarter in length, and about six inches in depth.  I attended the deceased from that time until Friday night, and her death was produced by the stab that was inflicted.
Juror: Did you know the state of Mr. Bedwell's mind>
Witness: I have attended on the family, and know that Mr. Beedwell's mind has been affected for some time.
Mr. Plummer was then caller, and on being sworn, stated, that about 10 o'clock on the morning in question the deceased walked into his room while he was sitting at breakfast, and told him that her husband was coming up stairs, but not to take notice of what he said.  While she was speaking to him Mr. Bedwell entered the room, and, addressing witness, said that he must leave the house, adding that he should not be insulted in his own house. Witness  said that he should quit after breakfast, sand both Mr. and Mrs. Bedwell then left the room, soon after which he heard Mrs. Bedwell's voice on the stairs imploring him to call for help, saying that she was afraid her husband would do her some harm.  Witness did not give the alarm from the window, but went down stairs, and Mr. Bedwell opened the door, and desired him not to come there again.  Witness went to Mrs. Hopkins opposite, and afterwards went for the police.  On his return, he saw Mr. Leach in the house.  Mr. Bedwell appeared to be laboring under great excitement of mind when he entered my room; he looked wild about the eyes, and I was alarmed at the manner in which he conducted himself.  The witness further stated that he had only been a lodger in Mrs. Bedwell's house since the Friday antecedent to the occurrence.  He (witness) had since been informed that the very first night he slept in Mr. Berdwell's house that person took a knife to bed with him. Witness had never seen Mr. Bedwell but upon one occasion before, and then he let him in when he knocked at the door.
   The jury, without hesitation, returned a verdict of wilful murder against the deceased's husband, who will be tried at the next Surrey Assixes, which commence at Kingston on the 9th of December.

 

The Monmouthshire Merlin, 25 January 1840

SUICIDE, AND ATTEMPT OF A FATHER TO POISON HIS CHILDREN.

CORONER'S INQUEST. - For several days past Mitcham and the adjoining villages have been in a state of most feverish anxiety, resulting from the discovery of one of the most cool and determined attempts upon record if a father to murder his children and destroy his own life.  The details of this revolting act are, and are likely to continue to be, the all-absorbing topic of conversation in the vicinity of the place where the tragedy was commenced, and which may not yet be ended.

   The following particulars were given in evidence before Mr. W. Carter, coroner for Surry, at the Bull Inn, Mitcham, respecting the death of John James Gann, aged 32, the father. .  .  .  .

 

The Cambrian, 1 February 1840

FATAL EFFECTS OF THE HIGH FLOODS.

On Friday, an accident, attended with fatal consequences, arising from the excessive rains which has fallen within the last fortnight, occurred in the neighbourhood of Weybridge, Surrey.  On the above day two men named Bennett and Johnson, in the employ of Messrs. Farrell, the brewers at Isleworth, left their master's premises with a dray loaded with butts of porter, and drawn by three horses, for the purpose of going to Weybridge and Byfleet.  They crossed the Thanes by Walton Bridge, and instead of taking the upper road as directed, they took the lower road, along which they proceeded until they approached Weybridge, when finding the Thames in that part of the road had overflowed its banks, Johnson mounted the fore-horse while Bennett got upon the dray.  They had, however, not proceeded far before they got too near the river edge of the road, when the campshedding giving way by the weight of the dray, that, with the horses, became immersed in the stream, which at that spot is very powe4rful.  Bennett seeing his perilous situation, jumped off the dray and succeeded in swimming ashore.  Johnson, however, was not so fortunate; the horses immediately sinking carried him down with them, and all were drowned.  The horses, which were valued at 100 guineas, were recovered the next morning, but the body of Johnson had not yet been discovered.

 

Cambrian, 25 April 1840

FATAL ACCIDENT ON THE BRIGHTON RAILWAY. - On Friday afternoon an accident, which terminated in the death of one of the labourers named William Price, occurred upon the works of this Railway, near the Godstone-road.  The unfortunate man, with several others, were engaged in removing a quantity of earth, and while he was standing upon the top of the bank, it gave way, and an immense quantity if earth fell a considerable distance and buried him under neath it.  he was speedily extricated, and was conveyed to the infirmary at Croydon, where it was found that he had received severe injuries.  Every attention was paid to him, but he died the next day.  He deceased was quite a young man, and on the day he net his death in this manner, he had applied to Mr. Thomas Green, the contractor, for work, and he put him upon thins job which in a few hours led to such a fatal result.  An inquest was subsequently held upon the body, and a verdict of accidental Death returned by the Jury.

 

Monmouthshire Merlin, 9 May 1840

DOMESTIC NEWS.

