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Title: Official Transcript of the Seddon Trial Author: Edgar Wallace * A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook * eBook No.: 1400151h-01.html Language: English Date first posted: Jan 2014 Most recent update: Jan 2014 This eBook was produced by Roy Glashan. Project Gutenberg of Australia eBooks are created from printed editions which are in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright notice is included. We do NOT keep any eBooks in compliance with a particular paper edition. Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this file. This eBook is made available at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg of Australia License which may be viewed online at http://gutenberg.net.au/licence.html To contact Project Gutenberg of Australia go to http://gutenberg.net.au
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The Attorney-General (Sir Rufus D. Isaacs, K.C.V.O., K.C., M.P.), Mr. Muir, Mr. Rowlatt, and Mr. Travers Humphreys prosecuted; Mr. Marshall Hall, K.C., M.P., Mr. R. Dunstan, and Mr. J. Wellesley Orr defended F. H. Seddon; Mr. Gervais Rentoul defended M. A. Seddon.
Police-constable Percy ATTERSALL, 266 E, proved plans for use in the case.
ROBERT ERNEST HOOK, engine driver, St. Austell, Cornwall. I knew Miss Barrow since 1896; she was then staying with my mother at Edmonton. On my mother's death in 1902 Miss Barrow went to live with my sister, Mrs. Grant, at 43, Roderick Road, Hampstead. I was then living there. In October, 1906, I knew that Miss Barrow had money in her possession; I helped her to count it; it was loose coins, and these were put into bags; altogether there was £420 put into bags; besides this gold there were banknotes; the coin and notes she put into a cashbox. On Mrs. Grant's death in November, 1908, Miss Barrow went to live at 53, Wolsley Avenue, with Mr. and Mrs. Kemp. She then went to live with a cousin, Frank Vonderahe, at 31, Hampstead Road, and continued there till July 26, 1910, when she moved to 63, Tollington Park. On the same day I and my sister took rooms at the same address. My sister died, leaving two children. Ernest and Hilda. Ernest continued to live with Miss Barrow; Hilda was sent to an orphanage at St. Margaret's. Ernest was then about eight years old. At 63, Tollington Park the arrangement with Miss Barrow was that my wife and myself should live rent free, my wife to teach her housekeeping and cooking. After the first time I saw deceased with money in her cashbox I next saw the cashbox at 31, Evershot Road; I saw it there on three different occasions. I also saw it on half a dozen occasions at 63, Tollington Park. In it there were bags containing each £20 in gold and some banknotes underneath the tray. At 63, Tollington Park, Miss Barrow had four rooms on the top (second) floor, two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a room unfurnished. My wife and I occupied the back bedroom. Ernest slept with Miss Barrow. My wife and I went there on the Tuesday before August Bank Holiday and left after a fortnight. On the Saturday before we left Miss Barrow and I went for a walk; we had a talk about the compensation for her public-house. She and I were always on good terms On the Sunday my wife and I and Ernest went to Barnet. Returning at six o'clock we found Miss Barrow was up; I had a friendly conversation with her. At ten that night Maggie Seddon brought me a notice to leave signed by Miss Barrow; I sent it back to her with a reply Later I saw Seddon; he said, "I see you do not mean to take any notice of Miss Barrow's notice to leave"; I said, "No, not this time of night"; she then told me I must clear out within 24 hours; he said that Miss Barrow had put all her affairs in his hands. I asked him if she had put her money in his hands; that seemed to surprise him; he said, "No." I said, "I will defy you and a regiment like you to get her money in your hands." He said he did not want her money, but he was going to look after her interests. At half past one in the morning I heard a rapping on my door and saw Seddon. He said, "You will go out of here to-morrow morning." He had tacked on my door a notice, ordering me to leave within 24 hours, signed "F. Seddon, landlord and owner." I left at ten the next morning. I called there the following day with my brother. I have seen a will of Miss Barrow's; I saw it in her box on many occasions and also in her hand, the last time at 31, Evershot Road. Her habits with regard to money were very close and careful; she did not spend much.
Cross-examined by Mr. Marshall Hall. After leaving 63, Tollington Park in August, 1910, I did not see Miss Barrow again. In November, 1911, I saw an account of the inquest, and I wrote to Chief Inspector Ward. I have been in the Army; in South Africa I had enteric fever, not very badly. I am 40 years old, about ten years younger than Miss Barrow was. She was no relation of mine; we had teen sweethearts. When she was living at my mother's house I saw her with a large sum of money. I first saw the cashbox at Mrs. Green's house. I do represent that Miss Barrow kept as much as £420 in gold besides notes in her cashbox. I knew that she had a deposit account at the Savings' Bank. I did not know that she also had an investment account. It is not true that my sister (Mrs. Grant) died of excessive drink; she did drink to excess. In 1906 I counted for Miss Barrow the money in the box; there was £420; I know the box could hold it, because I saw her put it into the box as I counted it. I helped to move from the Vonderahes to 63, Tollington Park, the move taking place between four and five. Creek helped me to load and unload; it was his cart. I carried the cashbox in my hand; it was covered up in an old apron and put in a brown handbag. I took the bag in the first instance to Evershot Road to put the cashbox in. The moving was not finished by five. I am certain we did not go into a public-house on the way while Miss Barrow held the horse's head; we stopped nowhere on our way. I had the bag in my hand the whole way. When we arrived there Creek brought in the chest of drawers; I gave the bag to Miss Barrow and she put it into the bottom drawer. I am certain she was the sort of woman who would keep gold of that amount in the house. I married on February 7, 1909. When I and my wife went with Miss Barrow to Tollington Park my wife was to give her lessons in housekeeping and cooking, and we were to have rooms rent free. She lent me 30s. to pay the expenses of moving my furniture and her's to Tollington Park. I exchanged some furniture with her, she giving me £3, the difference in value; this was about July, 1909. I was very hard up all this time. She was an old sweetheart of mine, and we were very great friends. It was a matter of importance to me that I should have these rooms rent free. She was not eccentric or bad-tempered. I did not think very badly of Seddon; I told him if he interfered with her money he would be in a rough corner. I warned her against him, and told her not to let any of her money go into his safe. I wrote her on August 8, 1910, in answer to her letter giving me notice because I had treated her badly. "As you are so impudent as to send' the letter to hand I wish to inform you that I shall require the return of my late mother's and sister's furniture and the expenses of my moving here and away." I knew she was very fond of Ernie and she would worry a lot if he went away from her, but that was not why I added this postscript, "I shall have to take Ernie with me as it is not safe to leave him with you"; I wrote that to save a lot of trouble; I knew her letter had been dictated by Seddon; he had got her under his thumb and she was likely to do anything, and I did not know what would become of the boy; it was meant for her to consider that notice. Between leaving the house and her death I never warned the Vonderahes or anybody that it was her money that Seddon was after; I went to Cornwall instead. I told Mr. Shepherd and another man about it. I never expected she would leave me her money. I knew it was no good seeing the Vonderahes, the nearest relatives, about it because they were just as helpless as I was. It was a pure delusion on her part that I had treated her badly. On the night she wrote me the letter she was crying because I had taken my wife and the boy out and left her. The furniture that I sold her belonged to my sister; I sold it to pay the quarter's rent for Hilda at the St. Margaret's Orphanage. It is not true that since my fever in South Africa a little drink makes me very excited. I do not know whether I am quick-tempered or not. I never frightened Miss Barrow or got excited with her. When shown a piece of jewellery at the police court I said I would not swear that it had belonged to Hilda; afterwards I said it did not. I identified this watch at once as belonging to Miss Barrow; I said I saw no difference in it. It had originally a white face and it has a gold face now. I never knew when I identified it that it had a white face; I did not turn the face up to have a look at it. I did look at the face. I know I had said before somewhere that I told Seddon it would take a whole regiment like him to get her money from her. I had no grounds to go to the police to inform them of the position between the Seddons and Miss Barrow.
Cross-examined by Mr. Rentoul. I do suggest that Mrs. Seddon tried to influence Miss Barrow against me; I have never had the question put to me before; I have not changed my mind as to it.
Re-examined. I was always on good terms with Miss Barrow when I lived with her. The distance from Evershot Road to Tollington Park would be, I think, from 50 to 80 yards. There was not a public-house the way we went. I made a statement on December 10. On November 25 I received an account of the inquest and put myself into communication with the authorities.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. We did not go and have a drink when the van was loaded and we were about to start.
FRANK ERNEST VONDERAHE, 160, Corbyn Street, Tollington Park. I formerly resided at 31, Evershot Road, leaving there in the June quarter of 1911. Deceased was my cousin; when she died she was 49 years old. She came to Jive with us in the early part of 1910 and remained 11 months, when she went to 63, Tollington Park. Ernest Grant lived with her and she paid us 35s. a week for her and the boy's keep. She was very kind to him. She had rather peculiar ways with her; she dressed rather poorly for her position. I knew she had £1,600 Three-and-a-Half per Cent. India Stock, rentals from the "Buck's Head" public-house, £105, and a barber's shop adjoining, £50, and she had, I believe, over £200 in the Finsbury Savings Bank. I saw on one occasion her cash box (Exhibit 2) open and in it there were what I took to be some bags of money and likewise a roll of banknotes, which were at the bottom below the tray. The bags were the same sort and colour that you get from the Bank containing £5 worth of silver. When on July 26 she went to 63, Tollington Park she took some furniture; I had nothing to do with the removal. I presume she took the cashbox. She left because she' got dissatisfied. I saw her several times subsequently in the Stroud Green Road and Tollington Park. I spoke to her; we were on friendly terms. I never went to see her at No. 63. I last saw her alive on August, 1911, in Tollington Park. About the commencement of November in the presence of Dr. Willcox, Dr. Spilsbury, and my brother I identified her dead body. On moving to Corbyn Street I gave notice of change of address to the post office and I have had letters delivered to my present address which had been addressed to Evershot Road. I never received a letter from male prisoner on or about September 14; I never received this letter addressed to me at 31, Evershot Road: "Dear Sir, I sincerely regret to have to inform you of the death of your cousin, Miss Eliza Mary Barrow, at 6 a.m. this morning from epidemic diarrhoea. The funeral will take place on Saturday next about one to two p.m. Please inform Albert Edward and Emma Marion Vonderahe of her decease and let me know if you or they wish to attend the funeral. I must also inform you that she made a will on the 11th inst. leaving what she died possessed of to Hilda and Ernest Grant and appointed myself as sole executor under the will. Yours respectfully, F.H. Seddon." I had a son who attended the same school as Ernest Grant. I had no notice of the deceased's burial; the first I knew of her death was on September 20 by inquiring at 63, Tollington Park; I had had some information given to me. On September 20 I saw a person whom I now know to be Mary Chater. (Mr. Marshall Hall stated he did not object to evidence being given of the conversation which ensued.) I asked to see deceased, and she said, "Don't you know she is dead and buried?" I said, "No, when did she die?" She said, "Last Saturday, but if you will call about nine o'clock you will be able to see Mr. Seddon and he will tell you all about it." My wife and I called about 9.10 p.m., but we did not see him. My wife saw him the following day. On October 9 (I had not tried to see him before) I called with a friend, Thomas Walker, and saw him and has wife. I had never seen him before. He seemed to know who I was. He said to me, "Mr. Frank Ernest Vonderahe?" I said, "Yes." Turning to my friend, he said, "Mr. Albert Edward Vonderahe?" I said, "No, a friend of mine, my brother not being well enough to come." He said, "What do you want?" I said, "I have called to see the will of my cousin, and also to see the policy." He said, "I do not know why I should give you any information. You are not the eldest of the family. You have another brother of the name of Percy." I said, "Yes, but he might be dead for aught I know." He said, "I do not think so, but if so, you will have to swear an affidavit before a magistrate that he is dead. You have been making inquiries and talked about consultin a solicitor. It is about the best thing you can do." I said, "Who is the owner of the 'Buck's Head' now?" He said, "I am likewise the shop next door. I am always open to buy property. This house I live in, 14 rooms, is my own, and I have 17 other properties. I am always open to buy property at a price." I asked him how it was that ray cousin was buried in a common grave when she had a family vault at Highgate. He said, "I thought it was full up." I said, "Who bought the India Stock?" He said, "You will be able to write to the Governor of the Bank of England and ask him, but everything has been done in a perfectly legal manner through solicitors and stockbrokers. I have nothing to co with it." He said he had bought the "Buck's Head" and the barber's shop in the open market. As I was leaving I said, "How about this annuity? What did she pay for it?" He said, "Taking into consideration your cousin's age and if you inquire at any post office, you will find she paid at the rate of 17 for one, and she had an annuity of £3 a week." He did not tell me by whom she was paid the annuity and I did not know. I learnt of the annuity from the letter he sent to my wife dated September 21 (Exhibit 3): "To the relatives of the late Miss Eliza Mary Barrow, who died September 14th inst. at the above address from epidemic diarrhoea, certified by Dr. Sworn, 5, Highbury Crescent, N. Duration of illness 10 days. As executor under the will of Miss Barrow, dated September 11, 1911, I hereby certify that Miss Barrow has left all she died possessed of to Hilda and Ernest Grant, and appointed me as sole executor in trust until they become of age. Her property and investments she disposed of through solicitors and stockbrokers about October, 1910, last, to purchase a life annuity, which she received monthly up to the time of her death. The annuity died with her. She stated in writing that she did not wish any of her relatives to receive any benefit at her death. She had simply left furniture, jewellery, and clothing." It is signed "F.H. Seddon, Executor." I did not see him again until the inquest. After this interview I communicated with the Director of Public Prosecutions. I know for a fact that the family vault at Highgate is not full up. When I said I had come so see about "the policy" I meant the annuity that he had referred to in the letter.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. Miss Barrow was not under the impression that the vault was full up; I did not speak to her about it during her lifetime; she had the proof of the grave. Hook came to visit her several times when she was with us. He was not always short of money; I daresay she gave him money; I cannot say that I knew he took the furniture from Mrs. Grant's house when Mrs. Grant died. I know he sold some to deceased, and I presume it was his to sell. The bags were in the two compartments of the tray of the cash box. I see you cannot shut the box if the lids are open; the lids were practically shut, but slightly up, when I saw the bags. There were some few bags underneath as well: I am aware I have not said that before; I was confused when I was giving evidence before. I saw the tray out for a few seconds. There might have been a leather purse underneath, but I could not swear to it. The cashbox is a very old one, I believe; it has a common lock upon it. I am no judge of cash boxes or tin boxes.
Deceased once spat in my wife's face; she had very peculiar ways. After the last Budget she was very much worried about the Compensation Clause and she consulted me about her liability for the "Buck's Head." I drafted a letter for her on March 24, 1910, to the brewery solicitors. I will not swear that this letter (Exhibit 125) suggesting that she should be allowed to make certain deductions in respect of that property is the one; I cannot swear it is in my handwriting; I cannot recollect writing it; I will not swear that I did not tell male prisoner she had consulted me. (The witness on being asked gave a specimen of his hand writing (Exhibit 126.) Deceased did not have a little bit of a quarrel while she was with us. This document, dated March 27, 1911 Exhibit 7), is very much like her handwriting; I have never seen it before. I should say that deceased saying we had been unkind to her was a delusion; there was no foundation for it. I should not have been surprised if she left us none of her property; she was such a peculiar woman and she might leave it to a perfect stranger. She wanted to know the reason why the licensing duties were increasing each year and she seemed worried about it. She did not consult me about the proposed taxation on land; she might have mentioned it at the time it was going on. She did not tell me that a friend of hers, a Mrs. Smith, had bought an annuity. I know Mrs. Smith was in receipt of an annuity about that time. I remember the day of the removal, but I could not say what time it took place as I was not there. She kept her cashbox in a trunk, which, I suppose, was moved with the other things. When I saw her subsequently in the street she did not meet other people that I know of. Sometimes she would get offended over nothing and not speak to people for a week at a time. I did not see Hook again after he left 163, Tollington Park. He knew my address. I never had any communication from him. About three or four days (it may have been more, more than a week) before September 20 I heard from my boy, who was attending the same school as Ernie, that Ernie was ill, and then afterwards we heard that deceased was ill, but it was only hearsay. My wife told me after she had seen prisoner on September 21 that Seddon had told her he was going away for a holiday for a fortnight and would see me when he came back. I remember just before October 9 Ernie coming round and saying that Seddon was back and could see me. When I went round on October 9 I did not say I had come round to know about Miss Barrow's will "and the annuity." I am quite sure that deceased never told me when I met her out that she had bought an annuity. I agree I did not say before the magistrate that he wound up by saying, "I have nothing to do with it," but, as I said before, I had never been in a court before and I was very ill at the time and I got confused. Seddon and I parted on good terms. I never had an interview with the Public Prosecutor. I said nothing about arsenic to him. When I saw deceased last time she was quite well, only she complained of the heat. I know she consulted Dr. Francis and Dr. Paull in her time. I know that Jarman, a cheesemonger at Crouch Hill, was in the habit of changing dividend warrants for her; Mrs. Vonderahe always went with her. I have never changed a bank note in my life for her; nor did my wife to my knowledge. I remember when Margaret Seddon brought a message round, but the door was not shut in her face; my wife told me in the evening that a girl had been round and asked if there were any letters for deceased and she had said "No." She was not treated discourteously. I did not resent deceased having left us. On one occasion there was a death at my house, and there was an inquest and burial. Deceased knew of this.
Re-examined. Dr. Francis attended her when she was living at Lady Somerset Road shortly before she came to live with us. On two nights previous to calling on the Seddons on September 20 my wife and I were passing their house and we saw all the windows of her apartments wide open, which was unusual; we had heard from our son that she was ill.
JULIA HANNAH VONDERAHE. I am the wife of the last witness. After deceased left our house I used to meet her sometimes in the street at various places; we were on quite friendly terms. The last time I saw her was towards the end of August in the street. I first heard of her death from my husband, and the same night I went with him to 63, Tollington Park. We did not see prisoners. The next morning I went with my sister-in-law, Mrs. Albert Edward Vonderahe. Miss Seddon opened the door. We were shown into the sitting-room, where we waited some time. Prisoners then came in. Mr. Seddon turned to my sister-in-law and asked her whether she was Mrs. Frank Vonderahe. I said, "No, I am." He then handed me this letter, dated September 14, which I read. He asked why didn't we come to the funeral, and I said I had had no letter or I would have come, and I must go to the post-office and inquire why we did not receive the letter. I had never received any letter like that. About that time I had this business letter (produced) redirected from 31, Evershot Road to my present address; I got it on September 16; it is dated September 14. It has on the envelope "not known" and my present address. (The post-mark had been taken off.) He also showed me Exhibit 3, a copy of the will (Exhibit 4), and a memorial card (Exhibit 5), which he put into an envelope and gave to me. I did not had much conversation with him; while I was reading these he was talking to my sister-in-law. Just before leaving he said he had sent his daughter about a letter of deceased's and I had slammed the door in her face; I contradicted that. I asked him if he would see my sister-in-law's husband in the evening, and he said he was going away next day; he had wasted enough time and could not possibly see them. I said they would not detain him long, and he said he could not see them as he was going away for a fortnight. He said what a trying time they had had with deceased, how she had called them up and how he had gone up and told her she must not call them any more as they wanted their rest.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. I was there when deceased moved from our house to 63, Tollington Park; there was a cart and horse. There was nothing left behind that anybody came back for. As far as I can remember they started about midday and finished about three. She gave us a week's notice before she left; we had not exactly quarrelled but she had one of her moods on—not speaking to anybody. There was no cause for her leaving. I saw her pretty frequently out of doors subsequently. When I last saw her she had a bad cold, but otherwise she seemed all right. When Margaret Seddon called for letters I did not shut the door any quicker than usual that I can remember. I went with deceased several times to Jarman's to change dividend warrants. Once she spat in my face, but I took no notice; she was very excitable and irritable. The children took off the stamp from the envelope enclosing this letter (Exhibit 127) as they collect stamps.
