Deaths and Inquests 1887

Liverpool Mercury Jan 27th, 1887

Coroner's inquests before Mr Clark ASPINALL, Borough coroner, Wednesday Jan 26th

On the body of James BURNS, aged 21, a dock labourer, who lived in a lodging house at Limekiln Lane. On Sunday the 2nd inst, a fellow lodger, going from the kitchen to the parlour, saw smoke issuing from the parlour door, he entered and found the deceased lying with his arms over a table, he was dressed in his shirt and trousers and his shirt was ablaze. The man with assistance tore off the burning shirt and called a policeman, the injured man was taken to the Northern Hospital by means of the ambulance, and he died there on Monday morning last. It was not known how his clothing caught fire, he was drunk at the time and there was a fire burning in the grate and a lamp on the table, an open verdict was returned.

On the body of Jane SIMPSON, aged 1mth, the daughter of Henry SIMPSON, a glass blower of 20 Robart St, the deceased was found dead in bed at the side of her mother on Monday morning, a verdict of, "Accidental suffocation" was returned.

On the body of Henry REECE, single, aged 31, a clerk, who had been for some time out of employment. He belonged to Liverpool but had no permanent residence here. He was found by the station master at Eccles Station in the general waiting-room on the 1st inst at 11pm, he having discharged a revolver into his mouth, from which he was bleeding. He was removed to a hospital and subsequently brought before magistrates. On Saturday last he was discharged from custody. He came to Liverpool and was admitted to the Royal Southern Hospital, but died the same night from haemorrhage consequent upon his injury, verdict, "committed suicide" but what the state of his mind was in at the time there was no evidence to show.


Manchester Times, Feb 5th, 1887

Warehouse fire in Liverpool

It was reported on Saturday morning that PC Richard Frederick RICHARDSON [295], one of the firemen extinguishing the flames at the cotton warehouse fire in Duke St, Liverpool on Friday, had been killed by the falling of one of the walls.

RICHARDSON who had been energetically at work at the fire was missed later on in the day, but at the time it was thought he had left duty. As he was not seen or heard of for some time , and his wife coming down to inquire about him, great anxiety was felt as to his safety, and it was then conjectured that he had been buried by some of the falling debris. The conjecture unhappily proved true, his dead body being found in the ruins on Saturday


Liverpool Mercury, Feb 24th 1887

Drowned in the Great Float

Yesterday an inquest was held at the Queen's Hotel, Birkenhead, before Mr H. CHURTON, coroner on the body of Mary HALL, aged 74, wife of Thomas HALL, a labourer of 12 Havelock St. The deceased had been drinking on Monday evening, on Tuesday morning she got out of bed at 4am, and nothing further was heard of her until her body was found in the Great Float during the forenoon of the same day. Verdict, "Found drowned."

Suicides at Birkenhead

Yesterday an inquest was held at, Birkenhead, before Mr H. CHURTON, coroner on the body of John Parkin NEWBOULD, hairdresser, Market St, aged 60, who committed suicide on Tuesday morning by swallowing a quantity of carbolic acid. On Monday evening deceased called at the shop of Thomas FORE, druggist, Market St, and purchased a small bottle of carbolic acid, representing that he wanted it for the purpose of curing whooping cough. After being out of bed a short time on Tuesday morning he swallowed some of the poison and was soon a corpse. It was stated the deceased had for some time been in a depressed state of mind through loss of business. Verdict, "Committed suicide whilst in a state on temporary insanity.

An inquest was also held on the body of Thomas M'WATT, draper, Conway St, aged 47, who committed suicide by hanging himself on Tuesday morning to the staircase in his own house. The deceased's widow, said that owing to the depression in the trade, he had been unable to pay his creditors, and had been in a desponding state for two or three years. Verdict, "Committed suicide whilst in a state on temporary insanity.


Liverpool Mercury, May 18th 1887

The "Rusk" case

At last weeks meeting of the Watch Committee the Head Constable furnished a report as to the death of a man named RUSK, who had been lodged in Walton Jail under a School Board warrant. Inspector CHURCHILL, who prepared the report says :-

