Liverpool Mercury Jan 37th 1858

Shocking and determined suicide

Whilst in a state of mental aberration on Monday Mr James GIBSON, of 201 Burlington St, committed suicide by inflicting several stabs in his body with a dagger and by cutting his throat with a razor.

Mr GIBSON was a dispenser of medicine at the parish dispensary in Burlington St. 10 wks ago he was confined to bed by brain fever and was attended by Dr DICKENSON and Messers KELLY and LUCAS, surgeons. He recovered so as to attend to his duties, but from that time was always complaining of his head. Last Wednesday morning he complained much of it and was ill all day, much worse at night. On Thursday his wife went for Mr BRIGHT, surgeon, by whom leeches were ordered to be applied to his head, and afterwards he appeared to be relieved. On Friday he was ill and feverish, and he got worse in the night, his face being very much flushed. On Saturday he was visited by Mr KELLY, and the application of a blister to Mr GIBSON'S neck relieved him and caused him to be much better. On Sunday at times he rambled in his conversation, and was seen by three medical gentlemen, who were attending him, and in the evening a large mustard poultice was ordered to be applied to his chest, but he would not consent to it. He was very ill all night and rambled in his talk, and said someone had struck his wife, and afterwards that Mr BRIGHT had struck Mr EVANS, and he would not be satisfied of the contrary until Mr EVANS had been called to assure him that nothing of the sort had happened.

On Monday morning his wife strongly urged him to have the mustard plaster applied to his chest, but he said, "It's too late." She observed that he breathed very freely, and there was great perspiration from his head. She called into the room her sister-in-law Annie GIBSON, and then, on turning down the bed clothes saw his shirt was stained with blood. His wife took a dagger from near his right side in the bed, and throwing that down, she did not know where, ran out to fetch Mr LUCAS, requesting her sister-in-law remain in the room. But she was too much afraid to do so and left the room. She picked up the dagger inside the room and sat on the stairs until Mrs GIBSON returned, She then found her husband at the foot of the bed cutting his throat with a razor, she took hold of him but it was too late. The blood, gushed out from a frightful gash he had inflicted, and before the arrival of medical aid, life was extinct.

The dagger, with which he had inflicted 12 wounds in his body, was a short instrument with an ivory handle, it had been brought from China by the deceased's brother. It had been lying in a case upon a glass on the mantlepiece of the bedroom for the last 5 or 6 yrs.

At and inquest yesterday a certificate signed by two medical men expressing their opinion that the disease from which Mr GIBSON suffered was such that he was irresponsible for his actions and at the time took his own life. The jury, therefore, found that, he had committed suicide during temporary insanity.


Liverpool Mercury, Feb 23rd 1858


On Saturday morning Robert ATKINSON was found lying on a piece of land in Love Lane with his throat cut. A razor was lying beside him, with which the wound had been inflicted. Life not quite extinct he was removed to the Northern Hospital, but his case was beyond the reach of surgical skill, he lingered until 2am yesterday when death terminated his sufferings. The deceased was a labourer residing in Regent St, aged about 50. From inquiries made respecting him, he had made two previous attempts at suicide. Some time ago he suffered an abscess in the thigh and with his own hand endeavoured to perform the operation of cutting it away, but was, unsuccessful, he was removed to the Northern Hospital, where, under the skilful treatment of the house surgeon, he recovered and left the institution about Christmas last.

The following inquests were held on Saturday

On the body of Jane STINSON, aged 3, whose parents live at 34 Lower Stanhope St. On Monday last the child was sitting on a rocking chair by the fire, she fell off the chair and pulled a pan of boiling water over her, which scalded her severely. She died on Thursday last. Verdict, "Accidentally scalded."

On the body of James GARTON, pointsman at Edgehill who was run over and killed by an engine on Friday last. The deceased neglected to put the points right, he was standing on the branch line when an engine coming along ran off the main line and returning to that where the deceased was standing ran over and killed him. Verdict, "Accidentally killed."