Re-examined. I found the letter since I was examined at the police- court, and I thought it was the letter I had referred to in my evidence.
AMELIA BLANCHE VONDERAHE. I live with my husband, Albert Edward Vonderahe, at 82, Gelderston Road, Clapton. On September 21 I went with my sister-in-law to 63, Tollington Park, where I saw prisoners. I saw Seddon give her several documents in an envelope. Besides those, he read to me Exhibit 7. I said that the copy of the will which he produced was signed with lead pencil, and he said it was only a copy and he would not give us the original. I said, "Of course the original would be taken to Somerset House for probate?" He said he had been to Somerset House, but there was no probate required on a will of that description; he said he had the original in his bank for safety. I asked him if he wished us to understand that Miss Barrow had parted with all her investments (I mentioned the "Buck's Head" and the barber's shop) and that she had bought an annuity which had died with her. He said, "Yes, everything." I said whoever had persuaded her to do that was a remarkably clever person—and she was a very hard nut to crack if you mentioned money matters to her. He made no answer to that. I do not remember him saying who had granted her the annuity. He said that on the last night she was a vary great trouble to them; she sent Ernie down once or twice, but as his wife was worn out with waiting so much on her he had gone up himself; he had asked her what she wanted and he had given her some brandy, and had hoped that she would not trouble again as they were retiring to rest. He said the boy came down again after that and he went up again and gave her some more brandy (he did not say what time), and that he had left some brandy in the bottle, which was gone in the morning. I said I thought it was a great pity that she was buried in a common grave when she had a family vault at Highgate, but Mrs. Seddon said they had a very nice funeral; they did everything nicely. One of them said Ernie was at Southend. Mr. Seddon said he had no legal claim on the boy, but that he should always look after him; if the relatives could find a better home for him to go to he should let him go. We then left. Mrs. Seddon's only other remark was that she felt very ill through waiting on deceased and she was going to the doctor that day. In the early summer of 1910, when she was staying at Evershot Road, deceased showed me a gold watch, similar to Exhibit 121, attached to this gold chain (Exhibit 122). I saw a diamond ring similar to this (Exhibit 121) in her possession; the setting is precisely the same as when I saw it, because I remember remarking to her that it looked rather like a gentleman's ring; I cannot say about the size. I recognise this gold chain with a blue enamel pendant (Exhibit 123); she showed it to me.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. The first thing that Seddon said when he came in was, "Why didn't you answer the letter that I sent you?" I told him that deceased was strange at times—she was not responsible at times, and he said, "You could never get her to do anything if she did not want to do it." Everybody agreed that she was a difficult person to handle when it came to a question of money. She was very deaf. Ernie used to shout into her ear what people said. Everybody had to shout.
Dr. EDWARD HENRY GROVE, M. R. C. P., stated that Dr. Cohen, the coroner who took the depositions on the inquest, was unable to attend to give evidence.
WILLIAM DELL. On September 1 I went to live at 31, Evershot Road. Three days afterwards I received a circular addressed to a Mr. Vonderahe, whose address I did not know, so I wrote "not known" upon it and reposted it. I received no further letters.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. Mr. and Mrs. Hughes did not come to live with us until September 16. I should say that the words "Not known" are in my son's writing. I, my wife, and three children lived in the house; we kept no servant.
ELEANOR FRANCES DELL, wife of previous witness, corroborated.
STANLEY GEORGE DELL. I live with my parents. I remember receiving a letter addressed to a Mr. Vonderahe. I crossed the envelope (Exhibit 127) "not known" and reposted it.
Several witnesses were called to prove the possession by Miss Barrow of certain bank notes, and the dealings with them by the two prisoners. The witnesses were not cross-examined. At the conclusion of this block of evidence the Attorney-General summed up its effect as follows: "It is established that there were in all 33 Bank of England notes of £5 each, the proceeds of cheques of Truman, Hanbury and Co., in favour of Miss Barrow at various dates extending from 1901 to 1910. These 33 £5 notes have been traced as to each of them as the proceeds of one or other of the cheques received by Miss Barrow from Truman, Hanbury and Co. for the rent of the 'Buck's Head.' Of those 33, six are proved to have gone to the male prisoner's credit with his bank; one on October 13, 1910, the other five on January 13, 1911. As to the remaining 27 of the 33, nine of them are notes with endorsements in the name of Scott, of Evershot Road. Those nine appear in this way. Two of them are endorsed in the handwriting of the female prisoner on October 14, 1910; endorsed by her with the name of M. Scott, of 18, Evershot Road; six are endorsed in the name of Mrs. Scott, of 18, Evershot Road; one in the name of Mrs. Scott, of Evershot Road; the remaining 18 of the 33 are traced to Mrs. Seddon. The whole period covered during the dealing with these 33 £5 notes is from October 14, 1910, when both the male and the female prisoner are dealing with the notes, until August 23, 1911. That is the last date traced." Mr. Marshall Hall pointed out that all these 33 notes were dealt with before the death of Miss Barrow.
Witnesses were called to prove the transfer by Miss Barrow of £1,600 Three-and-a-Half per Cent. India Stock on October, 1910, from her name to that of Frederick Henry Seddon. On January 25, 1911, Seddon gave instructions to sell out, and a cheque was given to him for £1,519 16s. 0d.
ARTHUR DOUGLAS LAING, clerk, London County and Westminster Bank, Lothbury. On January 25, 1911, F. H. Seddon opened a deposit account with the payment in of £1,519 16s. On February 1, 1911, there was a withdrawal of £119 16s. On March 6, 1911, the balance with interest was withdrawn and the account closed. All the withdrawals were effected in notes and gold.
EDWIN RUSSELL, solicitor, of Russell and Sons, 59, Coleman Street, E. C. In January, 1911, my firm acted for the male prisoner in the matter of the assignment to him from Miss Barrow of her interest in the "Buck's Head" public- house and a barber's shop adjoining. Exhibit 11 is the assignment, dated January 11, 1911, the consideration being the payment by him to her of an annuity of £52 per annum, in monthly instalments. At the suggestion of my firm a solicitor, Mr. Knight, acted separately for Miss Barrow.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. Miss Barrow wrote us several letters, which showed that she took an intelligent interest in the transaction.
HENRY W. D. KNIGHT, solicitor, 22, Surrey Street, Strand. I acted for Miss Barrow in the matter of the assignment, and attended the completion on January 11, 1911. She was very deaf. I read the assignment to her and also handed her the document, asking her to read the material part, that relating to the charging of the annuity; she read it in my presence, and executed the document. Russell and Sons paid my costs.
JOHN CHARLES PEPPER, chief clerk, Finsbury and City of London Savings' Bank. Miss Barrow opened a deposit account with us on October 17, 1887; it continued until June 19, 1911, when it was closed by the withdrawal of the balance of £216 9s. 7d.; Miss Barrow came with another lady and drew out that amount in gold. There was a run on the Birkbeck Bank at that time. She took the gold in two bags of £100 each, and 16 loose sovereigns.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. On September 30, 1909, Miss Barrow opened an investment account with the payment in of £10; she withdrew that with interest on April 7, 1911.
ARTHUR DOUGLAS LAING, recalled. On Friday last this cashbox was brought to our bank, and I saw placed on the top of the tray two bags each containing £250; there was left space for as much again. Under the tray was placed a bag containing £150 in gold; there was room for another £300.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. The box is a common, ordinary kind of box.
ERNEST GRANT. I am ten years old. I knew Miss Barrow all my life; I used to call her Chicky. I went with her to live at Seddon's house. At first I slept with her; later I slept in a little room by myself. I went for a holiday to Southend, and when I came back Miss Barrow was ill and had to stay in bed; I again slept with her. The last night I slept with her she kept waking up; she asked me to call Mrs. Seddon. I did so, and Mrs. Seddon came up with Mr. Seddon. This happened several times that night. Eventually I went to my own bedroom, leaving Mr. and Mrs. Seddon with Miss Barrow; I never saw her again. She was always an affectionate and loving woman to me. The next day I went with two of Seddon's children to Southend and stayed at Mrs. Jeffery's house; I there first heard that Miss Barrow was dead. I remember the servant at the Seddon's house; I knew her as "Mary" I now know her as Mary Chater. She never waited on deceased. Before deceased was ill she and I had our meals together in her room; Maggie Seddon used to cook the things in deceased's kitchen before she was ill, but after she was ill Mrs. Seddon attended her throughout. I used to see her taking medicine; Mrs. Seddon gave it her. I never gave it her. I saw her take it herself only once, when she was ill, in the day time. It was left by the side of her bed for her; she used to turn over, reach out and get it; I have only seen her pour out herself once; I cannot remember how long it was before the last night this happened. Before I went away for the last time on this night I did not see any medicine given her. She sent me down for Mrs. Seddon more than twice that night; I cannot remember how many times; she only told me to go down and call her as she felt so ill; she told me to tell her that she had pains in her stomach. When she came up she made a hot flannel and, put it on her; I cannot remember if this happened the first time she came up; I do not think Mr. Seddon was there then. During part of that night she was badly sick more than once. After I had been sent down she got out of bed and sat on the floor; she did not say why. I cannot remember if she did that more than once. She said, "I am going," and sat on the floor; she seemed in great pain. She sat there until Mr. and Mrs. Seddon came up, and put her-into bed again. I used to see this cashbox (Exhibit 2) in a big black box. I have seen her put it on the bed and turn out gold from it on to the bed, and sometimes she used to count and sometimes she used to take one out. I cannot say how much gold she turned out. I noticed one bag inside the box, and I think I saw another one. I have seen her put money in the bag. I have also seen her come up from the dining-room with pieces of gold more than once; I cannot say how many times. She put them in the cashbox. I saw her last count the money just before she was taken ill before she took me to Southend.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. Mr. and Mrs. Seddon were very kind to her and she was very fond of them. I was much happier at their house than at the Vonderahes; they were very kind to me. When we all went to Southend we stayed a week-end. We came back together and I went back to school; I was at school all the time she was ill. When she was ill I slept with her nearly all the time. I remember about ten days before this last night going to my own bed. I cannot remember if she had a cup of tea in the morning when she was ill. Maggie used to bring the tea to her before she was ill. Miss Barrow used to go out and buy her own food and I used to go with her sometimes; I used to go out walks with her, too. She used to take me to and bring me back from school. I do not know how many nights I slept with her before the last night. I did not notice any nasty smell in the room. I remember the doctor putting up a sheet in front of the door and I remember smelling carbolic. The doctor gave her first of all a thick white mixture, which she would not take; it was not this medicine that Mr. Seddon gave her; it was the stuff like water—the medicine had to be put into glasses, which she liked. She found it difficult to breathe and I remember seeing her take little lozenges for that; I do not remember the kind of bottle she took them out of; I have never seen a bottle like this (produced) in her possession. I do not remember if she took lozenges out of doors. On the last night Mr. Seddon told me to go to my room to get some sleep, because I was woke up; that happened two or three times. Sometimes Miss Barrow got very cross with me. She was very deaf and you had to shout in her ear. I sometimes repeated what other people said to her. I do not think she got annoyed because I used to get up early and run round the room. I used to do that and she complained. Once she said she would throw herself out of the window because I annoyed her. She told me her relations had not been kind to her. I do not know how long I had been in bed on this night when she woke me up and told me to fetch Mrs. Seddon. It was very hot indeed about this time. I do not remember Miss Barrow saying anything about the flies. Flies were all over the place and I heard them talked about, I did not see any Mather's flypapers lying about. I cannot read much. I do not remember any things being got to kill the flies. I was in the room on the last night when she had to use something for her diarrhoea, but I do not think it was very often she did it. I used to go for walks with her in Tollington Park; we did not meet a good many people there; we used to meet Mrs. Vonderahe sometimes. Inspector Ward has been taking care of me. The bag that I saw in the cashbox was a paper one of a greyish colour; it was half full, I believe. The reason why Miss Barrow left the Vonderahes was because she did not like the way they cooked the food. She was very particular about her food. I remember when she was very angry with. Mr. Hook because he had taken me out for a walk and left her at home. She told them to go.
Re-examined. Mr. Seddon told them to go. I saw a flypaper at Mrs. Henderson's house at Southend; I do not know if that was the first time I had seen one. I never saw any flypapers in any room of the Seddon's house.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. The flypaper that I saw at Southend was a sticky one that flies stick to.
To the Court. Maggie never showed me a flypaper; I never saw a flypaper like this (Mather's).
ANNIE HENDERSON, Riviera Drive, Southchurch, near Southend. Before the August Bank Holiday of last year two of the prisoners' children stayed with me. Ernie Grant stayed with me from September 14 till the 28th.
LEAH JEFFREYS, Briary Villa, Southend. The first time prisoner came to me was on August 8 last year; he stayed till the 1st. Miss Barrow came in to meals several times and went away on the 8th, she seemed very well. The next time Mr. and Mrs. Seddon came with two daughters, and a baby, on September 22, and stayed till October 8. Ernie Grant came in several times to see them; he did not stay with me at any time. About September 22 Mr. Seddon asked him if he knew Miss Barrow was dead. The boy said, "No," and he said, "Oh, yes; she's dead."
MARY ELIZABETH ELLEN CHATER. I am now living at Crompton Terrace. For nearly 12 months I was a general servant to prisoners at 63, Tollington Park; 1 left last February. Apart from Mrs. Rutt, who came as a charwoman, no other servant was kept. I slept in the same room as Margaret and her youngest sister on floor below that occupied by deceased; prisoners slept on the same floor as I did, only my room was at the back. My room had a partition in it and on the other side of the partition, when I first went there, the two sons and the grandfather slept. Nobody slept on the top floor except deceased and Ernie Grant. Mrs. Seddon did the cooking; she cooked the food for her family in our kitchen downstairs. She and her daughter cooked deceased's food in her kitchen on the top floor. I never cooked any food for deceased; I had nothing to do with her. Deceased went away to Southend for a short time and on her return she was ill. Dr. Sworn came to see her; I used to open the door to him. From the time he came I never saw her downstairs; I think she always kept her room. During her last illness Mrs. Seddon cooked her food in the upstairs kitchen. I never saw any of the food thus prepared; I have never been into deceased's kitchen except once, when deceased was out one day before her severe illness. During her last illness I never saw any food prepared for her in the kitchen downstairs. I knew some Liebig's Extract and Valentine's Meat Juice came, but I never saw it prepared. I never went into deceased's bedroom.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. I did say before the magistrate, "She had light food during her illness. I saw them prepared downstairs"; I did not see Mrs. Seddon prepare it. (Three extracts from witness's depositions, in which she had stated that she had seen Mrs. Seddon prepare light food, such as Valentine's meat juice, milk puddings, etc., downstairs, were read.) I knew she was preparing them downstairs because I saw her taking them up to Miss Barrow. I am wearing a nurse's uniform because I used to be a nurse years ago; I have worn one since I came to London and before. My father was an inspector of nuisances at Rugby. I have a cousin Frederick; I do not know exactly where he is living; I wrote the other week to Nottingham, but I was told he had been left there five years. I understand from a letter I had that he has not been in good health. I do not know that he is now in an asylum. I swear I do not know that any immediate relative of mine is now in an asylum. My first employment was with a Miss Nicholson at Rugby; I was not with her until she died. I then went to a private hospital for incurables at Leamington and then to a large infirmary as a nurse at Brownlow Hill, where I stayed two months. I then went to Canada, where I stayed for 4 1/2 years as a nurse, in Quebec. On my return I boarded at a coffee house in Rugby until Miss Nicholson engaged me. I first took a situation as a general servant at Ferntower Road, where I stayed four months. I then went to a Home for Discharged Servants, and from there to a place in Highbury Place for a short time. I subsequently went to Dr. Day's, where I stayed nearly 12 months, and then I went to Kelross Road, and from there I started nursing again. I then went for 16 months to a hospital for mentally incurable cases as a nurse, and then I stayed it a registry office in Islington. I then went to Mrs. Page as a servant; I stayed there 10 months. I then went to 115, Queen's Road, where I stayed four months, returning to Mrs. Page, where I remained mother seven months. I was out of a situation for a time and in April, 1911, I went to the prisoners. I have made a considerable study of mental cases and medical works. I thought deceased war inclined to be asthmatical when I first saw her. I used to notice she had great difficulty in breathing. I never told her anything that was good for asthma. I have one brother. I do not know that he has been in a lunatic asylum 20 years; I was away from home, if that ii the case. Threats have never been made to inquire into my mental condition. My father knew Lord Leigh, because he used to be in the Warwickshire Battalion; I never knew him myself and I have not constantly talked about him as a personal friend of mine. My cousin Frederick never took any money from me, and I have never said that he did. Mrs. Magner never suggested whilst I was in her employ that I was not responsible for my actions. I did not break a lot of crockery before leaving 63, Tollington Park and say, "I'm going; they will arrest me next." Mrs. Harrington never complained that I was eccentric and incapable of doing my work. She always allowed me to wear a nurse's uniform. When with Dr. Day I did not break into violent fits of shouting, and say that people were after me; he did not say I was quite irresponsible. I know Mrs. Chater, of Rugby; her husband is my brother; I have stayed with her; I still say I do not know that my brother is in an asylum. Deceased always got up in the morning to see the boy to school. I have never seen the flypapers in the house. We had a great many flies, but nothing very extraordinary. I did not see the circular that the medical officer sent round. Miss Margaret used to wash up the things that came out of Miss Barrow's room when she first did her work; the latter part sometimes a cup and saucer used to come downstairs to be washed. I do not know much about preparing medicine. I did not tell Miss Barrow that arsenic was a very good thing for asthma; I never heard of such a thing in my life. This is my signature on the statement; Mr. Saint asked me that question, and I said not that I know of. I never saw Miss Barrow take little pills. I never saw her except when I answered the door to her; she used to come through the kitchen sometimes to go into the garden before they went to Southend, but she never sat with me. From the time I first saw her I thought she was in bad health: she was always resting when she came in, and she had diarrhoea and sickness constantly long before this illness. There was a dreadfully bad smell in the house during the last illness; they put up carbolic sheets. It is true I said before the magistrates: "Miss Barrow came down to the kitchen sometimes and sat a while. She sometimes interfered with me. I put that down to her illness. She was very irritable sometimes. I never quarrelled or had words with her She was not a heavy woman. She was not thin." Mrs. Seddon never complained of the way I did my work. I did not implore her to keep me on; I told her if she wished to dispense with my services I had an offer, Mrs. Barnett; I never spoke to her of my friendship with Lord Leigh. I have never seen a Mather flypaper before; I have heard of them; I swear I never saw one in any room of the house. Mrs. Seddon never complained to me that I was not responsible for what I said.