"With reference to the apprehension by Warrant-officers WINDSOR and DURKIN for non-payment of 26s due on Industrial School warrant of a man named John RUSK of 85 New Hedley St, who subsequently died whilst undergoing 10 days imprisonment at her Majesty's Prison Walton, it appears that shortly after 11pm on the 13th April last the officers went to the above address, having previously called on several occasions [six times at least] during the daytime without success. They found John RUSK lying on a sofa in the kitchen with his ordinary day clothes on, his face and hands dirty as if he had been working. In reply to WINDSOR, both RUSK and his wife stated they could not pay the money, and Mrs RUSK said, "You cannot take him he is sick" WINDSOR asked if they had a prescription or certificate to prove the statement, but neither could be produced. The officers had known RUSK for a long time, having often locked him up by warrant. He was a sallow delicate looking man, and seeing nothing unusual in his appearance WINDSOR said he would have to lock him up, and told him to put on his boots. Mrs RUSK said, "He has no boots to put on I had to pawn them today" RUSK then asked his son James, 19 years old, to lend him his boots, but the son refused to do so. RUSK walked quite readily to Athol St, Bridewell, accompanied by both officers and his wife, against whom they also had to warrant for non-payment of a fine for "preventing" her daughter's attendance at Bond St, Day Industrial School. Inspector M'CONCHIE was visiting the bridewell at the time, but no complaint was made either to him or Sergeant SAVAGE, who was in charge. RUSK and his wife were locked up in the usual way, and in due course were conveyed per van, to the main bridewell, where, on the following morning, RUSK was seen by Dr CAVANAGH, medical officer for the main bridewell, at the request of Mrs RUSK, but he had not made any complaint of being ill himself. Dr CAVANAGH made an entry in the "doctor's book" to the effect that he was suffering from bronchitis, and fir for jail. That afternoon he was sent per van, to H. M. Prison Walton, where he died on the 20th April. An inquest was held by Clarke ASPINALL, Esq, coroner J.P, on the 22nd April, at which the case was very fully investigated"

The report adds that at the inquest, "both doctors concurred in saying that the circumstances of the deceased's apprehension played no part whatever in his death."


Liverpool Mercury, June 25th, 1887

Funeral of a Liverpool Policeman

The remains of William HARRISON, aged 28, city police constable 791, who lived in Priest St Liverpool, and who died suddenly last week, were, on Wednesday, conveyed to Bowness, Windermere, where the funeral took place. The deceased who was a native on Bowness, had been 5yrs in the city police force, and was highly respected by his companions. He was considered a first-rate officer. Sergeant HIGGINS on behalf of the constables of C. Division, with which the deceased was connected, forwarded two beautiful wreaths to be placed on the coffin.


Liverpool Mercury, August 17th, 1887

Coroner's inquests, Tues Aug 16th, before Mr Clark ASPINALL, Coroner of Liverpool

On the body of John DALEY, aged 41, of 21 Chelmsford St, Kirkdale. Deceased had formerly been a cartowner, and been in business as a marine store dealer, but had latterly been working as a porter. On Saturday he went home drunk and refused to go to bed, but lay on the sofa when his wife retired to rest. Mrs DALEY went downstairs two or three times during the night to see that her husband was all right. At 9am on Sunday she found him lying with his face downwards, and life was extinct. The medical evidence was to the effect that death was due to suffocation whilst under the influence of drink, verdict was returned to that effect.

On the body of John JOHNSON, aged 61, a blacksmith's striker, lately residing in Chester. On Sunday morning he was found lying on his back in London Rd, by two constables, who conveyed him to Warren St, Bridewell, believing him to be under the influence of drink. He was, examined by the police surgeon, who found him to be in such a weak condition that he ordered his removal to the Workhouse Hospital, where he died on Monday morning, hid death was attributed to chronic heart disease, bronchitis and general debility. A verdict of, "Died from natural causes " was returned.

On the body of Walter SWINSCOE, aged 13wks, whose parents reside at 5 Copley St, Everton. The deceased was found dead in bed by its mother's side on Sunday morning, the father being in the same bed. The evidence did not show any irregularity in the conduct of the parent. Verdict, "Died from suffocation."

On the body of Charles ROSE, aged 35, lately a member of the city police force. ROSE went off duty on Sunday night apparently in the best of health, went home, and retired to bed at 10.30pm, and remained reading in bed for about an hour. He then went to sleep and his wife was aroused early on Sunday morning by him making peculiar noises, she endeavoured to rouse him but failed, and he shortly afterwards rolled out of bed and died before medical aid could be procured. A verdict of, "Died from natural causes" was returned, medical evidence showing he had been affected with heart disease.

On the body of James GRAHAM, aged 23, lately a constable of the city police force. PC Thomas GRIFFITH [144] deposed that the deceased had been in the force about 15mths, he and the deceased did duty on adjoining beats in Scotland Rd. About 10-30pm on Wednesday, inst, witness saw a crowd in Scotland Rd, near St Martin's Market. He went to the spot and there saw the deceased holding a soldier named MURPHY, who had his belt off and appeared to be in the act of striking the officer. Witness, however, prevented the blow being struck by seizing the soldier's arm. A comrade of the soldier, named HANNAH, was endeavouring to rescue him. The prisoner "butted" the deceased with his head, then threw himself down and kicked both constables about the legs. Witness blew his whistle in response to which other constables came to their assistance and both the soldiers were removed to the Bridewell. The soldiers were "booked" for drunkenness and riotous conduct, and the next day were convicted before the magistrate for these


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