On the body of William MORLEY, cork cutter, 7 Victoria St, Everton. The deceased who previous to Christmas had been a teetotaller, went home on Friday night in a state of intoxication. About 2am his wife found him very ill and sent for a surgeon, before assistance arrived her husband was dead. Verdict, "Died from excessive drinking."

On the body of Margaret KETTON, aged 3wks, the child had been delicate and subject to convulsions since birth. On Friday morning it was taken ill and died before assistance arrived. Verdict, "Died from natural causes."

On the body of John TURNER, aged 10wks, illegitimate child of Catherine TURNER, an inmate of the workhouse, who found the child dead by her side on Sunday morning. Verdict, "Died from suffocation accidentally caused."


Liverpool Mercury May 6th 1858

Fatal accident at St Helens

A little before 9am yesterday a dreadful accident occurred at the Atlas Foundry, occupied by Messers ROBINSON and COOK at Pocket Nook, whereby one man was killed instantly and five others seriously injured. The workmen were engaged in hoisting a large iron casting, weighing upwards of 11tons, by a travelling crane erected on the premises. When they had succeeded in raising it from the ground the upper part of the crane gave way, and the whole machine came down from the framework with great force, and fell on the poor fellows beneath, a height of about 20ft. William DERRY one of the foundry men, aged 25, and who was married only five weeks ago, was killed instantly, the ponderous weight caught him on the head, the upper portion of which was completely smashed, the blood and brains being scattered on the ground. The body presented a most horrible spectacle. The other men injured were John CANGNEY, Peter JOHNSON, Thomas GIBBONS, Ralph NEILD, and Thomas SHERWIN, some of them having limbs fractured and others crushed internally, SHERWIN and CANGNEY most severely, not being expected to survive. The poor sufferers were carried to their respective homes, and a surgeon was speedily in attendance. Some, it is feared, will have to undergo amputation of their arms and legs, so dreadfully were they smashed. The deceased was carried to his home in Travis St, and the scene occurring with his newly-married wife was very affecting. The alarm raised in the neighbourhood soon brought a great number of persons to the foundry premises, and the sickening sight presented, so affected the workmen that it deemed advisable to close the works for the day.


Liverpool Mercury, July 13th 1858

Inquests at Birkenhead

On Saturday last before Mr CHURTON, coroner, at Miss SCOTT’S house, Albion St on the body of Owen TEIGH, a labouring man employed under the commissioners, who died suddenly on Friday night. The deceased who had previously been unwell died without seeing a medical man, a verdict of “died from natural causes” was returned.

On the same day an inquest was held on the body of William CARSTIDGE, aged 3, residing with his parents in Eldon Place, Oak St, who was severely burned on Sunday week by accidentally falling into the fire. What rendered the case deplorable was that the father was in the same room in a helpless state of intoxication, and could render no assistance to his suffering child. Jury’s verdict, “accidentally burnt to death.”


Liverpool Mercury, July 25th, 1858

Suicide by a publican

Walter CROSS, publican, Blackstock St, committed suicide yesterday morning by cutting his throat and inquest will be held today.

Sudden deaths at Birkenhead

At 10.30pm on Tuesday night last, a man about 40, was found in a dying state in Hamilton Square, Birkenhead. He was immediately removed to the Bird-in-hand public house, Chapel St, where he expired before the arrival of two medical gentlemen who were sent for. From a return ticket found in one of his pockets, it appears the deceased was an excursionist from Manchester, but up to last evening the body had not been claimed A female who had been in the company of the deceased said his name was James HUGHES, a joiner, in the employ of Mr NIELD, Strangeways Manchester. That gentleman was telegraphed during the day, but an answer was returned that the unfortunate man was not known.