Re-examined. The longest time I have been in service as a servant was three years ago; I was for 16 months in Turrer Road, Tollington Park, with a Mrs. Roach; I was in Dr. Day's service nearly 12 months, and Mrs. Barnett, who engaged me afterwards, went to him 101 my character; that was the lady who wanted to engage me when I was with Mrs. Seddon. When applying for new situations I always referred to persons I had been with. (To the Court.) I never administered arsenic to Miss. Baraow, knowingly or unknowingly. (Mr. Marshall Hall stated that he did not suggest that witness had done it knowingly.) I made a statement to the prisoners' solicitor, Mr. Saint, at Mr. Seddon's house, after Mr. Seddon's arrest, and before Mrs. Seddon's. I gave him all the particulars of the situations I had been in.
WILLIAM SEDDON, 63, Tollington Park. I am father of the male prisoner. About the middle of last February 12 months I went to live at 63, Tollington Park. I slept in the back room on the ground floor. I had nothing to do with deceased in the way of waiting upon her. I never prepared or gave her any food or medicine. I saw her on two or three occasions during her last illness; one of the occasions was when I signed this will (Exhibit 31) as a witness on September 11; I saw her sign it. My son, my daughter-in-law, and myself were present. The other occasion was on a Wednesday, when going upstairs for some tools I saw her door open, and I went in and asked how she was. She said she was poorly, and I hoped she would get better soon. I only saw her twice in her room. On September 11 a married daughter of mine, Mrs. Longley, and her daughter, came to stay, and they stayed till after deceased's death. I went with them to different places of amusement. I went to deceased's funeral. Prisoner also went.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. I did not see the will actually made. She was very deaf. It was read to her, and she could not thoroughly understand it, and she asked for it and her glasses to read it with. She read it, signed it, and said, "Thank God, that will do." I went to get her glasses from the mantelpiece; I cannot remember seeing anything there; I did not look very minutely. She seemed perfectly sane altogether, and quite able to understand What was said to her. I did not go into her room again until the Wednesday that I have referred to. I noticed very often she was eccentric. Before this illness I understood she had been under a doctor; Mrs. Seddon advised her to go but she hesitated until at last she took her to Dr. Sworn, who attended her until her death. The weather was very warm indeed daring her last illness. I did not see the notice that the medical officer sent round about flies. There were plenty of flies knocking about both upstairs and downstairs; I cannot say if deceased ever complained of them. I have seen some of these Mather's flypapers in the house, I think—about August. I cannot say exactly whether they were wet or dry. I think I saw some; I am not certain. I cannot say exactly whether they were in a saucer. I went to the undertaker's with Mrs. Seddon and Mrs. Longley. Mr. Nodes's son was not there. They took a wreath and put it on the coffin lid. We got a woman to remove the lid, and Mrs. Seddon kissed the corpse.
MARY EMMA LONGLEY, wife of James Longley, superintendent, London and Manchester Industrial Assurance Co. I live at Wolverhampton. On September 11, with my daughter, aged 14, I came up to town on a visit to my brother, the male prisoner, at 63, Tollington Park. We stayed till the 18th. Every day we went to places of amusement with my father; my daughter always accompanied us except on the Monday. I stopped out every night until bedtime. The first night I arrived prisoners took me to the Empire, Fins-bury Park; that was the only occasion they accompanied us. On the night of September 14 I went out with my daughter, Mrs. Seddon and their son William. I had nothing to do with Miss Barrow during my stay.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. The blinds were all pulled down on September 14. On the Friday morning I inadvertently pulled them up, and Mrs. Seddon was quite annoyed. I remember going with her and my father to the undertaker's; she took a wreath. Mrs. Nodes was there but no young man.
CARL TAYLOR, assistant superintendent, Holloway District, London and Manchester Industrial Assurance Company. Prisoner was superintendent for my district. Every Thursday I went to the front room of the basement of his house, which he used as an office, to make up the accounts of moneys received by collectors; the collectors came there. On September 14 I arrived about 12.30 p.m., but I did not see him until 1.30. I worked with him all day. During the afternoon he complained that he felt very tired and that he had been up all night. I suggested that he should lie down for a couple of hours and he said he thought he would. This was something after four. He came back soon after five. The amount received in the industrial branch was £63 14s. 3d. The money was generally paid in in half gold and half silver and a few coppers. The last collector was out of the office certainly before 7. A little after 9 p.m. I was busy writing, when I heard the chink of money. I just turned my head, where I had a side view of prisoner's desk, and I saw several piles of sovereigns and a good little heap besides; at the time I estimated it at over £200. I should not say that was part of the collectors' money; the collectors' money when received was put in this till (Exhibit 28), which he kept in the cupboard, and at this time the till was in the cupboard. He packed these sovereigns into four bags and, holding three in one hand and one in the other, he faced me and Smith. He put the one bag in front of Smith and said, "Here, Smith, here's your wages." He picked it up again and put the four bags into the safe, which was alongside the fireplace—not the same place as where the till was put in. This plan (Exhibit 27) shows where we all sat. The collectors came in at the door in front of Seddon's desk, and they put their money on his desk.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. I have only known prisoner personally since last April and I had been coming every Thursday since that time. No money was brought in by the collectors on this day when prisoner was way. We were there till midnight. I did not go out at all between five and nine. At nine prisoner did not fetch the till from the cupboard, put it on his desk, and count the contents. I am quite prepared to say that the money I saw prisoner counting was not money from the till; I am positive. The collection sheet for the week shows £80, but then commission, salaries, and bonuses had to be paid out of that, so that the amount in the till was really about £50. I agree that I may be wrong in my estimate of the amount I saw, £200, because I have made an experiment since with the same kind of bags. I find four of those bags contain over £400. He said what he did to Smith as a joke. I never saw him the same as he was on that day. Smith said, "I only wish it was true, Mr. Taylor." When I gave my evidence before I knew that some £200 was missing; I read it in the papers. The amount that he was handling was not £100. Smith tried the experiment with me. I did not know the prisoner was in the habit of keeping a large sum of money in the house. The safe was a largish one. Prisoner did say that week that he was about £2 out in his cash. I do not think he said that the business was not as good as it used to be and they would have to decrease the staff; he told me that he expected he should have to do with one assistant superintendent, and if that was so he would have to decrease the staff by getting rid of some of the men. It was not in his power to dismiss me. He told me he would have to report it and apply for an exchange. The first thing that brought back to my mind this incident of the £200 was what I saw in the paper about the inquest.
Re-examined. Prisoner looked very weary and haggard; he told me he had been up all night.
JOHN CHARLES ARTHUR SMITH, Assistant Superintendent, Holloway District, London and Manchester Industrial Assurance Company About 12.45 p.m. on September 14 I went to 63, Tollington Park, and stopped till midnight. About 8.30 p.m. I noticed a large amount of gold on prisoner's desk—loose sovereigns and half-sovereigns; two bags had already been filled. There was about £100 loose gold on the table. I have experimented since. (Mr. Justice Bucknill told the witness that he must confine his answers to the questions.) I saw no silver or copper. Prisoner placed the gold into two more bags. He put one of the bags on my desk and said jokingly, "Smith, here's your wages." I said, "I wish you meant it, Mr. Seddon." He then placed four bags in the safe. He generally put the collector's money in a till; I had seen this money dealt with very nearly 12 months and he always did this.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. I first came into communication with the police last December. I drew the conclusion that the two bags I noticed already filled contained gold; I do not suggest that they actually contained gold. They were the ordinary light brown bags that the banks supply for £100 in gold; they are the same size as the 5s. silver bags. I know Maggie Seddon. I did not see her early in the afternoon in the street at the pillar-box and pat her back and say, "Good afternoon." I may have seen her in the office, but not out. After the inquest I went to see prisoner in the ordinary course of business. I did not say to him, "I remember seeing £100 in gold on the night I came in to check the receipts" and offer to give evidence at the inquest. I told him that I had an idea of a certain letter that he had written to the relations being posted.
Re-examined. Prisoner on this night said to me: "Fancy the relations have not been near and the funeral is to-morrow." On November 27 he sent me a postcard asking me to call on him. I went, and found him busy with legal documents relating to this case. He showed them to me, and as I was looking at them he rather took me off my guard; he said, "You remember me writing a letter to the relations." My mind went back to what he had said on this night, and I said I had a recollection of the letter being written. I had not seen him writing such a letter. I saw him writing letters that day, but I do not know for whom they were intended.
ALFRED HARTWELL, director, London and Manchester Industrial Assurance Company. Male prisoner has been in our employ since 1891; since 1901 he has been superintendent of collectors and canvassers of the North London District. Up to March, 1911, his salary was £5 5s. 0d. a week, and from March 25, £5 6s. In addition he was entitled to a commission on the ordinary branch of the business; the majority of the business is industrial on which he would get no commission. In the year ending March, 1911, his average weekly earnings were £5 16s., and from that date £5 15s. 10d. It was his duty to receive money from collectors every Thursday, And he would do this at his own house; they would deduct their commission before paying in, and he would pay them their salaries and procuration fees on new business. He would pay the balance into his own banking account and draw a cheque in the name of the managing director, Mr. Dawes, for the amount due to the company, less his own salary and commission. He had an allowance of 8s. 9d. a week for stamps and office rent, which he would also deduct. I produce the sheet relating to his collections for week ending September 14. Before deducting commissions he received £80 4s. 7 1/2 d., from which 18s. discrepancy had to be deducted; the total cash paid in therefore would be £79 6s. 7 1/2 d. From this would have to be deducted £15 12s. 3 1/2 d. commission, so he would have in his possession at one time £63 14s. 4d. for the industrial branch and £2 17s. 7d. for the ordinary. After paying new business fees and the salaries, including his own, he was left with £57 9s. 5d., which he could pay into the bank if he chose. It would be his duty to draw separate cheques for the industrial and ordinary branches, and he did so. The discharge of Smith or Taylor would not be in his hands; only a director could discharge anyone; he could recommend a discharge.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. There is no objection to an employe's wife carrying on a separate business as long as he did not interfere with it. I heard accidentally from prisoner about three years 'ago that his wife was carrying on a separate business.
Re-examined. It was a wardrobe dealer's.
MRS. LONGLEV (recalled, further cross-examined by Mr. Marshall Hall). My husband wrote to prisoner and asked him if he could put us up. He replied that the old lady in the house was ill, but if we liked to take "pot luck" we might come. I noticed a very bad smell in the house. My sister-in-law had a baby 12 months old. I saw Ernie twice; he was very delicate. He was in bed with Miss Barrow, and I said I thought it was not healthy for him, nor was it decent.
ERNEST VICTOR ROWLAND, cashier, London and Provincial Bank, Finsbury Park Branch. The male prisoner had an account at my branch. I produce Exhibit 35, a certified extract from the books of the bank showing his payments in and out in September, 1911. On September 15, 1911, £81 7s. 6d. was paid in in cash and £6 17s. 2d. in drafts. On the same day there was a further payment in of £7 16s. in cash. On September 16 there is a debit of a cheque drawn to the order of Dawes of £48 17s. 1d., and on September 18 another cheque to the same person of £2 17s. 7d.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. Of the £81 7s. 6d., £15 17s. 6d. was in silver, just over three ordinary bags full of silver. There were sums varying about £7 in cash paid in every week.
CHARLES JAMES ORASFIELD, assistant secretary, National Freehold Land and Building Society, 28, Moorgate Street, E. C. On November 27, 1909, we advanced male prisoner £220 on a mortgage of the lease of 63, Tollington Park. On September 20, 1911, he wrote us a letter (Exhibit 15) dated September 19, asking to let him know the exact amount required to date to pay off the mortgage. We replied the next day. The amount has not yet been paid. On September 18 we received from him an application (Exhibit 16) for three completed shares, £90, and on that date he purchased them, paying in cash £90 3s., the 3s. being the entrance fee. He was given this passbook (Exhibit 17) which shows that amount was paid in.
CLARA MAY COOPER, counter clerk and telegraphist, Finsbury Park Branch Post Office, 290, Seven Sisters Road. Exhibit 37 is a Post Office Savings Bank book in the name of "J. H. Seddon, 63, Tollington Park." On September 25 £30 was paid in; I am able to say that £25 of it must have been in gold, but I do not remember who paid it. (Mr. Marshall Hall objected to evidence as to the details of this payment being given on the ground that, there being no identification of the male prisoner, it was not evidence against him. He did not dispute that the "F. H. Seddon" mentioned was prisoner. Mr. Justice Bucknill stated that he would direct the jury that if that were the only fact in the case it was no evidence of guilt against prisoner, but he could not reject it as evidence of fact.) On September 15 I went on duty at 2 p.m.; the person whom I relieved handed me £10 in banknotes. I went off at 8 p.m. and I had £15 in banknotes, so I had not received more than £5 in banknotes from anybody. Between 2 and 8 this £30 was paid in, and therefore I am able to say that £6 of it may possibly have been in that form.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. The money that is paid in is kept in the same account as money that is paid out, but I am sure I did not payout any notes that afternoon. By the bankbook I see £43 17s. 9d. was paid out on November 27. That left £20 in the account.
THOMAS WEIGHT, jeweller, 400 and 402, Holloway Road. I knew male prisoner as a customer. On September 15 he brought this singlestone diamond ring (Exhibit 121) and said he wanted it made very much larger; it was a gentleman's little finger ring, but it might be used by a lady. He left the ring. Later that day he brought this gold watch (Exhibit 21) and said he wanted the name "E. J. Barrow, 1860," erased from inside of the back plate, which you can only get at by opening the watch, and he wished a new gold dial put in the place of the old white enamel one, which was very much cracked. Mrs. Seddon was with him on the second occasion. I did the commissions and on September 20 he came and I gave him the ring enlarged as it is now; I believe Mrs. Seddon was with him. On November 17, nearly two months after (there had been a delay because it is difficult to get a gold dial now) I delivered the watch to him. He paid for both. He had called several times between September 15 and November 17 for it. I had known him for quite a year.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. I believe on a previous occasion he had a diamond ring altered. I believe he took this ring (Exhibit 21) from his little finger, and he said he wanted it made to fit his third finger. At the same time he brought the watch he did not bring in a locket of Mrs. Seddon to have a stone put in. The enlarging of the ring would not in any way destroy its identity. I would give £4 for the stone.
Re-examined. That is about its value.
WILLIAM NODES, undertaker, 201, Holloway Road. I have a branch office at 78, Stroud Green Road. I have known male prisoner since about 1901 as an acquaintance; before this, in 1902, I had done one funeral business for bun. About 11.30 a.m. on September 14 he called on me at Stroud Green Road and said that a death had occurred in his house and he wanted to make arrangements for the funeral, which must be an inexpensive one; he said that an "old lady" or "old girl" had died. He said it must be inexpensive from the fact that he had found £4 10s. in the room, and that he would have to defray funeral expenses, and there were also certain fees due to the doctor. I suggested an inclusive funeral at £4 and he said 10s. would not cover the doctor's erpenses. I told him I would do it for him at £3 7s. 6d. to enable him to cover all expenses. This price would include the coffin, the carrige, and the fees in the cemetery. I told him what sort of funeral it would be. It was really a £4 funeral; it would mean a polished and ornamented coffin, a composite carriage, the necessary bearers, and the fees at the cemetery and the grave. I do not think I specified what kind of grave it would be. It would mean a public grave dug by the cemetery people who allow interments in it at a price which includes the use of the clergyman and the use of an earth grave; it is used for a number of persons not related in any way. Different graves vary in depth according to the locality in the cemetery, but live or six people would be buried in the same grave. I think it was distinctly understood that it would not be a private grave; I did not emphasise the fact that it would be a public one; I did not go into the details I have given now. I drove him that same day to 63, Tollington Park and measured the body of the deceased. There was a very bad smell in the room and I told him if he liked we would move the body at the same time as we brought the coffin. He said he would let me know during the day when he let me know about the day of the funeral; he could not fix that then, as he said he had somebody else to consult in the matter. About 4 p.m. he telephoned me saying that we might move the body when we brought the coffin and settling the day of the interment for Saturday. About 9.30 p.m. I removed the body to Stroud Green Road, and the funeral took place from there on September 16 at about 2 p.m. There were no instructions to send carriages for mourners, and none were sent. I was not present. No mourning coach went to 63, Tollington Park. I received the £3 7s. 6d. To Mr. Marshall Hall. It was certainly not a pauper's funeral. The number of bodies buried in a public grave depends upon the cemetery authorities. I suggested that the body should be removed because of the bad smell, and I knew there was a baby in the house, and also it would give them an opportunity of cleansing the room; there was nothing unusual in the body being removed in this way or the funeral starting from my place. I do not think it was as late as 5 p.m. when he telephoned me; I have a reason for saying so. It was he who suggested Saturday as the day for the funeral. If it had not been buried on that day Sunday would have intervened. It seemed quite reasonable considering the warmth of the weather and the state the body was in; there was nothing unusual in such a short time elapsing between dearth and burial.
Re-examined. This is an envelope (produced) which comes from my establishment. I cannot recognise the handwriting on the outside and inside.
WALTER THORLEY, chemist and druggist, 27, Crouch Hill. In the summer of 1911 a girl came to my shop with reference to some flypapers. I subsequently identified her at the police court. I know her name as Margaret Ann Seddon; I think her second name is Ann. She was about 15; it was the same girl who was addressed as "Margaret Seddon" in the presence of prisoners at the police court. She came on August 26.
Mr. Marshall Hall objected to the particulars of the purchase she made being given on the ground that it was not evidence against prisoner, there being nothing to connect them with it.
The Attorney-General submitted that he was entitled to get this evidence, it having been proved that the girl lived in the house of the prisoner at the time.
Mr. Justice Bucknill stated that on that being proved he thought it was clearly evidence, but he did not think there was any direct evidence that this was the fact; the mere fact that she was the daughter of prisoners was not enough.
M. E. CHATER (recalled, further examined). During the time I was a general servant there Margaret slept in the house; she cleaned the floors and did the kitchen upstairs and that kind of thing.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. She slept there every night during the whole time I was there. She went down to Southend, but I cannot say the date.
WALTER THORLEY (recalled, further examined). She purchased a 3d. packet containing six Mather's flypapers, the packet being similar to this (Exhibit 136). It has on the outside, "Mather's Arsenical Flypapers, to poison flys, wasps, ants, mosquitos, etc. Prepared only by the sole proprietors, Mather, Ltd. Poison. These arsenical flypapers can only be sold by registered chemists and in accordance with the provisions of the Pharmacy Act." On the flypaper itself there are instructions as to how they are to be used and then "Caution.— Remove the plate or dish beyond the reach of children and out of the way of domestic animals," and at the bottom "Poison." I do not keep any note of my sales. I think there is a large sale for these; we sold a large number last year. About a week before I gave evidence I was asked about this sale. On February 2, the day on which 1 gave evidence, I was asked to go to the court. I went and was asked to go into a room. I went in atone and found about 20 women and girls, from whom I identified Margaret Seddon.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. I cannot recollect seeing the girl that I sold flypapers to on August 26 between that date and February 2; I may have done. August 26 was a hot day, like the rest of that hot summer. I do not know that there was only one hour's sunshine that day. I cannot say the customers I served before and after her. I sold 16 packets altogether in August. I keep no record of the packets sold or the people I sell them to. I do not know theft under the Pharmacy Act I am required to keep a record; it is not usual to do so. I can realise that each paper contains three or four grains of arsenic. Mather's supply us with a book in which to keep a record, but I do not use it. I know Mr. Price, a chemist near me. I was fetched in a motor-car on February 2 by the police; but Mr. Price did not come in the same motor. I did not know that Margaret had tried to buy papers from him on December 6. I thought he was going to the police court about something to do with poisoning; I did not ask him anything about it. I had never talked this case over with him; I do not often see him. The police came to me in December and asked me if I had sold any flypapers about August or September; I knew they had been making such inquiries at all the shops in the heighbourhood. I did not tell them that I had no recollection of any purchase. I told them I had no record of persons I had sold them to. They asked me if I could identify anybody to whom I had sold any about that date and I said I did not know whether I could or not. They came to me a good many times, I think, but they never asked me to identify anyone until February 2. I say I can remember this girl buying the flypapers on that date because my invoices show that she had the last packet of a dozen that was ordered in. I do not keep a record of the last packet sold. She asked for four packets and I put them down to order in a book and told her we should have some more on Monday. She is a friend of my daughter Mabel; I did not know her as Margaret Seddon until I saw her at the police court. On two occasions she called to see my daughter and I opened the private door, but she did not come in. I could not identify anybody I did that to; I did—to so many girls; I still say that she is the girl who bought the flypapers and I am not confusing her with the girl I have seen at the private door. Before identifying her I had seen a picture of her in the illustrated papers, but I refused to identify her from that. It was not shown to me by the police for that purpose; I do not know whether they knew I had seen it. Margaret was not the only girl out of the 20 who had her hair down her back; there was at least one other. Her face was familiar to me.