EXTRAORDINARY OCCURRENCE. - It will be recollected by our readers that a few weeks ago particulars were given of the death by starvation of an eccentric character, whose name was supposed to be James Foote, and who was found in an emaciated and dying condition, in a celebrated cave, near Farnham, formerly the reputed residence of a noted witch, "Mother Ludlam," and which was known in this part of the country as "Mother Ludlam's Cave." This unfortunate man was stated to be of good family; but from the loss of a beloved wife, his reason became impaired, and he was impressed with an idea that he should live the rest of his life in a cave, and he went away from all his connections and travelled about different parts of the country until he arrived at Farnham, where he took up his abide in one of the inns.  He made particular inquiry about the cave, and he at length employed a man to carry two portmanteaus for him to a spot a short distance from the cave.  Foote then told the man that he should not require his assistance any farther, and he paid him and went off with his portmanteau; and from that time nothing more was heard of him for a period of six weeks, when he was found lying near the cave in a dying state.  He was removed to the union workhouse at Farnham, where every attention was paid to him, but the wretched man was beyond all hope of human relief - he was unable to articulate more than the words "the cave, the cave" and he gradually sunk, and expired in a few hours.  Upon a search being made in the cave it was evident that the unhappy man had resided there ever since the time that he was last seen.  In one comer lay a heap of fern that had served as his bed, and his portmanteau was in another part of the cave.  This was opened, and was found to contain a great quantity of valuable clothing and linen, a gold watch, and other articles.  During the interval that elapsed between the death of the deceased and the holding of the inquest, a gentleman, a stranger to the neighbourhood, came to the Union-house and requested to see the body of the deceased, and he recognised it as being that of a relation, and said he had left London, which was his place of residence, several months before, and that none of his friends had the least idea where he had gone to.  From this gentleman some of the particulars above-mentioned were obtained, and he also expressed his intention to attend the inquiry that was to take place before the coroner, and give some further information respecting the deceased.  When the coroner's inquest, however, took place, this person did not make his appearance, neither did any one come forward to make any statement or give the least information respecting the man.

   The jury returned a verdict that the deceased died from starvation, and as nobody came forward, he was interred in Farnham churchyard, an immense number of persons from the vicinity, who were attracted by the extraordinary character of the deceased, being present at the ceremony.  From this time the remembrance of the occurrence gradually died away, but within the last few days it has become revived, owing to a rumour that was very generally spread about, that the grave of the deceased had been disturbed, and a general impression prevailed, that the body had been removed.  These rumours at length prevailed to such an extent, and caused so much excitement, that it was considered prudent that steps should be taken to ascertain whether they had any foundation, and application was made to the minister of Farnham for his permission that the grave should be opened; and upon his consenting, the grave was accordingly dug up, and it was then found that the rumour was well-founded, and that both the body and the coffin had disappeared. The object of this violation of the sanctity of the grave will for ever probably remain a mystery, but the general belief is, that it was a proceeding adopted at the instance of the deceased's relatives to obtain possession of the body, not wishing, for some reason or other, to come forward and claim it publicly when the deceased was first found.  There are various other rumours, but this one would appear to be the most probable. - Morning Chronicle.

 

The Cambrian, 21 November 1840

DREADFUL ACCIDENT BY THE EXPLOSION OF FIREWORKS. - An inquest was held on Wednesday before W. Carter, Esq., Coroner for Surry, at the Hour Glass, Walworth Common, to enquire respecting the death of Robert John Woolmer, aged 12, who was killed by the explosion of a large quantity of squibs on the evening of the 5th of November.  Frederick Whittle, of the Villa-road, Wandsworth, stated that on Thursday evening the deceased and some other boys were in the garden of his father's house; they were letting off squibs, crackers, and other fire-works; they had a knighted torch with them; deceased was lighting a squib with the torch, which was afterwards swung round; suddenly there was a great explosion from one of the deceased's  trousers' pockets; he screamed out, and it was evident some fireworks he had in his pocket were exploding.  Witness, as well as he could, tried to get them from his pocket, which he partly succeeded in doing; they consisted chiefly of squibs, of which he appeared to have nearly two dozen.; every assistance was rendered, but the deceased was dreadfully burned.  No one knew the deceased had the squibs in his pocket. - Mr. Woolmer, of Walworth, father of the deceased, spoke to the deplorable state the deceased was in after the accident.  Mr. Cattermole, surgeon, soon after arrived and attended the deceased up to the time of his death.  This gentleman stated that upon examining the deceased he found a very severe burn on the groin of the right side; which extended some distance; a great deal of flesh was burnt away by the explosion; he applied every possible remedy, but the deceased sunk under his injuries, and died on Saturday night; the injuries received were the cause of death. - Verdict, Accidental Death.

 

The Cambrian, 21 November 1840

EXTRAORDINARY SUICIDE OF A GENTLEMAN OF FORTUNE.

   On Thursday an inquiry took place before William Carter, Esq., the coroner for Surrey, at the King George, near the Surrey Zoological Gardens, respecting the death of John Bowler, Esq., aged 61, a gentleman of property, residing at No. 38, Newington=-place, Kennington.  It appears that the deceased had been unwell for some time, and his gardener was directed by his family to sleep in the same room with him.  On Saturday night Mr. Jarratt, one of the partners, called to see him, but he could not be found.  On the gardener proceeding to the grounds, he saw the deceased's hat lying by the side of one of the water butts.  He immediately went to the spot, and, upon looking in, saw the feet of the deceased over the side, and his head at the bottom of the butt.  He obtained assistance, and the body was taken out.  He was quote dead, and appeared to have been in the water for some time.  Mr. Hooper, a  surgeon, was called in, but his assistance was useless.  There was  no doubt this was the deceased's own act.  The jury returned a verdict of Temporary Insanity.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School