On the same night Mr William WILSON, a gentleman aged 70, who was stopping with his son in Ball's Rd, Oxton, was found dead in bed. Inquests will be held on both bodies today, before Mr CHURTON, coroner


Liverpool Mercury, July 31st, 1858

Funeral of a Birkenhead Police-officer

On Sunday afternoon the funeral of James PRICE, an officer belonging to the Birkenhead police force, who died on Thursday last, took place at St Mary's Church, in the presence of a large concourse of people. The deceased was also an oddfellow, and at 3pm about 60 members of that order, all wearing scarfs and hatbands, assembled at his residence, Tory Place, Chester St, for the purpose of following the remains of their departed brother to his resting place. The whole of the police force of that township, headed by Superintendent BIRNIE, met at the police station, where they were joined by a detachment of the county police, under the direction of Superintendent D. GWYNNE. The men of both forces, who wore the usual mourning, then marched in procession to Chester St, and the body of the deceased having been placed in a hearse, the mournful cortege proceeded at a slow pace to St Mary's Church, where a large number of persons had congregated. The service, read by Rev Mr RANKIN, curate was performed in the old Abbey Chapel. The deceased was aged 30, and had been 6yrs a member of the Birkenhead police force, by whom he was much respected. He has left a widow and one child. The attendance of the county police at the funeral evinces the good feeling which exists between that body and the Birkenhead police.

Thomas GIBBSON of 65 Myer St, Edge Hill, the details given of a man received at the infirmary on Tuesday morning suffering from fracture of the left thigh and injury to the spine, the injuries have proved fatal on Wednesday, the coroner's beadle Mr BLAKE, cannot learning anything of the man at the above address. He was taken to the infirmary in a cart and was afterwards seen by his daughter who said he had fallen by doing something upon the roof of the house, which she had forbidden him to do.

Killed on the spot

A weight-taker in the employ of Messers WRIGLEY, Little Howard St, named James BURGESS, called a lorry to the warehouse about 5pm on Wednesday, and as it came up he placed his hand on the near shaft, and the other on the corner of the lorry, and attempted to spring up by placing his knee on the shaft, but his knee slipped off and he fell in front of the near fore wheel, which passed over his head killing him on the spot. No one was to blame and at an inquest a verdict of "Accidental death" was returned.

Sudden death of a sailor

David GORDON, aged 45, a sailor, a native of Dundee, who had been carpenter on a ship on a voyage to Africa and back was lodging at the house of James TWEEDLE, 9 Kent St, and on Wednesday he fell upon the landing, close to his bedroom door, and bled profusely from the nose and mouth, and died quickly from loss of blood, the flow of which was supposed to be induced by an internal injury which he had received in Africa. There were strips of plaster on his left side and a bandage round the body. At the inquest on Thursday, the jury returned a verdict embodying the facts stated.

An insecure sling, fatal fall into a ship's hold

Peter DIGNEY, aged 27, of 2 court, Chadwick St, was employed in loading the American ship Frank Healey, in the Bramley Moore Dock, on Friday last, when he fell into the ship's hold and received injuries of which he died at the Northern Hospital. On Wednesday morning when visited by his wife he said, "I put my foot into the sling, and thought the rope was fast, it was not and I fell into the hold." She asked, "Whom do you blame for it ?" and he answered, "I blame no one but myself". At the inquest on Thursday, the jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death."

Poisoned by mistake

Mrs Mary Ann HEMMING, aged 65, was at the house of her son William James HEMMING, working goldsmith, of 12 Lower Dawson St, on Wednesday afternoon, when she took up a cup of cyanide of potassium, which is used by her son in his business, and mistakenly took it for tea and drank it, she was taken ill and died in three-quarters of an hour, an emetic was administered in vain. At the inquest on Thursday, the jury returned a verdict of taking poison by mistake.

Drink, delirium and suicide

Walter CROSS, aged 43, who kept the spirit vaults, 1 Blackstock St, drunk to excess and thereby induced delirium tremens. When suffering from his 4th attack of this disease on Tuesday evening last, his son Andrew CROSS, aged 14 was set to mind him, he being in bed at the time. The boy had been with him about 10mins, when his father sent him in the sitting room for a desk. It was not locked and CROSS opened it and took out his razor box. The boy ran down stairs to give an alarm, and in the meantime the father cut his throat. Mrs BROUGHALL, a widow, employed at the house at the time, ran upstairs and knocked at the door. Cross answered, "Come in", and on entering the room she found him on his knees on the floor bleeding profusely. She exclaimed, "Good God! what’s the matter?" And he replied, "I have done it." When the servant Mary JONES, came into the room and said, "O master what have you done?" he said, "O Mary, I have done it." He died in a quarter of an hour. He had been deranged during Monday and Tuesday. The jury found that he had committed suicide whilst temporarily insane.