Re-examined. I do not know prisoners at all. When Margaret first came she asked for flypapers. I said, "Do you want the sticky ones?" and she said, "No, the arsenic ones." I said, "Will you take a packet?" and she said, "I will take four." I had only one in stock and gave it to her, telling her I should have more on Monday. I made an entry in a book on that day. This is the reason I remember the transaction. The signature on the statement dated January 31 I gave to the police is mine. On February 2 I went down by myself in the morning to the police court in a motor-car and identified the gin and then went again that day in a motor-car with Mr. Price to prove the sale of the papers. When she came into the shop I had seen her before, but I did not know her name or who she was.
ROBERT JOHN PRICE, pharmaceutical chemist, 103, Tollington Park. On the afternoon of February 2 I went with Mr. Thorley in a motorcar to the police court.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. I do not remember that I had any conversation with him about what we were going to the police court for.
JOHN FREDERICK PAULL, M. R. C. P., 215, Seldon Road, Finsbury Park. I attended Miss Barrow, of 63, Tollington Park, first in November, 1910; she came to me. She was suffering from congestion of the liver, but it was nothing of any consequence; I only saw her once. She next came to me on August 1, 1911, with Mrs. Seddon; I think she had the same complaint, but it was nothing of any consequence; it would not prevent her going out. I gave her a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and carbonate of magnesia; it was sweetened and quite harmless. On August 3 she came again, I think with Ernie Grant; she was suffering from the same thing and I gave her the same medicine, which I dispensed myself. On August 17 she came again and I gave her the same medicine; I think she had Ernie Grant with her. She came again on August 22, again, I think, with Ernie. She complained of asthma and I prescribed bicarbonate of potash and nux vomica; on the previous occasion she had said nothing about asthma. It was very slight, and there was no necessity for her to keep indoors. The next time she came was on August 27; she brought Ernie. She was suffering from asthma; she complained of nothing else. I gave her some chloral hydrate; there was no need for her to stay at home. I next saw her on the 30th with Ernie Grant. She complained of asthma, but nothing else. I gave her some extract of grindelia. The asthma was of no consequence. I should not describe her as a person who was ill. I cannot say that I saw any attack of asthma; I treated her on the symptoms she told me she had in the night. She never complained of diarrhoea, sickness, or pain. On August 1 and 3 she complained of constipation. She never complained of rash or running from the eyes. I did not see her again after August 30. On September 2 between 6.30 and 8 p.m. Margaret Seddon came and wanted me to go and see her. I did not go.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. Congestion of the liver might produce a certain amount of colic pain. She was well nourished and rather inclined to be stout, if anything, slightly above the average. Asthmatic attacks are intermittent and are very often much worse at night when lying down. I accepted her story that she was suffering from asthma, I was busy when Margaret Seddon came and advised her to fetch another doctor. Mr. Seddon asked me to attend the inquest.
To Mr. Rentoul. Mrs. Seddon first brought her to me.
HENRY GEORGE SWORN, M.D., L.R.C.P., 5, Highbury Crescent. I have been family doctor to the Seddons for over ten years. On September 2 I was telephoned for to go to 63, Tollington Park; on arriving there I saw Miss Barrow; Mrs. Seddon was present. From the two women I learnt that Miss Barrow had on the previous day had diarrhoea and sickness. Mrs. Seddon told me that Miss Barrow had been ailing on and off for a long time, that she had had a liver attack and suffered from asthma. I enquired whether any other doctor had been attending her; Mrs. Seddon said yes, and that she had sent for him twice that day, but he had not called. I examined Miss Barrow; she had pain in the abdomen; she had been vomiting, and had diarrhoea. I prescribed for her bismuth and morphia. I saw her again on the 3rd, sometime before noon; she was still in much the same condition. I called again on the 4th; the diarrhoea and sickness had not stopped. I was not satisfied with her condition. Mrs. Seddon told me she would not take her medicine. I then gave her an effervescent mixture of citrate of potash and bicarbonate of soda prepared in two glasses, one of which is poured into the other. I told Miss Barrow if she did not take her medicine I should have to send her into the hospital. She was somewhat deaf, but understood me. The sickness continued, but the diarrhoea was not so bad. On the 7th, 8th, and 9th she was slowly improving. The abdominal pain had lessened from the 4th and I had dropped the morphia. As she seemed better I did not call on the 10th. On Monday, the 11th, she was still improving—suffering from weakness resulting from the sickness and diarrhoea; I ordered Valentine's meat juice, a little brandy, milk and soda water, and, later on, milk puddings. Her mental condition was never very good. Nothing was said about her making a will. She was quite capable of doing that if it was properly explained to her. On the 13th, in the morning, I saw her for the last time. The diarrhoea had come on again and some return of sickness. I gave a bismuth and aromatic chalk mixture. She was weaker. I thought she was in a little danger, but not in a critical condition. Any patient who had had such an attack would be in a serious condition and might die of heart failure. The pulse was weak—not intermittent. While I attended her the temperature was up to 101 deg. on one day; other days fairly normal, or a little up. The next morning, the 14th, at 7 a.m. Seddon came to my house; he said Miss Barrow had died at about 6 o'clock; that she was taken with a lot of pain in her inside and then she went off sort of insensible; that they had been up all night with her—I think that was all. I said, "I am going to give you a certificate," and wrote one: "Cause of death epidemic diarrhoea and exhaustion. Duration of illness, ten days"—that was a miscalculation, as I had attended her from the 2nd to 14th. There was no arsenic in any medicine I prescribed.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. Carbonate bismuth has been known to contain arsenic as an adulterant in minute quantity. If the patient had suffered from congestion of the liver since August it would produce severe choleraic pain. Miss Barrow appeared to me to have suffered from asthma; there was arterial tension. When I first visited her on the 2nd she had diarrhoea; Mrs. Seddon told me it had commenced the day before; the symptoms were consistent with that. When I said I should send her to the hospital she said that Mrs. Seddon could attend her very well and was very attentive; she seemed attached to Mrs. Seddon, who, as far as I could see, was very kind and attentive. The weather was very hot. A woman with her asthmatic tendency would get rapidly weaker; a main danger was heart failure. Thirst is a normal condition in cases of diarrhoea. On the 5th I heard she had been out of bed. I told Mrs. Seddon she was not to be allowed to get out of bed. I have never seen so many flies as there were in the bed-room. I put it down to the smell of the motions. I did not see any flypapers there. There were no signs of leaky or running eyes. I never thought her mental condition good, but, if matters were sufficiently explained, I thought, she could understand. On the 13th the chalk mixture was to be given after each motion—not to be continued. On that day I realised she was in danger. I was not surprised to hear that next morning she had died. Her pulse was weak, thin, compressible, and fast. I should not have expected Seddon to come round earlier than he did on the 14th—he did not ask for the certificate. There would have been no difficulty about my seeing the body had I wished. I had no doubt in my mind that she had died from exhaustion following epidemic diarrhoea. There was a great deal of epidemic, diarrnoea about at that time. In such cases there is always a danger of sudden relapse, accompanied by a comotose or unconscious state.
Re-examined. On the morning of the 13th I did not anticipate death within 24 hours; had I thought there was immediate danger I should have gone back to see her later in the day; but heart failure comes on suddenly in these cases; she was in that condition that I should not have been surprised if death had occurred ten minutes after I left. My expectation was that she might recover, but I was not surprised at the death. (To Mr. Marshall Hall.) The liability to heart failure is greater the longer the epidemic diarrhoea has gone on. (To the Judge.) Vomiting usually attends epidemic diarrhoea—it used to be called English cholera. I examined the vomit—it was a brownish yellow mucous.
Dr. JOHN FREDERICK PAULL (recalled). There was no arsenic in any of the medicines I gave Miss Barrow.
ALFRED KING, registrar of the Borough of Islington Cemetery. I produced certificate of death of Eliza Mary Barrow, who was buried on September 16 in grave No. 19,453 in Section Q—that is a common grave. I also produced order signed by the coroner of November 11 for the exhumation; the body was exhumed on November 14 and reburied in another grave on December 22nd, 1911.
WILLIAM ALEXANDER FRASER, Coroner's Officer of Islington and rriern Barnet. I was present at the inquest on the body of Eliza Mary Barrow at which the two prisoners gave evidence and signed the depositions produced.
Chief Inspector ALFRED WARD (recalled). I was present at the police court when Dr. Cohen, the coroner, gave evidence and signed the depositions produced. On December 4 at 7 p.m. I saw the male prisoner in Tollington Park in the street. I told him I was a police officer and should arrest him for the wilful murder of Eliza Mary Harrow by administering poison—arsenic. He said, "Absurd— What a terrible charge—wilful murder. It is the first of our family that has ever been accused of such a crime. Are you going to arrest my wife as well? If not, 1 would like you to give her a message for me. Have they found arsenic in her body? She has not done this, herself—it was not carbolic acid was it, as there was some in her room, and Sanitas is not poison is it?" He repeated the word "murder" several times on the way to the station and when at the station in Hornsey Road. He was charged at Hornsey Road Police Station; when the charge was read over he made no reply. I searched the house at 63, Tollington Park on that day. I found cashbox in a trunk in Miss Barrow's bedroom; the trunk was locked; I obtained the key from a safe in the prisoner's bedroom. Mrs. Seddon was present—she said it was the late Miss Barrow's trunk. I also found in the safe passbook, paper bag with "£20 gold" in ink on the front and "gold £19" in indelible pencil in Seddon's writing on the back; it contained 19 sovereigns; a ring, a gold chain, a gold chain and pendant; in the wardrobe was a watch and chain. I asked Mrs. Seddon whose watch it was. She said, "It is mine." I said, "Where did you get it." She said, "It was a present to me." I said, "Is not it Miss Barrow's?" one said, "Yes." In the safe in the basement I found P. O. Savings Book of F. H. Seddon—on September 15, 1911, £30 was paid in; bank passbook, and copy will. In the front bedroom I found envelope containing hair; on it in Seddon's writing was "Miss Barrow's hair for Hilda and Ernest Grant." On January 15 at 5 p.m. I saw Mrs. Seddon at 64, Tollington Park. I said, "You know me, Mrs. Seddon." She said, "Yes." I said, "I am going to arrest you for being concerned with your husband in the wilful murder of Miss Barrow by administering poison." She said, "Yes, very well." When charged she made no reply. On December 4 I found enlarged ring in the first-floor bedroom; in the dining-room secretaire gold chain with blue pendant. On February 2 at 10 a.m. Thorley attended at the police court. Maggie Seddon with a large number of males and females was in the waiting-room. Thorley was asked if he could identify anyone there as the person who purchased flypapers on August 20 last. He identified Maggie Seddon.
Cross-examined. I asked Seddon no questions—he said the words I have stated one after another. Thorley pointed Maggie Seddon out to me; there were two or three other girls there.
Detective-sergeant CHARLES COOPER, New Scotland Yard. I was present At male prisoner's arrest. On December 11 I took an envelope (Exhibit 135) containing some hair which I had received from Chief Inspector Ward to Dr. Willcox. On December 30 I went to 63, Tollington Park and took away this till (Exhibit 28) from the place marked on; he plan (Exhibit 27).
To Mr. Marshall Hall. At the station male prisoner said, "My wife will be in a terrible state," and he asked me to get a Mrs. Bromwich to assist her, which I did.
Detective-sergeant WILLIAM HAYMAN, New Scotland Yard. I assisted in male prisoner's arrest. I stopped him in Tollington Park, and said, "Mr. Seddon, Chief Inspector Ward wants to see you," He said, "May I go home first?" I made no answer; Mr. Ward came up almost immediately; I heard what was said between him and prisoner.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. He said "Murder" several times and then "Poisoning by arsenic! What a charge!"
Re-examined. On December 8 I purchased one packet of fly papers from Mr. Price, which I handed on December 11 to Dr. Willcox. On February 29 I purchased a packet each from Spink's, chemists, 27, Tottenham Court Road, Dodd's Drug Stores, 70, Tottenham Court Road, and from Needham's, Limited, 297, Edgware Road, which I gave to Dr. Willcox. Last night I got from Dr. Sworn's surgery two ounces of bismuth carbonate and two ounces from Williams, Francis, and Butler, druggists, 20, Aldersgate Street, who I was informed supplied Dr. Sworn with his drugs, which I also handed to Dr. Willcox.
BERNARD HENRY SPILSBURY, B. M., B. S., pathologist, St. Mary's Hospital. In November last I made a post-mortem examination of the body of the deceased. With the exception of the stomach and intestines I found no disease in the organs sufficient to account for death. The stomach was a little dilated and a black substance was present on its inner surface. The inner surface of the upper part of the small intestine was red. The body was very well preserved internally and externally apart from some post-mortem staining externally; taking into account the date of death it was very abnormal; I was not able to account for it at the time, but since Dr. Willcox's analyses I think it was due to the presence of arsenic in the body generally which may have an effect in preserving the body. On an external examination I found no evidence of shingles or pigmentation of the skin, but the skin had a green colour which I thought was due to post-mortem discolouration. The face was brown and shrivelled. Pigmentation of the skin, which means that the skin is of an unusual colour, generally brown or black, is the result sometimes of chronic arsenical poisoning. There was no pigmentation of the skin on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet, and mere was no thickening of the nails of the fingers or the toes. There was nothing abnormal about the appearance of the hair. I was present during some of the tests made by Dr. Willcox for arsenic. From the result of these tests my opinion is that death was the result of acute arsenical poisoning—poisoning by one or more large doses as distinguished by poisoning by small doses over a long period of time. By a "large dose" I mean a poisonous dose, which would certainly be two grains, and less than that would give rise to symptoms of poisoning. Two grains in one dose might be sufficient to kill an adult person. I think two or three doses of two grains or upwards within a short period of time would be sufficient to kill an adult.
To Mr. Dunstan. The height of the body was 5 ft. 4 in.; I should think the average weight of a person that height, aged 49, would be 8 1/2 to 10 1/2 stone, and if she was well nourished she might be over that. We could not see the mucous membrane of the stomach, as it was covered with the black substance I have mentioned. The duodenum of the small intestine was reddened throughout and the jejunum was slightly reddened; apart from that reddening, so far as I could see of it, there was no sign of disease. Death might have been due to syncope from heart failure. The reddening and the absence of disease in the other organs would be equally consistent with death from epidemic diarrhoea, extending over some 10 or 12 days. Apart from Dr. Willcox's report and the condition of preservation, nothing I saw at the post-mortem was inconsistent with Dr. Sworn's certificate. The preservation of the body varies a great deal. Styrian peasants take arsenic considerably; they die of other diseases than arsenical poisoning, and I have heard that the preservation of the bodies is well marked. I should not necessarily have expected skin rash if arsenic had been given from November 1; there might have been; the rash might appear almost over any part of the body; it would tend to disappear from the time of death to my examination. I do not think the eyes would be affected by the administration of arsenic in fairly large doses. I know Dr. Willcox defined the fatal dose as five grains; that would be a moderately large fatal dose; it would not be likely to prove fatal in less than three days; it might probably be longer. (To the Court: The patient would develop symptoms probably in the first or second hour; the symptoms would be nausea followed by vomiting and pain in the stomach, and a few hours afterwards diarrhoea would develop; these would continue in a severe form almost to the time of death, and the patient would become collapsed and develop a great thirst.) Epidemic diarrhoea is very frequent in the summer, and frequently it is extremely painful; it was prevalent last September. The symptoms of that would be those described by Dr. Sworn, and the final cause of death would be heart failure.
Re-examined. They would also be the symptoms of acute arsenical poisoning, and death would ensue from heart failure; all the symptoms described by Dr. Sworn would be consistent with arsenical poisoning from large doses. A doctor, not suspecting arsenical poisoning, would in all probability diagnose the case as epidemic diarrhoea; there would be no external indication that arsenic had been administered in fairly large doses; this could only be ascertained by analysis of what was vomited and the other excreta. I should only expect the eyes to become affected if the patient had been taking arsenic for several weeks or months; this would be confined to the chronic type only. In an acute case it is possible also that a rash might develop, but I should hardly expect it; in the chronic type it would be usual. Other indications I would expect in a chronic type and not in the acute type would be a thickening of the skin in the palms and the soles, there would be shingles, the hair would probably fall out, and the patient would probably develop symptoms of nervous disease; there might be also extreme fatty degeneration of the liver or the heart walls. I found none of these symptoms. If the patient had died during the extreme heat of epidemic diarrhoea I should have expected to find advanced putrefaction, which there was not. I know that roughly about three-quarter grains of arsenic were found in the stomach and intestines, which would certainly indicate that more had been taken because some of the poison would be vomited again; some might pass out in the urine and other excreta if an extremely large dose had been taken. From my experience of similar cases I should not expect to find in a case of acute arsenical poisoning more reddening than I did find, taking into account the time that had elapsed since death.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. We have had a case quoted of chronic arsenical taking which did not lead to chronic arsenical poisoning. Tablets containing 1- 20th or 1-50th of a grain can be bought of any ordinary druggist, and the taking of medicinal doses over a long time would not necessarily develop symptoms of arsenical poisoning. The elimination by urine is considerable. My only note is that I found the bladder empty; if there had been any deposit I should have noticed it. I did not know that if there be poison in the body at the time of burial the poison gravitates to the left side organs, irrespective of the position of the body. If a moderately large fatal dose were administered three days before death I should not expect to find any improvement in the condition of the patient between its administration and the subsequent death— from that dose only.
Further re-examined. If a moderately large dose had been given before this fatal dose I refer to, there might be an improvement in the condition after that first dose had been given, and that might also apply if there had been another such dose given before the last dose. The fact that one moderately large dose having been given would aggravate the condition when the second dose is taken; the effect would be cumulative.
MAVIS WILSON. I have a dress agency at 158, Stroud Green Road. I have known Margaret Seddon about 15 months. On August 26 I sold her in my shop a pair of shoes and a writing case; I made a note of the purchase. My shop is about two minutes' walk from 27, Crouch Hill.
HENRY GEORGE SWORN (recalled, further examined). Last night my son handed to Sergeant Hayman a sample of carbonate of bismuth from the stock I had; what I had in use at the time I gave it to deceased was exhausted. I always get it from the same people, Williams, Francis, and Butler. Last September I was dispensing it to a great number of patients and there were no ill results so far as I know.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. There is a trace of arsenic, I believe, in all bismuth; there is a minimum adulteration recognised in the pharmacopoeia.
WILLIAM HENRY WILLCOX, M. D., F. R. C. P., Senior Scientific Analyst to the Home Office. On November 15 I was present at the post-mortem examination of deceased. The liver, stomach, intestines, spleen, kidneys, lungs, heart, bloodstained fluid from chest, a portion of the brain, a muscle, and some bone were removed for analysis. The body was well preserved, especially the internal organs. On November 29 I made a further examination and removed some hair of the head, some muscle, and nails from the hands and feet. I weighed the body. On careful examination of all these organs and tissues I found arsenic, the large proportions being in the stomach, intestines, liver, and muscle. There were traces also in the hair and nails. Two months elapsing from burial would not destroy the arsenic in the body, it may be preserved for years. Arsenic is practically tasteless and when dissolved in water forms a colourless solution like water. I have heard the symptoms described by Dr. Sworn and they are similar to those I would expect to find in acute arsenical poisoning; there would be nothing to indicate to a doctor not suspecting arsenic that it was not a case of epidemic diarrhoea. As the result of my analyses I am of opinion that deceased died of acute arsenical poisoning. I have a large experience of such cases. I weighed the whole organ, took a certain portion of it and weighed it, and from that portion I estimated the amount of arsenic and calculated from that the quantity of arsenic present in the whole organ; in the case of the liver and the intestine I took from quarter to one-fifth of the whole organ. I always reserve a portion for further analysis and I have still those unanalysed portions. I took smaller aliquot portions of the other organ so the multiplying factor would be greater. I applied all the well-known tests for arsenic, including Marsh's test; I have the "mirrors" obtained from the Marsh's test here. Taking the stomach as an example, a portion of it was treated so as to destroy the organic matter and a solution of the portion was obtained. This was placed in the hydrogen apparatus used for the March test. When arsenic is present it comes off as a gas, and if a tube, through which the gas is passing, be heated, the gaseous arsenic compound is decomposed so that the arsenic is deposited as a black deposit called a mirror; if there is no arsenic, there would be no black deposit. I produce two tubes for the stomach and there are black deposits in each. If done with proper care and skill that is an infallible test; I used the greatest care and precautions in all the tests. I have a control of the test; the analysis is a control. I analysed sheep's liver at the same time, so that had any arsenic been present in the apparatus or the chemicals used it would have been detected; I got no mirror from the liver. I produce a table I have made containing the results of my various tests. In the stomach I found. 11 grains and in the intestines. 63 grains. I ascertained the amount of arsenic in the liver and intestine by weighing by a well-known process, not Marsh's test; in all the other cases I used Marsh's method. When I say in my table, "Total weight taken for Marsh," I mean the amount taken to produce the actual mirror. Excluding what I found in the hair, bone, and skin, the total weight I found in the body was 2.01 grains, which would indicate that more had been taken, because almost invariably when arsenic is taken the body refects it by vomiting, purging, and the passage of urine. There might have been up to five grains taken within three days of death. I did not know how to make the calculation as to how much there was in the skin and there was only the minutest trace in the bone; I could not calculate the hair very well, because the arsenic laid chiefly near the roots. (To the Court. It takes a little longer for the arsenic to reach the hair and the nails than any other part of the body. As regards the bone, it is stated that in chronic cases there is a considerable amount, but I cannot speak from my own experience.) It would take some few days for the arsenic to be deposited in the hair and nails. My opinion is that the fetal dose was taken within three, probably two, days of death. I found bismuth and traces of mercury corresponding to the proper medicinal administration of those drugs. Last night I analysed by the Marsh test the samples of carbonate of bismuth handed me by Sergeant Hayman and found they are practically free from arsenic; there is about one part in a million present; it would take at least 2 cwt. to produce two grains of arsenic. I came to the conclusion that the fatal dose was taken within two days of the death because of the relatively large amount found in the stomach and intestines. Arsenic had certainly been taken during the last two days, but I cannot say how long before; it is likely that it might have been taken a few days before, because of the presence of arsenic in the hair, nails, and skin, the deposition of which would probably take some few days. In a case of acute arsenical poisoning the stools would be offensive, but I do not think there is anything to distinguish those from epidemic diarrhoea. The body of a person dying from epidemic diarrhoea would decompose rapidly in hot weather and a person dying from acute arsenical poisoning would not decompose so rapidly, because the arsenic would probably exert some preservative action.
On December 11 I analysed a packet of Mather's flypapers and have since analysed other papers. As the result of my first test I found in one paper 3.8 grains of arsenic and in the other 4.17 grains; these were obtained from Price. In two of Thorley's papers I found 4. 8 grains and 6 grains respectively; Dodd's 3. 8 grains, and Spink's 4. 1 grains; the highest was 6 and the lowest was 3. 8 grains. I did this by a scientific process which extracts the whole lot. I find if a paper is boiled in water for a few minutes nearly all the arsenic comes out; I immersed one of Needham's papers in about a quarter of a pint of water, boiled it five minutes and left it standing over night. I found 6. 6 grains in solution; 3 grains was the lowest quantity I obtained by boiling. The arsenic in the flypapers is in a particularly soluble form, being in combination with soda; 2. 01 grains might be sufficient to kill an adult person. I produce some of the fluid I obtained from boiling the flypapers (Exhibit 140); it has the colour of the paper and is slightly bitter. This is a slightly stronger extract which contains 1 grain (Exhibit 141). I produce a bottle of Valentine's meat juice. (To the Court. Arsenic is often given as a pick-me-up.) I think arsenic might be administered in Valentine's meat juice without detection; the Valentine's meat juice and the fly paper solution are exactly similar in colour. I produce a mixture of the juice and fly paper in solution (Exhibit 142). In chronic arsenical poisoning, as distinguished from acute, the patient suffers from anaemia and general weakness; vomiting, purging, and abdominal pain are usually not present; the skin often becomes brown and rashes appear; the eyes may become red, sore, and inflamed; chronic cough and irritation in the throat and, after a few weeks, signs of neuritis occur; pains in the limbs, numbness, and finally some paralysis; the finger nails are thickened and lose their lustre; the skin of the palms and soles often thickens; the hair may become coarse and fall out. I have examined the nails, palms, and soles; they are normal. I observed nothing to indicate chronic arsenical poisoning. Acute arsenical poisoning is the result of one or more fatal doses. The symptoms are of a very acute and pronounced character. The patient is faint, collapsed, has severe pain in the abdomen, vomiting and purging; sometimes cramp in the legs; death resulting in a few days. Constipation is an unusual symptom; there is thirst, greater or less, according to the extent of the vomiting and purging. As the result of my analyses, tests and extensions, in my opinion Miss Barrow's death was caused by acute arsenical poisoning.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. I obtained from fly papers by boiling from 3 to 6 grains of arsenic each; in cold water I got from two papers 6 grain and 1.3 grains. With cold water the solution was paler and less bitter. If a fly paper were soaked 36 or 48 hours the solution might contain from 1 to 2 grains. If you reduce the quantity of fluid you increase the bitterness. 1-30th of a grain of arsenic three times a day is a common dose. Large doses of arsenic may be taken for months, or even a year, without producing arsenical poisoning—it depends on the idiosyncrasy of the patient—as with belladonna, morphia, and other drugs. In the Report of the Royal Commission many such cases are mentioned. I consider this a case of acute arsenical poisoning. After a fatal dose immediate burning in the throat and cramp are not constant. I should expect, after a dose like 4 or 5 grains, acute pain in the abdomen within 30 minutes; it depends on the state of the stomach; the more delicate or irritated the membrane, the more immediate would be the pain. Beyond the fact of there being 2 grains of arsenic in the entirety of the body, the only other symptom negativing death from epidemic diarrhoea was the preservation of the internal organs. I do not know that the calculated presence of half the quantity of arsenic would modify my view. Arsenic does kill microbes to some extent, but its effect is rather to prevent their growth. In the intestine, where there are millions swarming, arsenic would not kill them, but in the liver and kidneys where there are none it would prevent them growing. In my opinion in this case the extreme period between the fatal dose and death was three days; the minimum period five or six hours, conceivably less; in that case there would be very intense agony at first and then probably the patient would become faint and collapsed and not feel very much; it would be the same pain as in severe cholera or severe diarrhoea. In chronic arsenical poisoning the individual susceptibility varies—some patients manifest extreme symptoms, others only slight. In preparing my experimental liquid I removed the entire organ from the body, separated a portion as a sample quantity, then took a similar portion of sheep's liver perfectly free from arsenic, which under the Marsh test discloses no mirror; to that is added arsenic, which is disclosed in the hydrogen apparatus on a mirror, with which is compared the mirror obtained from the suspected organ, and so by comparison I calculated the percentage of arsenic in the organ. The amount must be very minute; too big a mirror is detrimental to the experiment. I have here a series of standard mirrors so produced, showing 1- 40th, 1-50th, and 1-60th of a milligramme and, comparing the mirror so obtained from the lungs, it corresponds with the 1-50th, the relative density of arsenic being shown by the more or less brownish tinge on the mirror to which it approximates: [A series of mirrors were explained to the Jury.] The 1-50th milligramme is about 1-3,240th part of a grain. The multiplying factorizing so large, great accuracy in the experiment is most important; the quantity on the mirror is visible, but is so small that it could not be weighed; it is metallic arsenic very finely subdivided; it could be reduced to a crystal of another compound of arsenic. The multiplying factor in the lungs is 50, in the stomach 200, in the kidneys 60. Portions were taken from both kidneys—there is no practical difference in the dissemination of the poison in the right or left organ or lobe. The multiplying factor in the spleen was 13, in the heart 50. There was so little in the brain (.005 grain) that I leave that out; the multiplying factor was 11 1/2; in the nails and skin the quantity is very small. I get as the result: In the liver 17 grain; in the intestine 2-3rd grain; the other organs 1-30th, 1-30th, 1-30th; 1-1,944th grain; 1-3,240th; in the case of the brain 1-16,000th; in the ear 1-5,184th and so on. An error in the original measurement would make a great difference in the ultimate calculation. The weight of the body 14 days after exhumation was 67 lbs. 2 oz. I could not say what the weight of the body was in life. I should not accept chat it was 11 stone at death—it would be less than 10 stone; it might have been 10 stone before the illness. In the case of the muscles, the sample taken was six grammes; I produced a mirror which I diagnose as 1-30th milligramme; the multiplying factor is about 1.940; I have no absolute weight of the muscles by which to multiply the sample; the result is. 03 grain—about half the total calculated. I take the assumption that the weight of the muscle is 2-5th of the weight of the body. The body consists of bone, organs, blood, and muscle. The weights of the component parts to some extent depend on the amount of water in those parts. I do not claim chat my results are more than approximate. I examined the hair. In the proximal end I find 1-80th milligramme, in the distal end 1-300th. There is a possibility of minute quantities of arsenic being taken in certain foods; the quantities are about. 01 grain in a pound or gallon. In the hair the bulk of the arsenic is deposited in the proximal end, and reaches the distal end in the course of growth. The presence of arsenic in the distal end therefore is evidence of a long period of arsenic taking, the period being longer according to the quantity found in the distal end. [The cases mentioned in the Report of the Royal Commission were referred to.]. 04 grain of arsenic to 1 lb. of hair may be present in normal hair in small amounts. If found in the hair it indicates that probably the arsenic has been taken for some period. 1-18th grain in 1 lb. weight of hair might mean that arsenic had been taken a year or more ago—not that the taking had been continuous over that period. In my opinion Miss Barrow died of one full dose taken within three days of death. It is possible that the earlier symptons were due to previous non-fatal doses throughout the illness; arsenic is not a cumulative poison because of the expulsion of the faeces and urine; small doses would be rapidly expelled by the sickness and diarrhoea, and would be non-efficient so far as the fatal result was concerned. If a dose producing symptoms of poisoning were taken, another dose would have a greater effect. With regard to the hair, I ought to mention that I took the hair for analysis at the second examination; it had been lying in the coffin and was more or less soaked in the juices from the body. I washed it, but it is possible that some soakage may have occurred and the results may be a little higher. This opinion is borne out by the analysis of the hair obtained from the undertaker; the figure was lower—1-21st of a grain to 1 lb. If arsenic had been taken medicinally as a tonic it would not affect gastro enteritis; and if taken in quantity producing irritation of the stomach gastro enteritis would increase; the one would increase the other. I agree that from all Dr. Sworn could see, his certificate was amply justified. It is very unusual to analyse the faeces and urine for arsenic unless suspicion is aroused. It requires a special test by a specialist. The bismuth and chalk mixture would be beneficial if the illness had been caused by arsenic. I consider a fatal dose was given within two days of death; it may have been taken when Dr. Sworn last saw her; the effect would be diarrhoea and sickness.
Re-examined. If arsenic had been given about September 1 and the treatment had been carbonate bismuth and the effervescing mixture described, assuming the dose not too large, the patient might recover; the vomiting, diarrhoea, and pain would gradually cease. I would not be more precise than to say the fatal dose must have been given within two days—it may have been a few hours—before death. I have not included any arsenic from the hair in my total of 2.01 grains in the body. The finding of arsenic in the distal end of the hair does not affect my opinion that this was a case of acute arsenical poisoning. There was 1-10th grain in the stomach, 2-3rd grain in the intestines; that must have got in within two days of death; also the amount in the liver. The chief reason for my opinion as to the cause of death is the amount found in the stomach and intestines, equal to 3-4th grain; my opinion is not altered in the slightest because of the arsenic found in the hair. Dr. Rosenheim, a physiological chemist, on behalf of the prisoner, visited me. I showed him the standard mirrors, the sample mirrors from every organ; he examined and matched them; the apparatus was set up, and he could have used it there and then if necessary. The result must be approximate—it is obtained by taking fairly the scientific test. With regard to the amount of muscle I endeavoured to ascertain the amount—the usual assumption would have given rather more.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. The sample of the intestines was about 1-5th of the total; it was taken from different parts—the duodenum and so on passing down— and made into a solution which was completely mixed. There are many places where an analysis of the urine, etc., can be made for a few shillings.
WILLIAM HENRY WILLCOX, recalled, gave details of further experiments he had made with a view to showing that arsenic extracted by soaking flypapers could be administered with brandy.
To Mr. Marshall Hall. The standardised mirrors that I have produced here were made specially for the purposes of this case.
This closed the case for the prosecution.
Mr. Marshall Hall submitted that there was not sufficient evidence against either of the prisoners to justify their being put in peril upon the charge of murder. This case was absolutely unique. In all previous cases of murder by poisoning—especially where two persons were charged together—there had been direct tracing of the poison into the possession of the accused. Here not a tittle of evidence had been offered that either of the prisoners possessed arsenic in any form, and there was no evidence that either prisoner had had opportunity of administering arsenic. Indeed, there was no evidence that Miss Barrow died of arsenical poisoning; the finding of traces of arsenic in the distal ends of the hair was an indication, not of the taking just before death of a fatal dose, but of a continuous course of arsenic consumption over 12 months or more. The Marsh test was a qualitative, not a quantitative, test; it was effective for detecting the presence of arsenic, but useless for the purpose of measuring the quantity; the quantities dealt with were so infinitesimal that the minutest fraction of margin of error would altogether vitiate the calculation.
Mr. Rentoul, on behalf of Mrs. Seddon, said that he adopted all that had been put forward by Mr. Marshall Hall, and added that, weak as the case was against the male prisoner, it was immeasurably weaker against Mrs. Seddon.
Mr. Justice Bucknill (without calling on the Attorney-General) said that he would follow the course he always adopted in cases of this kind in which arguments had, at this stage, been submitted which he was unable to adopt; he would confine himself to saying that the case must proceed.
Mr. Marshall Hall opened the case on behalf of the male prisoner.
SYDNEY ARTHUR NAYLOR, auctioneer, 256, High Road, Tottenham. I have known Seddon about six years. In June or July, 1909, I saw him at a public-house in Seven Sisters Road, at a meeting of the Legion of Frontiersmen; later we went to his shop in the same road, where he carried on the business of a wardrobe maker. He talked about the success he was having in that business and the profits he was making. He showed me a bag of gold containing about £150 or £200 in sovereigns.
Cross-examined. He said he kept the money by him in order to pick up any cheap stocks for cash. I understood that the wardrobe business was his own. He carried it on for about 12 months.
WILLIAM JOHN WILSON, a post office employe, said that he was with the previous witness when Seddon produced the bag of gold.
FREDERICK HENRY SEDDON (prisoner, on oath). I am 40 years of age. I have been employed by the London and Manchester Industrial Assurance Company since I was 19 years old; since 1896 I held the position of district superintendent; since 1901 superintendent for the Islington district. I have five children living, the eldest a boy of 17, the youngest a girl now 12 months old. About eight years ago I purchased 57, Isledon Road; I sold the house at a profit, and invested £400 in Cardiff stock, which I still have. I have always been in the habit of keeping ready money at hand, never less than £50. Prior to February, 1909, I lived at Southend for 12 months, coming up daily to London to attend to my insurance business. I then lived at 267, Seven Sisters Road, where my wife and I carried on a ladies' wardrobe maker's business; I found the money, but the business was carried on in my wife's name, as it was hardly a business for a man to be engaged in. I did not bank the profits; I kept the cash in a safe. I had two safes, one in my office and one in my bed-room. I remember the evening spoken to by Naylor and Wilson; they are slightly wrong in the amount, but I did show them £100 or £130 in gold; it was the balance I happened to have in hand on that day. In August, 1909, I. purchased 63, Tollington Park. About this time my wife and I had a little difference on family matters, and we separated for a short time. I shut down the wardrobe business, as it was not one that I could engage in. My first idea in buying 63, Tollington Park, was to let it out in flats. Eventually, about January, 1910, I moved in there with my wife. To save the rent of a separate office I used a room in the basement as my office for insurance business; my family occupied the first three floors, and we let the upper floor. I kept one safe in my basement office and one in my bedroom. On going into this house I counted the cash I had; it was about £220 or £230. I kept this amount in gold so that, if anything happened to me, the money would be readily available to pay off the mortgage of £200 which was upon the house. In July, 1910, my second floor rooms were vacant, and I instructed Messrs. Gilbert and Howe, house agents, to secure a tenant. Miss Barrow called, with Mrs. Hook, and saw the rooms, and Miss Barrow agreed to take them at 12s. a week. Miss Barrow, Mr. and Mrs. Hook, and Ernest Grant came in. They turned out to be undesirable tenants; there was some disturbance in the house, which I was not used to, and I gave Miss Barrow notice to quit. She said she did not want to leave, that the cause of the trouble was Mr. Hook, that she was afraid of him; she asked me to speak to him; I said she had better speak to him herself. This was on a Saturday; the next day Hook and his wife, with Ernest Grant, were out all day, leaving Miss Barrow quite unattended, although she could not wait on herself. My wife and daughter informed me that she had been crying all day. I said I would speak to Hook when he came home, because I had understood that the arrangement was that the Hooks were occupying Miss Barrow's rooms on the condition that they would look after her. There was no arrangement that my wife or family or servant should do any cooking or anything else for Miss Barrow. To satisfy me, Miss Barrow gave Hook a written notice to quit. He wrote her a reply, rather cruel and abrupt, saying that if he went he would have to take Ernie with him. It is untrue that I ever suggested to Miss Barrow that she should get rid of the Hooks. She was distressed at the idea of parting from Ernie, and she said to me, "As landlord, cannot you tell Hook to go"; I told her that she was my tenant, not Hook, and that if she so desired I would tell him to go. When he came in that night I knocked at his bedroom door; he took no notice; so I fixed on the door a notice to quit. He saw me the next morning. Miss Barrow had claimed my protection. I told him that I was not used to this kind of thing in my home and he must get out. Up to this time—while the Hooks were in the house—I did not know that Miss Barrow had a cash box. Upon this bother with the Hooks she was terribly upset; she came down to my dining room and asked me to shut the door; my wife and daughter were there. She said, would I put her cash box in my safe, for safety, as she was afraid Hook might take it with him when he was leaving. I said, "How much have you in the box"; she said, "Between £30 and £35"; I said, "I would not like taking the responsibility of minding your cash box if you are not sure how much is in it, without you count it out in my presence; then I will give you a receipt for the box and its contents."