A dying boy, his mother and home

John George CLARKE, aged 15, the only support of his widowed mother of 22 Harding St, Windsor, was employed at Edge Hill railway station to take numbers of waggons as they were loaded and removed. He had tea at home on the evening of the 25th March and left between 5 and 6pm to work at night. Next morning a little before 8am in order to get home quickly for his breakfast, he jumped upon an engine as it started from Edge Hill, and rode to Crown St, where he jumped off safely, but in running back under the bridge he fell over a stone with his leg on the rail, a wheel of a loaded coal waggon went over his foot and up the leg, the train then stopped. The poor lad made his position known by calling, "Mother" and was heard by John DUCKWORTH, a shunter of carriages who got the engine driver to ease back half a yard, and so allow the boy to be extricated. He was then placed upon a door and carried to the infirmary, where the leg was amputated and where he remained until Wednesday 14th inst, when he was removed home at his own request. He said he would be happy to die, and his death took place on Thursday 22nd inst. In giving an account to his mother he said no one was to blame, at an inquest on Saturday by Mr CURRY, a verdict of, "Accidentally killed" was returned.

Supposed manslaughter and fatal revenge by a drunken man

John PLUNKETT and his wife occupied the middle room in Andrew HERRITY'S house, 15 court, Stockdale St. Between 4 and 5pm on Wednesday the 7th inst, PLUNKETT came home tipsy, and asked his wife for money, she went out to avoid him, because he was violent when in drink. Finding her gone he took the bed out to sell it, his landlady followed him, took it from him, and gave it to his wife who placed it in a neighbours house. He remained in the street, was very noisy, and a crowd gathered round him, boys calling him by the nickname of "the holy weaver" After he had gone into his own room a woman named Mary WALSH, aged 43, a widow of 11 court Stockdale St, passed up the court to fetch a child aged 2, which she was in the habit of nursing for the mother, who went out to sell fish. When she was in the yard, there came out of PLUNKETT'S window a large piece of wood, which fell upon her head and knocked her down, inflicting a severe cut on her forehead over her left eye. Whilst PLUNKETT was in the street Mrs HERRITY went to fetch a policeman, and when she returned she found PLUNKETT had broken a table in his bedroom. PLUNKETT was taken into custody and brought before the magistrates, who discharged him because the injured woman would not or could not appear against him. Her head was dressed every second day at the Dispensary in Vauxhall Rd up to Monday in last week, on Tuesday she became confined to bed and she died on Saturday morning last. The inquest was opened on Saturday, when the above facts were given in evidence, and the inquest was adjourned till Monday, when the verdict of manslaughter was returned. On the same day at the police court, the prisoner was committed for trial to the assizes on a similar charge.


Liverpool Mercury, Aug 7th 1858

William OWENS, ship's carpenter, aged 25, has died at the Southern Hospital from an injury he received on the 4th of May by being cut by an adze at Mr CHALONER'S shipbuilding yard.

On Tuesday last Thomas MILLS, aged 58, who for several years had been employed under the St Helen's improvement commissioners, suddenly fell from a chair in his home and died. An inquest held on the body at the Sefton Arms a verdict of, "Died from natural causes," was returned.

An inquest was held on Saturday on the body of Mary Ann LOMAX, aged 3, whose parents reside at 36 Holborn St, Low Hill. On Saturday week whilst standing near the fire, her brother pulled a kettle of boiling water upon, her which caused injuries resulting in her death on Saturday last. The jury returned a verdict of, "Accidental death."

On Tuesday whilst, James TYRRELL of No 1 court, Gore St, was working amongst the timber at the Brunswick Dock, he slipped and fell into the water. He was rescued and taken to the Southern Hospital, where every attention was paid to him by the house surgeon Mr PEMBERTON, but the poor fellow was beyond medical aid and died soon afterwards.