She said she would take it upstairs and make sure how much was in it. She went upstairs, taking the box with her; I naturally thought she would return in a little while; she did not; she locked herself in her room. I never had possession of the cash box; Hook left that day and I supposed she did not trouble any further. I did not see the cash box again until after her death. After the Hooks left an arrangement was come to that my daughter Maggie should look after her, receiving a shilling a day as pocket money; she was to do the cooking, look after the rooms, and so on. In the autumn of 1910 my wife and daughter told me that Miss Barrow was continually crying and very despondent, and greatly worried about her property, and they asked me to see her. On a Sunday in September I had a conversation with her. I asked her what her troubles were. She said she had a public-house, the "Buck's Head," at Canning Town, that it was her principal source of income, that she had had a lot of trouble with the ground landlords about the Compensation Fund, that Lloyd George's Budget had upset licensed premises by increased taxation, that her tenants, Truman, Hanbury, Buxton and Company, had a lot of licensed houses, and she was afraid they would have to close some of them; she also had a shop next door to the "Buck's Head," a barber's shop, which was largely dependant on the licensed house, and if she lost this it would mean a loss of £3 a week to her. I asked her as to her other sources of income. She told me that she had some £1,600 worth of India stock, upon which she had lost a lot of money; she had bought it at 108, and at that time it was down to 94. I told her that there was nothing much to worry about as to that; it was gilt-edged security; it would keep her out of the workhouse, anyway. I asked her what she wanted. She said she would like to purchase an annuity, the same as a friend of her's (she did not give me the name, but I subsequently learned from the Vonderahes that she was referring to a Mrs. Smith). I said, "You must remember an annuity dies with you." She said she did not mind that, she had only herself to consider, as her relations and friends had treated her so badly. She said if she could get an annuity of £2 10s. or £3 a week she would be pleased. I said, "What is the value of your public-house and barber's shop." She said she did not know and she was not sure whether her title was clear. I said, "The best thing you can do is to consult a solicitor." She said she had had quite enough of solicitors; they charged too much. I said the best thing for her to do was to go to the post office. I did not myself go to the post office. She brought me this document (Exhibit 49) from the post office. She just told me her age was 48; the cost of an annuity would be then £17 13s. 2d. for £1 per annum. On telling me she was 49 I said she would get it for 7s. a year less and I marked the annuity form. I told her she would have to pay £1,700 for an annuity of £100, and she said, "My stock is not worth that, is it?" Her objection to it was that she would have to part with all that money and wait six months before she got any return. I will not swear that this is the document I handed to the coroner on November 23; she asked, "Could you grant the annuity to me?" and she proposed to transfer both her property and her stock to me. I calculated, knowing what I did of the annual income and the lease of property and the value of the stock, I could grant her an annuity of between £2 10s. and £3 a week. I took into consideration if I paid her £10 a month and allowed her to live rent free it would mean £3 or £3 2s. a week—£151 5s. per annum. I had then no actuarial value of the property; I reckoned £1 a week from stock and £3 a week from the property. On October 14, 1910, the stock was transferred to me, but before the bargain could legally be finally concluded it was necessary to get a value of the property and to satisfy her that she had the power to convey. She said she would be very pleased if the annuity began in the New Year. I did not sell the stock until three or four months afterwards and the whole of the proceeds of that and the property are still intact and are held under order of the court restraining anybody from dealing with them. Investigations into the property began in about October, 1910. This letter (Exhibit 150), dated October 15, is from her to me; it gives me liberty to have her title investigated; stating that all expenses must be paid by myself, and that she was instructing her tenants to forward rents direct to me. I took the documents down to Mr. Keeble, of Russell and Sons, and explained the situation to him. I asked Robson and Perrin to let me know their fees to make a valuation and they sent me a letter they received from Mr. Brangwin, surveyor, of Great Russell Street, dated December 7, valuing the property at £706 (Exhibit 151). As far as I know, the facts upon which he based the valuation are accurate. (The Attorney-General stated that he would accept that.) Negotiations went on till January 4, 1911, when Miss Barrow wrote to Messrs. Russell, agreeing to the transfer of the property on consideration of my paying her £52 a year and arranging an appointment when she should meet them and sign a deed of conveyance. They advised she should be separately represented and I concurred. She was represented by Mr. Knight. I paid all the expenses, including a separate cheque for Mr. Knight's £4 13s., as she would not pay them. I explained to her that the expenses had been heavier than I had anticipated and that she ought to pay Mr. Knight's fee. She said she had no money to spare, but later she gave me a small diamond ring, I wore it on my little finger until after her death and then I had it made larger to fit my third finger. Mr. Knight wrote her on January 10 stating that he had safeguarded her interests in the transaction. On January 11 the assignment took place; Mr. Knight was present and witnessed her signature. The annuity was to be paid on the first of every month, and I paid her £10 in advance in the first week in January, £4. for the property and £6 for the stock. I always got two receipts. There is the letter (Exhibit 182)) she wrote to the surveyor of income tax certifying that she was in receipt of £124 per annum for value received. (Two series of receipts dating from January 11, 1911, till September 6, 1911, showing that £6 and £4 a month had been received from prisoner by Miss Barrow in respect of the stock and property respectively every month (Exhibit 153) were put to witness. All these are in her handwriting. In January, 1911, I instructed Mr. Keeble to sell the stock, having entered into negotiations to buy leasehold property in Coutts Road, Stepney, and on January 25 it was sold for £1,519 16s.; I placed £1,400 cheque on deposit at the bank on which it was drawn (this was just sufficient to pay for the property) and drew the remainder. I had still got the £220 in the safe) £70 of the balance of £119 16s. I put on deposit in the London and Provincial Bank, and the remainder I added to my current account. In March I drew the £1,400 and paid for the 14 leasehold houses, less £70, which I had paid on deposit by a cheque drawn by my solicitor on my current account. On March 7 I paid in a further £30, into my deposit account, bringing it up to £100. About the end of February my father came to live with us. The reason why the letter dated March 27 (Exhibit 7) came to be written was that she had been out to see some funeral and she returned very despondent and talking about funerals and death; she asked me what would happen to the furniture and jewellery that had belonged to Ernest and Hilda Grant's parents if anything happened to her. She was afraid that the Hooks or her relations would get it; so I told her she ought to have a solicitor and get a will drawn up, as if she did not her legal next-of-kin would come into it. Whenever I mentioned a solicitor she got annoyed. On returning that night my wife handed me (Exhibit 7) which Miss Barrow had given her, and I put h in my secretaire. In about May, 1911, there was trouble with the Birkbeck Bank, and she asked me if my wife could go with her to draw the money out of the bank in Upper Street as it looked as if all the banks were going smash. On June 19 she went with my wife and drew out £216 19s. 7d. I never saw it. My wife told me that she brought the money into the house in gold, and I told Miss Barrow that I did not consider her trunk was a safe thing to keep such a sum of money, especially in my house. On August 1 she went to see Dr. Paull, accompanied, I believe, by my wife. From the 5th to the 8th we all went to Southend. The last week in August and the first week in September were intensely hot. She and the boy sometimes sat in the garden. The boy was very friendly with my children and was treated as one of the family. I believe she and the boy had their meals in her kitchen. I understood that she always bought her own food. Maggie cooked it in her kitchen. I cannot say whether Mrs. Seddon cooked it downstairs on some occasions. When they first came the boy used to sleep with her, but on my advice she bought a bed and he slept in the small room until she took ill on September 2. On September 1 my wife told me that she had a bilious attack; I wanted to pay her her annuity, and my wife told me not to trouble her as she was resting. On September 2 she sent a message down by my wife that she thought she could manage to sign for her annuity. I paid her £10 in gold, as I always did. She signed the two receipts, one of which is dated August 17. I cannot say if she got better or worse after that. On September 4 I went up to remonstrate with her for leaving her bedroom and going into the boy's back room; my wife who told me about this, was upset about it. When Dr. Paull was sent for and he could not come, I suggested that Dr. Sworn should be telephoned for. When I went to her room on September 4 there were a lot of flies in her room; my wife told me that she had complained about them and that is why she had left her room, saying that the flies annoyed her and the room was too hot. My wife told me that she had got some flypapers on that date. From first to last I never handled a flypaper that came into the house. The firs; time I heard of Mather's flypapers was at the police court. On the night of September 11 when the will was signed saw a couple on her chest of drawers and a couple on the mantel-piece in saucers— they were those that you put water on; I cannot say whether they were Mather's or not. I did not know they contained arsenic, and I never boiled one or ever made a concoction from them in any other way. On September 11 my wife told me that she was worrying again about the furniture and jewellery for Ernest and Hilda Grant. I said, "Why did not she do what I told her and have a solicitor?" She said, "She wants to see you about it." I went up to her about 5 p.m. and asked her what she wanted. She said, "I do not feel well, and I would like to see, if anything happened to me, that Hilda and Ernest Grant got what belonged to their father and mother"; she said there was some jewellery that belonged to the parents and there was a watch and chain that belonged to the father. I said, "Don't you think I had better call in a solicitor and have a proper will made out." She said, "Cannot you do it for me." I said I would. I was very busy at the time with my own business and I had my sister and her daughter down from Wolverhampton, so between 5 and 6 p.m. I drafted a will up hurriedly, including what sue had mentioned. Between 6 and 7 I asked my father and my wife to come up and witness her signature to it and we went up. I read it to her and asked her if it would do. She asked for her glasses to read it herself. My wife asked my father to pass her glasses from the mantelpiece, and he did so. She read the will and asked me where to sign. We propped her back up with pillows, and she signed it half reclining. I put the will on the little table and showed my wife and my father where to sign and explained to Miss Barrow they were witnesses. She said, "Thank you. Thank God, that will do." It was my intention to take it to Mr. Keeble and get him to draft it up in proper legal form and bring it up for her signature. I never gave it a thought as to whether it mentioned her money; I had never drafted wills before. My wife had told me that she would not take the chalky mixture that the doctor had given her and the doctor had given her some effervescent mixture which had to be drunk during effervescence, but she would not take it while it was fizzing, and would I speak to her about it. So on this occasion I said to her, "Are not you aware that your medicine is no good to you without you drink it during effervescence?" I asked my wife to give me a dose and I would see if I could get her to take it during effervescence. My wife gave me two glasses to hold and she poured some out of two bottles in them, and when I put the two together it fizzed. I said I would practise on myself, and I put the two mixtures together.
I noticed the effervescence went off very rapidly, so I drank it myself, and told Miss Barrow that that is how she was to drink it. I repeated it and handed it to her, but she did not drink it during effervescence. I told my wife she ought to tell the doctor about it and that she ought to go to the hospital. The only other occasion I ever gave her anything was on the last night when I gave her a drop of brandy. A day or two before the 11th my sister's husband wrote asking if she might come and stay with us. I wrote and said I had got an old lady ill in the house, but if she liked to come and take "pot luck" she could do so. She arrived with her daughter at about 4 p.m. on the 11th. We gave our best bedroom to her and we went into the first floor back room and we put up an extra bed in the back room next to Miss Barrow's for my father and my sons. Chater slept in the room she had always occupied with Maggie and my youngest daughter, and the baby slept with my wife. On the night of the 11th all of us, except Maggie, went to the Finsbury Empire. On the morning of the 13th my father, my sister, and her daughter and my children went to the White City. I believe I was in bed when Dr. Sworn called between 10 and 11 a.m. I went out about two and returned about seven for a hurried tea. I then went to the Marlborough Theatre about 7.45; I had a dispute there about a florin and a half-crown. At about midnight I came home and I heard from my wife that Miss Barrow had called out, "I'm dying." I said, "Is she?" and she "No," and smiled. Dr. Sworn lives about twenty-five minutes from us; I could do it in about fifteen or twenty. I had been in about half an hour when Ernie called out, "Mrs. Seddon, Chickie wants you." My wife told me she had been calling like that and that she had put hot flannels on her. She had been up several nights that week till the early hours of the morning, and it was nothing unusual for the boy to call out. She was resting on the couch, and I said, "Never mind, I'll go and see what she wants." She said, "Never mind, I'll go." I said I would go and I asked my sister to go up with me. We both went up, my wife following immediately after. I said to Miss Barrow, "This is a sister of mine that is down from Wolverhampton. You know Mrs. Seddon is tired out and I would like you to try and let her have a little sleep. It will do you more good to rest." She said "Oh, but I have had such pains." I said, "Mrs. Seddon says she has put hot flannels on you and done all she can for you." She did not take much interest in my sister, and she left the room. She asked for more hot flannels and a drop of brandy. I said, "My good woman, don't you know it is after one o'clock in the morning. We can't get brandy now." My wife told me there was a drop in the bottle, and I gave her a half and left the rest; I think there was a soda syphon there and I put a drop of soda in it. I had not the smallest suspicion that she was seriously ill; every night had been alike; my wife had been up and down with hot flannels every night that week. I left my wife to prepare hot flannels and went downstairs; my sister had hardly got to the bottom of the stairs; I had only been about five minutes in the room. I had a conversation with my sister. I went to bed between 2 and 2.20 a.m. I could not bear to be in Miss Barrow's room on account of the shocking smell; I have a delicate stomach. My sister said that we should not allow the boy to sleep with her, and I said if we did not allow it we would not get any sleep at all; she either wanted my wife or the boy. We had been in bed a few minutes when the boy called Mrs. Seddon again. She went up alone. That was twice she had her called up within half an hour. The third time she called I went up with my wife; I went up to see if I could not get her to sleep; I explained to her that if she was going to have Mrs. Seddon up all night, she would have no one to wait on her and that we should have to get a nurse or she would have to go to the hospital. She said she could not help it. Ernie said he was tired and could not get any sleep. My wife said she was going to sit up with her, so I told the boy to go to his bed. Miss Barrow closed her eyes as if she was going to sleep, and my wife attempted to leave the room when she opened her eyes and asked for Ernie; she did not like to ask for Mrs. Seddon again. I told Ernie to get back to her bed again. Later I sent him to his own bed. Each time she went up my wife made hot flannels for her, getting the hot water from Miss Barrow's kitchen. We then left her and we had been in bed 15 minutes when the boy shouted, "Chickie is out of bed." We rushed up and found her sitting in an upright position at the foot of the bed and the boy was holding her up by the arms. I asked her what she was doing out of bed, but she made no reply; she did not complain of pain; she seemed to know what she was doing. We lifted her into the bed and the wife agreed to my suggestion to stay with her. I sent the boy to his bed; it was getting on for 4 a.m. My wife told me to go to bed, but I said I would put my pipe on and keep her company; I stood at the door smoking my pipe, and I kept going up and down to see to the baby. My wife sat in an easy chair by the bed. Miss Barrow went into a sleep and I said, "She seems to have gone into a nice sleep." My wife said it was no good to go to bed again as we should only be called up again. We decided that she should go to the hospital next day and I would tell Dr. Sworn so. Miss Barrow was snoring for an hour or an hour and a half after that—a kind of breathing through the mouth. I was smoking and reading and my wife was dozing when this snoring did not seem quite so heavy and all of a sudden it stopped. I said, "Good God, she's dead"; this was about 6.15—6.20 by her clock. I was in a terrible state, and I hurried off for Dr. Sworn. He gave me a certificate; I did not expect it then. I got back about 8 a.m. I saw Mrs. Rutt come; my wife had sent for her. They laid the body out. I helped to lift the body while the feather bed was taken from under her. I asked my wife if she knew where the keys were, and she handed me a bunch with one of which I opened the trunk. At the top I found the cash box, which I put on the bed and opened in their presence with another of the keys. In it I found four sovereigns and a half sovereign. In the afternoon we started to search the room; we had already searched the trunk right through in the presence of Mrs. Rutt. I felt there might be more money. In the drawer in which my wife had found the keys I found in the fold of a paper three sovereigns wrapped up in separate pieces of tissue paper. In the pocket of a handbag which was hanging on the bed I found £2 10s. There was another loose kind of string bag. I sent my children and Ernie to Mrs. Henderson's at Southend; I thought I would not tell Ernie of her death till he had recovered a little from the shock. At 11. 30 a.m., when I had not yet found the balance of the money I went to see Nodes. His account of our conversation is practically correct, but there is a lot that he has forgotten. I didn't say, "Old girl." I told him I had only found £4 10s., and there were the doctor's fees to be paid and he said he would give me a very nice "cum out" for £4, with a composite carriage. When he asked me who was going to the funeral, I said, "I do not know yet; I am going to drop a line to the relatives, though they have never been near during the time she has lived in the house and they parted very bad friends. I don't know whether they will come to the funeral or not. If they don't turn up there will be me and the wife and the father to go." He explained to me what a composite carriage was, and assured me that it would be quite a respectable "turn out." I asked if it could easily be altered if the relatives, turned up, and he said coaches could be added. I have known him over 10 years. I gave all my agents his business cards to try and introduce him business. He drove me to my house. Miss Barrow had told me there was a vault in her family, but when her mother was buried it was full up. On going in the trap, he said, "Between you and me I would not do it for anybody else, but I can do this funeral for £3 7s. 6d., but, of course, I will give you a receipt for £4." I said, "A little bit of commission like?" When we got to the house the smell in the room was so bad that I had to leave. He suggested that the body should go to the mortuary, and he also suggested the burial on Saturday. I would not decide at once. I had a cup of tea and at about 1 p.m. Taylor arrived and Smith soon after. I joined them later. After a talk with my wife and father we decided to have the funeral on Saturday as it was a slack day for me, and otherwise it would have to be postponed till Sunday; the condition of the body had also to be considered. I telephoned to Nodes falling in with his suggestion. I saw Taylor and Smith in my office about 4 p.m. I complained I was worn out and could do with a sleep. Smith suggested I should lie down and I said I thought I would, but I should have first to send a letter to the deceased's relatives to let them know she was dead and that the funeral was on Saturday. I had got some mourning paper in my pocket in the office at the side of the safe and 2 got my typewriter and put it on the desk underneath the pendant where I generally sit when I use the typewriter, because there is a flat counter there. I sent the Vonderahes an intimation that she had died. This (produced) is a carbon copy on the other sheet of mourning paper; I had only two sheets. On March 27 Miss Barrow had given me their address, and I did not know they had moved. I called my daughter and told her to post it and to catch the five o'clock post as I wanted them to get it that night. Smith asked me if he could go out and get a drop of brandy as he felt bad himself, and I said, "Yes"; he followed Maggie out. Subsequently he came to me of his own accord and said he had seen the inquest in the paper. I said, "Did you know that the Vonderahes have denied receiving a letter?" and I asked him if he recollected my saying that before I could go for a rest I had to write to them. He said, "I do, perfectly well. You wrote it on mourning paper and put it on my desk in the envelope." I said I was glad he had noticed that and he said, "Yes, and I saw Maggie post the letter and I patted her shoulder as I passed her and said, 'Good afternoon'" My wife and Maggie and I think my father were present. I asked him if he thought Taylor would remember it, and he said if he refreshed his memory as I had done his, he thought perhaps he would. He said he was quite willing to give evidence and I instructed Mr. Saint to secure his attendance. Nodes took the body away and I got a lock of hair for Ernie and Hilda Grant.
FREDERICK HENRY SEDDON (prisoner, recalled, further examined). Miss Barrow used to go out every day, taking the boy to the school in the morning, bringing him back to dinner, taking him to school again and bringing him home. As far as I could see she was healthy and strong, but from my observations as an insurance superintendent she was not a life I could recommend for insurance; her complexion was very sallow, but she used to walk about a good deal. About 6 p.m. on September 14 I found Smith and Taylor in my office. On this occasion they had been taking the collectors' money. I always count it up into bags and put it into my safe, and then when I go to bed I take it upstairs and put it into my bedroom safe; I never leave any in the office safe over Thursday night. On the following afternoon I pay it into my Bank. I think I had to pay in on this occasion £57, having deducted all expenses. On this night the silver was in three bags and the gold in one bag; the gold consisting of £29 of the company's money and £35 of my own, out of £80 I had in my office safe, which I intended adding to my current account; I still had the £100 in my safe upstairs. I had originally £100 in the office safe, but I had reduced that to £80 in this way. On several occasions Miss Barrow had given me a £5 note for her rent, and I had taken £5 in gold out of the bedroom safe to cash it, replacing it by the note; this had been done to the tune of £25 between October and January, so in my bedroom safe there would be £75 gold and £25 notes. By January I had reduced my current account by the £34 I had paid to Russell and Sons. I took these £25 notes to the bank on January 13 to make up my balance. I subsequently reduced the amount in the office by £20, leaving £80 there, and with £5 I had loose I brought up the amount in the bedroom safe by adding this to £100. On one occasion in October Miss Barrow gave me a £5 note and £4 8s. 4d. in cash to pay the ground rent of the "Buck's Head," and I sent a cheque through my own bank; the item appears in my bank book. Those are the only occasions I remember receiving notes from Miss Barrow. On this night I took the £80 out of the safe to count £35 from it, and so I would have with the £29 of the company's money £109 in gold on my desk, and three bags containing exactly £15 silver. I returned the £45 balance to my safe. It is not true that I had the bags on my arm; I put them in the slide till, which I put into the cupboard. Taylor and Smith left the office about midnight. On the following day I paid into the credit of my current account £88 4s. 8d., consisting of £29 of the company's money, £35 my money, and £15 17s. 6d. in silver and 30s. in copper, £6 17s. 2d. in cheques and postal orders, and £7 16s., this last being into a separate account that I kept for the rents of the Coutts Road property. On that day my current account is debited with £100, which was the transfer of the Coutts Road property profit rental for the half year, and that sum was added to my deposit account, bringing it up to £200. I put £30 of the £45 in my office safe into the Post Office Savings Bank in gold. On the Saturday I went to see Mrs. Longley off, and on my return I happened to be passing the jewellers' shop, so I called with the diamond ring. On September 18 I applied for three shares in the Building Society, paying for them £90 in gold from my bedroom safe, leaving there £10. These annuity receipts represent £91 I had paid to Miss Barrow; I always paid her in gold. On occasions I wrote the cheque payable to "Self," drew the £10, and paid that to her to save breaking into the money I had. (To bear out this statement witness read from his counterfoil cheque book four items, dated January 31, March 1, March 31, and July 31, marked "F. H. S., £10.") In two cases counterfoils are marked "E.M.B. £10," and as to the other five payments I withheld £10 from the company's money I had to pay and debited my own account with the sums. (I wish to correct a statement I have made; on the night of September 24 I had £70 in my office safe, and not £80.) I was out when the Vonderahes called on the night of September 19. I stopped in to see them next day, as they left a message to say they were coming. Two women called. I said to one, "Are you Mrs. Frank Vonderahe?" and the smaller woman said, "No, I am." I said, "How is it you did not answer my letter and come to the funeral?" She went quite flushed, and seemed a little excited; she said, "We never got no letter." I pulled the copy of the letter I had written out of my pocket, and she read it. She said, "We never received a letter." She told me, on my asking, that she lived at Corbyn Street, and I said that the letter was addressed to Evershot Road, and that she had better make inquiries at the post office about it. She said they had heard. Miss Barrow was dead, and they had come to interview me respecting it. Later she asked me about the investments, and I said that she had disposed of them to purchase an annuity. I gave her a statement, and said, "Here is a full statement of it." I also gave her a copy of the will and three mourning cards. The original will was in my safe upstairs. I told them on their asking that she was buried at Finchley. She said, "In a public grave?"
I said, "Yes." She said, "Fancy—and she had got a family vault." I said, "It is full up." She said, "No, it is not," and I said it would be an easy matter for the relatives to remove the body. She said, "Whoever had persuaded her to part with her money must have been a very clever person." I said that she was anxious to purchase an annuity, as a friend of her's had had an annuity, and this friend had no worries whatever, whereas she was constantly worried about it. They said to each other, "Oh! it would be that Mrs. Smith;" that is the first I knew of her existence. Mrs. Frank Vonderahe said that Miss Barrow had been a bad wicked woman all her life and that a public grave was good enough for her; she spoke about quarrels that had taken place between her and Ernie's mother and that they had thrown things at one another, and that it was a good job for the boy that she had passed away; she said, "She even spat at us before she left." I said, "She was only a woman that wanted humouring, and you ought to take into consideration her infirmities." They spoke of her as a vindictive woman and that I did not know her as they did. I never found her vindictive. They asked what was going to become of the boy and I said, "Unless the boy's relatives interfere there is a home for him here." I clothed and kept him. My wife showed them some underclothes she had made for him and they said they could see he had got a good home. They also said that they always told their husbands that she would never leave anything to them and they were not surprised that she had left them nothing. They asked me if I would see their husbands; I said that we were going away for a fortnight, but I would gladly see them on my return. On my return in October I sent Ernie round to say I was back. On October 9 Mr. Vonderahe came with a man I assumed to be his brother. He said, however, his brother was ill. I said, "What did you want to bring a stranger for? This only concerns the legal next-of-kin." He said, "Surely, there is no reason why you should not speak in the presence of my friend." I said, "Well, I don't know. I understand that you have put the matter in the hands of a solicitor." He said, "My brother is not well; he could not come." I said, "What would you like to know, because I have placed all the information in the hands of your wife? I sent you a copy of the will. I gave you a statement in writing as to what she had done with her properties and purchased an annuity. I also showed your wife a letter that she had written to me stating that you treated her badly and she did not wish her relations to benefit. What else would you like to know?" He wanted to see the original will. I said he had a copy and he said, "Can't I see the original will?" I said, If you are the legal next-of-kin you can." He said, "I am." I said, "I understand there is an elder brother"; I had learnt that from Miss Barrow. He said, "Supposing he is dead?" I said, "It is a very easy matter to get a copy of the certificate of death and swear an affidavit that you are the legal next-of-kin and I will go into details with you." He said, "I don't want to be bothered with solicitors." I said, "You have got all the information I can give you and I put it down in writing and I am prepared to stand by it. Everything has been done in perfect order." He said, "Who is the landlord of the 'Bucks Head' and the barber's shop?" I said, "I am." He said, "How did you come by it?" I said, "I have already told you that if you will prove to me you are the legal next-of-kin, I will go into further details with you." He asked about the boy, and I said, "He has a comfortable home here unless the relations interfere with him. Of course I have no legal claim on him any more than Miss Barrow had, but I should like you to know he has got a good home and if the uncles can give him a better home than he has got here and they wish to take him, I cannot stop it." My wife showed him some flannel underclothing she had made for the boy and he said, "I can see the boy is well cared for." We parted on quite friendly terms. I beard he had been making inquiries at the undertaker's, who had advised him to see a solicitor, but he said he did not want to bother with them. On November 22 the coroner's officer called upon me and made inquiries about the death, and I answered them and gave evidence at the inquest on the following day. On December 4 I was arrested. I used the £15 in my safe downstairs for my holiday at Southend. On November 27 I withdrew £47 17s. 9d. from the post office, leaving a balance of £20. The bag marked "£19" found in my safe was the gold I drew of the £47 17s. 9d., less £1. I never purchased or administered arsenic in any shape or form, and I never advised, directed, or instructed the purchase or administration of arsenic in any shape or form; that I swear.
Cross-examined. Miss Barrow was not a woman you could be in love with; I deeply sympathised with her; she was nine years older than me. I advised her in her financial matters; she only placed herself under my protection as against Hook. She must have possessed her India stock when she came to us; it brought her in a trifle over £1 a week. She was also drawing £120 a year from her leasehold property (this is not taking into account the compensation fund), the lease had about 18 £ years to run; I was under the impression that the sub-leaseholders, Truman, Hanbury, and Company, could give up the tenancy, but at the time the assignment was made to me Mr. Keeble advised me that that was not the fact. She had also over £200 in the Finsbury Savings Bank. I do not know how much she had in the cash box when she came to us; I never saw inside; she said she had £30 or £35 in it. I knew she had notes in October, but I do not know where she got them from. She had no other banking account to my knowledge. I did not know that she was deeply attached to Ernie; J learn; that they quarreled a lot; he was very useful to her and she fed and clothed him. She was satisfied that he had a good home with me after she died, because I often promised her what; I think the first time I promised her was when she returned from the funeral. All that she had left when she died was the £10 and her furniture and jewellery of the value of £10 14s. 6d., according to Mr. Gregory's inventory. Up to the time of the annuity she paid me 19s. a week, being the rent and 7s. for Maggie; she did not live as simply as ourselves; I cannot say if she lived well within her income; she had everything she fancied.
I knew my wife had one bank note from her, but she now tells me that she had 27, and I admit six; Miss Barrow apparently turned £165 into cash and I do not attempt to deny that she had that when in my house. The first time I heard that my wife had given a false name and address in cashing the notes was at the police court; I questioned her in the dock because it was a big surprise to me; she told me that Miss Barrow had always had the change and she explained if she went into a shop where she was not known to buy a small article she did not want everybody to know who she was; she only gave a false name and address where she was not known. She has not had time to give me much explanation. I do not know over what period she changed them. My company do an annuity business, but I never introduced any. I should get a commission if I did, but I do not know what it is. I never did any annuity business in my life before this. I agree it has turned out a profitable investment for me, but only from the monetary point of view. The leasehold property that I bought with the India stock brought me in £4 a week, whereas she only received £1 a week from the stock. I gave her an annuity certificate I drew up myself, signed and witnessed over a sixpenny stamp. The original is with the duplicate deed of the Buck's Head of which Miss Barrow had charge. As far as security to her was concerned, I bound myself by legal documents to pay her her annuity and I carried out my obligations. She was advised to have a solicitor, but she would' not have one. I gave her better value than the Post Office by over £460. It is true that I had no longer to pay her annuity after her death, but that only meant that I benefited to the extent of £1 8s. a week since I had to pay for Ernie's keep 15s. a week and I lost 7s. a week that she paid to Maggie for helping; these sums deducted from £2 8s. left £2 8s. and I was then in receipt of £14 14s. 3d. weekly. I believe I did try to effect the transfer of the stock to me at first without solicitors or stockbrokers; I drafted up a document which was destroyed because I intended putting the whole thing in the hands of Russell and Sons. Mr. Keeble advised me that a document of that description would be of no account. I had decided myself before then it would be insufficient; one thought led to another. My wife, her brother, Arthur Jones, and a Mr. Rodert witnessed the signatures, so the document was complete for what it was worth. I was not anxious at the inquest that the fact of this document being drawn up should not come out. I wished the assurance to be given to Jones that he was not in it at all, and that he should not be called. Nothing has been said about these documents (there were two) before because they are non-existent. It is true that I would be the only person except the children (to the extent of the furniture and jewellery) who would benefit by her death, but I had not given consideration to that. Miss Barrow was a very deep woman. If you spoke in her ear she would hear fairly well and she could see without glasses. Her bedroom had the ordinary basin, jug of water, water bottle, and glass. There was a gas light over the mantelpiece. During the whole time she was with us she would be occasionally a day or two in bed, but not bedfast. I might have looked upon her as an indifferent life when negotiating the annuity; her average expectation of life was only 20 or 21 years, but I did not feel she would live for that time. Before she was ill I had never occasion to go into her room excepting I had occasion as the landlord to go and see about the repairs. She went where she liked. It is true from September 1 my wife attended her and looked after her food. When drawing up her will on September 11 I never gave a thought to what property she had; she was dealing with the children's property. She wanted me to look after everything; she had taken me into her confidence from the beginning and naturally she wanted me to attend to everything in the end. I was not in her complete confidence; she never told me anything about herself or her affairs. She never mentioned her money in connection with this will. I did not consider her on that day any different from any other day that she had been in bed; I did not know then what Dr. Sworn had said; I did not enquire. I had had no experience in drawing up wills and I do not think I had a form before me when drawing this one although I have seen printed forms of wills. I do not know that this is drawn up in legal form; it uses legal terms that I am acquainted with. I did it hurriedly and did no: consider what it included. I thought that I used the expression "all she died possessed of." When writing the letters of September 14 and September 21 I knew what she had died possessed of because I had gone through her trunk and I used the expression that she left what she died possessed of to Hilda and Ernest Grant," and I meant the Vonderahes to understand that that was the fact, including cash. I drew up the will on September 11 from my memory of what I had seen; you read about forms of wills in the encyclopedia and post- office books; I cannot say what book I referred to; in days gone by I think I have looked at an encyclopedia and I think I have got something like that in the office. This will was never intended to be acted upon and I did not give sufficient consideration to it. I did not know she was going to die at any time during her illness; I thought she had exaggerated her ailment. There is always a danger where there is illness. It is true the doctor had been coming every day and that I wanted her to go to the hospital. I suggested sending for a relative of hers named Cugnoni who had written to her. I do not know what has become of the £216 she drew; I did not offer to lock it up in my safe because I did not want the responsibility; I had minded some money of hers before but that was when Hook was in the house. I thought on September 14 I should find the £216 but as she said she knew what to do with it I had no idea what she had done with it; it was only a frail trunk she put it in and she had workmen doing repairs and a window cleaner and others going in and out of her rooms. I did not bother any more about it after that. I did not say anything about this money to either Mrs. Vonderahe or Mr. Vonderahe because I did not know what had become of it and I had no way of accounting for it and it never entered my mind at the time. All that her instructions amounted to was that she wanted the children to have their parents' property. I did not take into consideration what effect the will would have if she died; if I had I should have realised that the money she had taken out of the Savings Bank would have gone to her nearest relations. I did not consider the Vonderahes were entitled to the full details without they showed they were legal next of kin. I had only seen one person die before Miss Barrow died and her death was very sudden and shocked me. It is true that on no other night but this last one I had stood at the door. I knew that I was her executor and trustee, but I did not give consideration to that on that night. I knew also that she had three relatives, such as they were, close by. I did not think that in ordinary prudence I ought to have taken care to see that I had some relative there before I got the keys and looked in her cashbox; she had already told me what she thought of her relatives; it was not my business to call them. Mrs. Rutt, an independent person, was already in the room. I did not see any necessity to call in a doctor that night, because it was only a repetition of what had been going on. It is true she had never got out of bed in the way she did that night before, but I considered that was due to weakness. She had never said before, "I'm dying," to my knowledge. I understood that the doctor was coming the following morning; he had been coming every day. I did not ask Dr. Sworn to come to see her after she died; but it not for me to say what a doctor's duty is. I knew she was dead because my wife had tied a handkerchief round her head because her mouth dropped; I had been down to see to the baby, and when I came up she had stopped breathing, and I said, "Good God, she's dead," and went for a doctor immediately. I had never seen her other nights; I had only heard her calling. The reason I stayed up with my wife on this night and stood by the open door (only occasionally going down to see to baby or for a drink) was because my wife was remaining up, and my opinion was that Miss Barrow wanted her to sit with her, and that was the reason of these repeated calls; I did not think she was going to die. I think Dr. Paull is a ten minutes' walk away; there is also a doctor close to. It is true that Maggie, my father, my two sons, and the servant were in the house, but I did not send any of them round to the Vonderahes to tell them of the death, because when Miss Barrow had previously got Maggie to call there for letters she had the door slammed in her face, so I told her not to go any more; it was my intention to write to them informing them of her death. I would not send anyone of my family to go round to their house and be insulted. Miss Barrow herself said she did not want her relations called in. Nodes told me his son would bring me a receipt for £4 for the funeral and I entered in my accounts as executor and trustee that I had paid £4; I drew up an account of what I did with the £10 I found. I thought the commission of 12s. 6d. that Nodes gave me perfectly legitimate. The arrangement for a public grave was only a temporary one, subject to any alteration the relatives might like to make; I expected them to call and see me that night in answer to my letter. We waited a little time on the Saturday to see if they turned up. When I told Nodes that I had others to consult I meant my wife and father; I did not intend to go to the relatives' house. My house was just as near to them as mine was to theirs and they could have come and seen me. They knew at the end of August she was ill; they told me at the interview they had met her and their boys were going to the same school as Ernie and could have learnt it from him; I cannot understand how they can say they had no knowledge that she was so ill.
FREDERICK HENRY EDDON (prisoner, recalled, further cross-examined.) On the early morning of September 14 I was called upstairs for the fourth time by Ernie Grant, who cried out from the top of the stairs that "Chickie" was out of bed. I found the boy terrified and supporting her; she was sitting with his hands under her arms. She did not say, "I am going" in my hearing. I asked what she was doing out of bed; she did not answer. She was apparently very ill. I think she was exaggerating to have Mrs. Seddon with her as on former occasions. I heard she had got out of bed and gone into another room on a former occasion. After that incident I remained outside the door off and on, reading the paper, going down to the baby, or to have a drink; for one and a half or two hours she slept. I remained to keep my wife company; it was about 4 a.m.; I could not sleep. We had been up the best part of the night. I said to my wife, "If you are going to sit up with her I must arrange to-morrow for her to go to the hospital; we cannot have another night like this." She was sitting in a chair at the foot of the bed and Miss Barrow was sleeping peacefully. I did not expect the end; that was not my reason for remaining. I did not give her brandy. I did not know there was brandy in the house. She asked for brandy and I said, "You cannot get brandy at this time in the morning—everywhere is closed." My wife said, "There is a drop there in the bottle." The bottle was on the top of the commode, which was between the door and the bed; it was a bottle £hat would hold a noggin; there was a little drop and I gave her half of it. I could see the foot of the bed as I was standing at the door smoking and I heard Miss Barrow snoring. Plan produced shows the position of the bed and the chair was where I mark the plan. What Mr. Vonderahe says—that I told him that my wife was out, I had to go to her myself, asked her what she wanted and I gave her some brandy, and that I said I was retiring to rest and hoped she would not trouble us again, that the boy came down again, called out, and that I gave her some more brandy—is not true. There was a little brandy in the bottle and that was gone by next morning; I did not say it had gone in the morning. I said we had been up all night. We did not talk about it beyond that. He was dealing with her properties; he was not concerned with how she died. I think Mrs. Rutt had derived by that time. We opened the trunk; I got the keys from my "wife; I found the cash-box, which was locked; I opened it with a key on the bunch. I found in it £4 10s.; I was surprised, I did not know what she could have done with her money. She had workmen coming into the room and a window cleaner. I went right through the trunk, examined the chest of drawers, felt the Bed all over, and found nothing.