A youth aged 15, named Bernard GROWEL, who for 4yrs had lived with his uncle, Michael SAGAR, clothier and outfitter, 117 Great Howard St, committed suicide by hanging himself on Tuesday afternoon. Mr SAGAR has two shops with a glass door between them, Miss SAGAR was in one the boy in the other. On looking through the door she was horrified to find him suspended by the neck from a beam. With assistance she cut him down immediately, medical aid was called but life was extinct. No reason can be found for the rash act.

Inquests held by Mr P. F.CURRY on Saturday

On the body of Andrew KENNEDY, aged 45. The deceased was a pensioner who had served nearly 22yrs in India. He had lately been employed distributing bills. The deceased and his wife lodged at 32 Trueman St, with Mrs Jane HART, who was examined and said they had lived very unhappily together and often quarrelled. He came home on Saturday night week very drunk. His wife came in soon after and went to his room, but ran down immediately, saying that he had a knife and was going to kill her. He followed immediately and threatened to stab the first who went before him. Witness's brother-in-law asked the deceased what it was all about. The deceased got hold of HART by the throat, whereupon HART struck him on the eye. Deceased staggered, and his wife came forward and said, "Give it him well, Peter." She then caught her husband by the hair, pulled him down on his back in the lobby, still crying, "Give it him well." The wound on the deceased's eye caused by HART, bled a good deal. The deceased went about the streets until 3am on Sunday, and was then let in, but went out again about 9am, and again came home drunk on Sunday evening He went to bed and after sleeping for about three hours commenced to shout as if delirious. He went out on Monday morning and was brought back by a stranger. In his absence his wife had sold all the furniture except a mattress. The deceased was laid upon this in a delirious state, which continued until Tuesday morning, when he was removed to the Liverpool Workhouse. Mr Richard JONES, workhouse surgeon, said the deceased died on Wednesday, he had made a post mortem examination on the body and found that death was due to apoplexy, arising from natural causes. The Coroner in summing up said there was a case for manslaughter, but after the evidence of the surgeon he did not see that any other verdict than "Died by the visitation of God", could be returned. It there was the slightest doubt of the medical evidence he should have addressed them on the presumption that the poor fellow had been most brutally killed, partly by his wife, partly by others. He would say both she and the man HART had acted most disgracefully. After a short consultation, the jury found a verdict of "Manslaughter" against the wife. The Coroner said there could be no grounds for that verdict after the medical evidence, which he was bound to believe, unless there was some reason to doubt it. He would receive a verdict "That the deceased died from congestion of the brain, but whether it was the result of natural causes or not there was no evidence to show." and would send the case to the officer of the crown. The jury returned a verdict to that effect. It transpired that the wife of the deceased was entitled to several sums of club money, amounting to £13, but the coroner, finding that his certificate was necessary to obtain it, refused to give the necessary document.

Inquests held by Mr P. F.CURRY on Tuesday

On the body of Michael SCAHILL, aged 27, a labourer of 39 Oriel St. The deceased was often drunk and on Monday night was tipsy, and whilst fighting with another man received a cut to his head. On returning home he seemed to be out of his mind and an officer was sent for in consequence of him threatening to cut his throat if he got a razor, which had previously been taken from him. He was soon after found dead hanging from a handkerchief fastened to a nail in the wall. Verdict, "Temporary insanity."

On the body of Thomas RYAN, aged 5, whose parents live at 31 Barmouth St. On Saturday evening the deceased who was troubled with hooping-cough, was seized with a fit of coughing when going into the house, and falling backwards down four steps struck his head on the pavement below. He was taken up insensible and died the following evening. Verdict "Accidental death."

On the body of John TELFARD, a seaman on board the brig Henry Volant, now lying in the Trafford Dock, who on Sunday night accidentally fell into the dock which is dry at low water, and died from the injuries he received. Verdict, "Accidental death."

On the body of Anne MURPHY of Addison St, who was found by officer 578 in Lancelot's Hey on Monday night and died while being conveyed to the Northern Hospital. Dr WALL depose that he had made a post mortem and found that death was due to the bursting of an aneurism into the windpipe, which produced suffocation. Verdict, "Died by the visitation of God."

Inquests held by Mr P. F.CURRY on Wednesday

On the body of Joseph THOMAS a flatman, who had been found drowned in the river, there being no evidence to show how.

On the body of John ROONEY, 2mths old who had been accidentally suffocated and overlain whilst in bed with his parents.

On the body of Mary BROUGH, aged 9, who got up early on Tuesday morning before her parents, whom she awoke by her screams, when they found her burned so severely that she subsequently died in consequence. She had set herself on fire accidentally.


Liverpool Mercury, Oct 11th, 1858

The following inquests were held on Saturday

On the body of Samuel NAPIER, 13 court, Bolton St, who died suddenly whilst in a fit on Friday, verdict, "Died by the visitation of God."

On the body of John DUNNETT, aged 27, a farm labourer, late in the employ of James HOLME, Eccleston, nr Preston. On Wednesday he was sent to the Vauxhall bottle works with a load of sand, and while he was doing something on the tailboard the horse backed and crushed him between the cart and wall, he died in the Northern Hospital of the injuries he received, verdict "Accidental death."

On the body of Peter THOMPSON, inspector of waggons of the Wapping railway station. About noon on Monday a number of waggons were being shunted on to a line, when an empty waggon in the way was struck, and coming rapidly to the deceased who had stooped to pick up a hammer, it knocked him down and passed over his leg and arm. He died at the Infirmary soon after, verdict, "Accidental death."


Liverpool Mercury Oct 14th, 1858

Yesterday Thomas GIBBONS, a labourer, was working at Mr CHALONER'S sheds, Brunswick Dock, when two logs of timber fell upon him, inflicting injuries so severe, that he died while being conveyed to the Southern Hospital

On Monday, John NAYLOR, aged 11, fell through the iron girders of the new railway bridge in course of erection in Raven St, St Helens, and sustained a fractured skull, besides having both arms broken, of which injuries he died shortly afterwards. The smoke from an approaching engine suffocated him and caused him to fall, verdict, "Accidental death."

On Tuesday afternoon Matthew CONNOR, aged 26 of 15 Perry St, Toxteth Park, while discharging deals from the ship JAMES McHENRY, in the Queen's Dock, was seized with a fit and fell from the stage into the water, his body was recovered about half an hour afterwards.

The following inquest were held on Tuesday :-

On the body of William HUNTER, aged 52, shipwright, of 58 Titchfield St, on 10th Sept deceased was working on board the steamer EUROPA, lying in the Sandon graving dock, when he had his right thumb severely crushed. He became gradually worse and died in the Northern Hospital on Saturday last, verdict "Accidental death."

On the body of John FLINT, aged 5, of 37 Salisbury St, on Monday last deceased fell in the street, his head hitting the kerb stone, he received a severe wound on the temple, which caused almost instant death, verdict "Accidental death."

On the body of Richard JONES, aged 27, a labourer, of 2 Kent St, and late in the employment of the Bridgewater Trust, who on the 30th September while at work, intoxicated, fell from the quay on to a flat's deck, a depth of 9ft. He was taken insensible to the Southern Hospital, but subsequently discharged. From that time until his death he was continually drunk, and occasionally labouring under delirium tremens. Jury found death was due to the fall, the injuries aggravated by excessive drinking.


Liverpool Mercury, Dec 18th, 1858

Yesterday a seaman named John STEEL, of Virgil St, yesterday fell into the hold of the steam-ship Tenerife lying in the Huskisson Dock. He was immediately taken to the Northern Hospital, where it was ascertained that he had sustained a fractured skull, not withstanding every attention paid to him he died last evening.

Fatal accident on the St Helens Railway

A platelayer named James STUBBS was killed near the Sutton station on the St Helen's railway on Sunday afternoon. He had been acting as breaksman, and at the time the accident happened he was fastening the coupling chains of a waggon to the tender. He called to the driver to go on at the same time endeavouring to get into the waggon by raising himself with his hands and placing his foot on the connecting rod, which unfortunately broke, and he fell between the rails. The tender passed over him, but the firebox of the engine being low caught him and crushed him to death. He leaves a wife and child.

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