The handbag was hanging on the bed, I did not open that. I did not understand what had become of her money. She was such a peculiar woman when you mentioned the matter that I did not go into details with her; she had a funny temper. It certainly struck me as very remarkable. I had paid her £10 on September 2; of course, I do not know what had been spent during the 14 days she had been ill. My wife said she had been giving her money for what was required. I asked my wife where she had been keeping her money; she said she had it in her purse under her pillow. We found the purse there with 3d. in it in copper. Except that 3d. and the £4 10s. we found nothing else. I did not think somebody had stolen it; I do not think evil of people like that. I had nothing to support the idea that it had been stolen. She had received £165 for the 33 £5 notes changed into gold. I do not know what has become of that; I never thought of it being odd. Then in 1911 I had given her £10 for eight months for her annuity—nine times with September 2; £91 I paid her in gold. There was the 21 £5 notes dealt with by me and my wife in 1911, making £105; then £216 drawn out in gold on June 19, making altogether £402 up to the end of August, 1911. I thought she had deposited it, and expected to find the receipt; she might have placed it in the hands of relations. I had nothing to do with her property; I only dealt with the property 12 months before and the matter was settled. I never had her money, otherwise it would be in my banking account or invested. I have hidden nothing. I did not tell her relatives or Mr. Vonderahe because as I told him he had not showed me he was the legal next-of-kin; that is my only explanation for not saying anything to the relatives about the money being missed. It did not enter my head to go into the details. I do not know what information the relatives are possessed of. She may have told them all about her financial transactions; they said they were meeting her as late as the last week in August. I have been expecting all through this prosecution to see £he documents come out; I have thought all kind of things about it. I did not know the relatives had it. At the interview I did not give it a thought. The only money I thought about was the £216 she had drawn out of the Finsbury Savings Bank in June. I knew Mr. Vonderahe on October 9 wanted to know about her investments and her property. That £216 came into my house, but I did not know it remained in my house. When I looked in the trunk it was not there. How did I know what the woman had done with it? She went out every day and was out the best part of the day meeting her relatives and friends. How can I explain something I do not know? We can all be wise after an event. I made a further search in the bedroom about 12 o'clock. I found £2 10s. in the bag and £3 in one of the drawers underneath the paper lining. Mrs. Seddon said she had looked in the bag but had not examined the outside pocket. That night my wife, her sister, and I think her father, went to the theatre; I remained at home when the undertaker sent for the body. I heard hook say that when he came into my house she had £380 in gold and a large sum in notes. All the notes had been dealt with. I do not know whether they came out of the cash box. I cannot account for the disappearance of the money. I have got a perfectly clear conscience on that. When Hook was leaving she asked me to take care of her cash box. I told Hook Miss Barrow had not put all her affairs into my hands; it is an invention of Hook's to say that I said she put all her affairs into my hands or her money; money was not mentioned. I said, "I am going in her interests as the landlord to look after her interests. You are not my tenants. I have told Miss Barrow to go and she does not want to go, and she says she has given you notice to go and you will not go, and she has asked me to give you notice to go." He said if he went he would take the boy with him. Hook's account is an invention. On the occasion when Hook was going Miss Barrow asked me to take care of her cash box, and said there was £35 in it. I know £165 in notes have been traced to my wife and myself. I say she told me there was £30 to £35 in the cash box; I say that after what we know about the notes. I was willing to take care of the cash box if she counted it out; in my presence so that I could give her a receipt for the amount and she could hold the key. I did not know the woman, she was a perfect stranger to me, I was not going to be let into a trap like taking possession of a box when I did not know how much it contained. She went upstairs with the box and said she would make sure how much there was in it. I do not know why she did not count it there and then; I could not enter into the woman's mind, I see no reason why she should not count it before me if I was to be trusted with it. She went upstairs and locked herself in her bedroom. I waited some time, and then went out; I had my business to attend to, and it appears that Hook had gone when I came in. On what has been called the office night, September 14, Taylor may be right in saying that the last collector left about 7 p.m. The money would be in the till and I should count it up. Taylor's statement that I had £200 and put it into four bags is absurd. The chink of money took place every Thursday. If Taylor had been watching me in the way he describes I should have told him to get on with his accounts. His statement is exaggerated. He might have heard the chink of money and glanced round. The money had not been put in the till in the cupboard. How could Taylor see with his back turned towards me? We were getting on late at night. Is it likely that I would bring money from the top of the house to the bottom which I had stolen at 9 o'clock that morning and count it in the presence of my assistants. I did say to Smith, "Here is your wages"; it was not the first time I had done that. I did not pick up four bags and put them in the safe. I had the sliding till on the drawer when the men were paying in their cash and I should count the money up—I took it out of the cupboard to count it. Both Smith and Taylor had been quite lately introduced into my office as assistants—Smith about a month or two. Taylor had been a superintendent and had been reduced and had been a month or so under me. I had £99 altogether in gold. The gold was in one bag to go to the bank; there were three bags of silver, very little copper; the silver was £15 17s. 6d. It was the company's money and my own. It is not feasible a man is going to do a thing like that. The prosecution are suggesting that I am dealing with the deceased woman's gold, and that I should bring it down from the top of the house to the bottom and count it out in the presence of my assistants. I am not a degenerate. That would make it out that I was a greedy, inhuman monster, and that having stolen this woman's money I should bring it down and count it in the presence of my two assistants and flaunt it like that; the suggestion is scandalous. On September 15, over and above the company's money, I paid £35 into my own current account and £30 in gold to the Savings Bank. On September 18 I paid £90 in gold for the three building society shares. I had £70 in gold, which was the balance of £116 I had drawn out of the London and Westminster Bank. On September 15 I went to Wright the jeweller to ask him to enlarge the diamond ring so as to fit my middle finger. I had been wearing it on the little finger. I had two diamond rings and a kerb ring. I wore the two diamond rings on these two fingers; the ring Miss Barrow had given me I wore on my little finger during her life time. During the time she was with me I did not want to hurt her feelings by having it enlarged. In January, 1911, I showed her the solicitor's bill; I had paid on her behalf £4 13s. She said she had no money to spare and she brought me down this diamond ring instead of the money. I know the diamond ring was found in my safe; I had not worn it the day I was arrested. On the same day I took the watch to have a new dial and the name erased. I had seen my sister off by the train for Wolverhampton and at the request of my wife I called in to have the watch done. There was no hurry, except that I had arranged to spend our holidays at Southend-on-Sea and she wanted to wear her jewellery at the seaside: so, as I had taken the ring to be enlarged, she said, "You might as well get the dial done and the name erased"— the name was on the back plate of the watch. I had seen it when Miss Barrow gave it to my wife, on April 22, as a birthday present. I would not have that done while Miss Barrow was with us; I would not hurt her feelings like that; it was her mother's watch and my wife would not wear the watch because the dial was discoloured and cracked. I said it was worth a gold dial, but I would not have it done while Miss Barrow was with us; I should have had it done if she had removed into other lodgings. Mrs. Seddon had often asked me to get it done for her; she said she would not wear it until she had got it done. The bracelet produced was not included in the inventory because it was not Miss Barrow's property at her death; she had given it to my daughter as a birthday present; she gave her another at Christmas. Miss Barrow had the three watches (produced). The gold one had her mother's name on it and date 1860; she treasured it as her mother's, but never wore it; she never wore any jewellery. I do not know that those three articles were the most valuable pieces of jewellery she possessed—the diamond ring, the gold watch belonging to her mother, and the gold chain and pendant. The inventory of her total effects, furniture, jewellery, and clothing, is valued at £16 14s. 6d.; that is not my valuation; that does not represent what the things would cost. On September 21 I wrote letter: "To the relatives of the late Miss Eliza Mary Barrow. I hereby certify that Miss Barrow has left all she died possessed of to Hilda and Ernest Grant and appointed me as sole executor to hold in trust until they become of age. Her property and investments she disposed of through solicitors and Stock Exchange brokers about October and December, 1910, last, to purchase a life annuity, which she received monthly up to the time of her death, and the annuity died with her. She stated in writing that she did not wish any of her relatives to receive any benefit on her death and during her last illness declined to have any relatives called in to see her, stating they had treated her badly and had not considered her and she would not consider them. She has simply left furniture, jewellery, clothing." That does not suggest that I had anything to do with the purchase of the annuity; it does conceal the facts, but not intentionally; it is a pure accident. I was informing them what she had done with her property—that she had purchased an annuity; that is what I had in my mind. I have never been executor under a will before. It was not deliberately written to conceal the truth; I could not stop anybody from making inquiries; it was a true, honest statement at the time to my mind; I gave them what I considered necessary information—not full information. I gave the letter to Mrs. Vonderahe to give to her husband as information to the relatives. I do not know whether, if they had not suspected me, there would have been an end of it. On October 9 I said to Mr. Vonderahe, "I have given you information, I will give you a copy of the will, and I have explained to you what she did with her investments. If there are any further details that you require if you show me you are the legal next- of-kin to Eliza Mary Barrow I will go into further details with you." I did not know that e had an elder brother. Miss Barrow told me there was a brother; I understood he was the black sheep of the family. I said, "You can get the certificate of death or you can go if you like, to a Commissioner of oaths and swear that you are the next-of-kin." These were business transactions that had taken place 14 months before. I did not consider my past business transactions with Miss Barrow had anything to do with it; they had been closed. I agree that letter is not a frank statement. By referring to solicitors and stock brokers I meant that it was done in order. I did not tell Vonderahe on November 9 I had anything to do with the annuity; the question was not asked. He asked me who was the landlord of the "Buck's Head" and the barber's shop; I told him I was. He had a friend with him whom the prosecution nave not called. I did not say I had bought the property in the open market; I said, "You can write to the Governor of the Bank of England. Everything has been done in perfect order and I am prepared to stand by it." I did not say I had nothing to do with it; I did not explain things to him because I did not like the man's behaviour for one thing, and the way he put it to me, and the way they spoke about Miss Barrow did not show that they were kindly disposed people, and the way they slammed the door in my daughter's lace. My letter, of which you have a copy, announcing the funeral was posted about 5 p.m. to Evershot Road. Evershot Road is practically the next street to me. I would not send one of my family round there after the way they had treated us. I looked upon it as the more businesslike way to drop them a line, and they could come to the funeral or stop away as they liked. I did not expect them to come. I did not know whether they would come or not. I thought they would have come round if they intended to attend the funeral. On the day of my arrest I was walking in Tollington Park towards my home, when two gentlemen I saw talking together came up behind me, one getting hold of each wrist. They said, "We are police officers—we arrest you." I said, "What for?" They said Chief Detective-Inspector Ward will be here in a moment—he will tell you. Just then Ward came up. He said, "Come round the corner, I will let you know why you are arrested. I said, "I am only three doors from my home—cannot you take me home and let my wife and family know that I am arrested." He said, "Oh, you need not worry about that; you will see your wife down at the station." I said, "Are you going to arrest her too?" He said, "Yes." By that time we were round in Fonthill Road. Ward said, "You are arrested for the murder of Eliza Mary Barrow by poison—by arsenic." I do not dispute the rest of his account. At the station I said, "Are you going for her now." He said, "I am not going to tell you what I am going to do." I said, "I am concerned to know because I want a woman got in to look after my home." I said, "Have they found arsenic in her body?" He said, "Yes." I knew that a post- mortem had been taken. I said, "It was not carbolic acid was it, and Sanitas is not poison." This document, headed "£10 cash found at Miss Barrow's death," is in my handwriting, and purports to account for what I have done with the money; the items include the cost of a suit and pants for Ernie, and a holiday for him at Southend; I made it up for Mr. Saint, I think at the time of the inquest. I agree that my statement accounting for the money I paid out on September 15 depends upon my statement that I had £220 in gold; I have no document to show that, but I think there is ample evidence. The wardrobe business was carried on from February, 1909, till the beginning of 1910. I do not think I told Naylor and Smith how much gold there was in the bag. I told Naylor that if he came across any wardrobe stocks Mrs. Seddon was prepared to purchase to any amount for cash, and I showed him that we had plenty of ready cash on hand for the purpose; it was not as much as £200; I may have said there was "A couple of hundred" then jocularly, but it would not be true; I do not know the exact amount I had at that date. I placed the £30 I received for the business on deposit to carry interest at the Post Office Savings Bank. I did not put all the money I had in the bank to carry interest because I wanted to keep it in hand to pay off the mortgage when desired; Mr. Wainwright had also suggested to me the possibility of some bargains coming along as property was cheap at the time. If I had banked my money, if anything happened to me my wife would not have the same facility for dealing with the money; she would have to wait for probate. I had made a will a long time before which I tore up when she went away. I was paying 5 per cent, for the mortgage, which was to run for 15 or 20 years. My wife and I parted in January, 1910, for four or five weeks. I used to keep the books in the wardrobe business and label the stocks in lot numbers for her, and I had differences with her regarding the lot numbers getting off the stock so that I could not recognise what had been paid for; this caused a quarrel, and I was going to throw the books behind the fire; as a matter of fact I did mutilate them. These (produced) are the books that were kept. They would not show a summary of the stock sold. From April, 1909, to May, 1909, stock that had cost £43 odd sold for £85 odd, showing £42 odd profit in eight weeks. There is nothing to show how much money there was in the business when it was sold. I dealt with £155 in gold on September 15 because I was going away for my holiday, and it was not safe to leave all the money, in the house. The receipts I gave Miss Barrow were torn from a book and I believe the counterfoils are still in existence; I cannot remember if I filled them up. These two books (produced) are not the ones. I had four of these in the house when I was arrested. On the night of my arrest I was consulted by Mr. Saint about my daughter Maggie going to get flypapers on December 6. I knew these Mather's flypapers were poisonous to insects but not to children. I saw them in her room the night the will was signed and the night she died. I had never seen them in the house before; we had used the sticky ones. How the arsenic came to be in Miss Barrow's stomach and intestines is a Chinese puzzle to me.
Re-examined. My wife told me that she had purchased flypapers to satisfy Miss Barrow as she complained of the heat and the flies in her room and that Miss Barrow had said she did not want the sticky ones, because they were dirty, but the ones you put water on. I have no recollection of seeing them in my house before September 11. Nothing that I know of that—I or my wife did can account for the arsenic being found in her body. I had full possession of her property four months before I began paying her an annuity upon it. According to the will I drew up the legal next-of-kin would have all the property that was not contained in it; a man named Barrow in Bristol is claiming now to be the next-of-kin. She thoroughly understood the will and the calling in of a solicitor would not have made any difference. If I had known she was going to die I would have called in a solicitor for my own protection; the will was not to benefit me. On the night that she died she first of all fell asleep and then afterwards began to snore. The reason why I stood at the door was because the smell in the room was very, very bad. There are two important documents missing in this case, the duplicate of the deed of assignment which Miss Barrow had and the typewritten annuity certificate relating to the stocks which I gave her and which was attached to it. There was no idea of any concealment when I went to Mr. Wright with the ring and the watch as he had known me some time and he knew my address. Miss Barrow said they did not belong to the Grants. Mr. Vonderahe seemed very sarcastic when he called. (The witness, at the request of the Attorney-General, identified a letter (Exhibit 12) dated January 24, 1911, from deceased to Russell and Sons requesting them to hand the duplicate deed he referred to to him; it bore his receipt for same. He stated that he was almost certain that the deceased had written him acknowledging the receipt of the deed from him.) I am willing that my wife should be called on my behalf. (Mr. Marshall Hall explained that he put this question in consequence of the recent decision in the House of Lords, R v. Leach, 7 Cr. App. R., p. 157, making it necessary for this consent to be given, land that he would call Mrs. Seddon on behalf of his client.)
FRANK EDWARD WHITING, Auctioneer, 30, Bedford Row, produced and proved a plan of deceased's room.
ALBERT SIDNEY WAINWRIGHT, Auctioneer, 279, Seven Sisters Road. I have known the male prisoner some few years. At the end of August, 1909, I submitted the leasehold property, 63, Tollington Park, to him and eventually he offered £320, which the vendors accepted on September 3, 1909. In the evening of that day I called on him at 200, Seven Sisters Road and filled in a form of contract which we discussed. I wanted £30 deposit but he would only pay £15 because there was a forfeiture clause in it. I could not get over this and agreed to take it. He brought out a bag of gold which he emptied on his desk; I cannot say where he got it from. He counted out £15 but I said, "If you don't mind, give me a cheque. I am going out to-night and I do not want gold with me." He said it would make no difference to him. He put the gold back into the bag and we had a chat. The repairs were going to cost him £50. He tapped the bag and said, "With this money and with other money that I am possessed of I can pay for this house." I said, "If that is the case I should not put all your eggs into one basket. Why not buy two or three small houses and pay a small amount in each, get mortgages and the houses will pay for themselves." He fell in with that idea and from time to time I gave him particulars of houses; he made an offer for one but it was not accepted. It was my suggestion that he should get a mortgage on this property, and I persuaded him to carry it through. I had instructions to let it but I could not get a tenant and he lived in it himself. I looked upon him as a man of substance.
Cross-examined. I knew afterwards he held Cardiff stock, but I cannot say how much it was.
THOMAS CREEK, carman, 11, Greenwood Place, Kentish Town. I have known Hook some years. On July 26, 1910, at his request, I moved some articles belonging to Miss Barrow from 31, Evershot Road to 63, Tollington Park; I think it was between 12 and 3. Hook helped me to load and unload. He carried nothing in his hand. I cannot remember anything left behind that he went back for. We stopped and had a drink on the way while Miss Barrow and the boy stood by the van. After we had done unloading I left him putting down the oilcloth. I was paid 4s.
Cross-examined. I got my living doing these jobs. There was nothing special about this one. It was a fortnight ago when Mr. Saint came to me about this. My memory serves me well for this time. It would be unusual if we did not have a drink.
Re-examined. Hook has only engaged me once to do this removal from Evershot Road to Tollington Park.
MARGARET ANN SEDDON. I am 34 years old and have been married to male prisoner 18 years; I have five children, my youngest being born on January 3, 1911. In 1909 we lived at 200, Seven Sisters Road, where I carried on a wardrobe business under the name of "Madame Rowen"; my husband found the money to start it, partly from the bank and partly from the Cardiff stock, and used to keep the takings on hand; he put them in the secretaire; later he bought a safe. We did a splendid business. Books were kept but they were mutilated. About February, 1910, we moved to 63, Tollington Park. We let the top part off, and my husband used the basement as an office, in which he had another safe; the first safe being in our bedroom. We advertised for a tenant for the upper floor and in July, 1910, deceased called with Ernie; she did not decide to take them; she said she had a friend. She called with Mrs. Hook and decided to take the rooms and paid a week's deposit. She came to live there with the Hooks and Ernie. On a Saturday night I think they must have all had a little drop to drink and they started quarrelling. On the Sunday the Hooks took Ernie out, leaving her ill in bed unattended to. On their return they continued quarrelling and my husband wrote a note and pinned it on the Hooks' door; Miss Barrow had complained to us about their conduct. A day or two before the Hooks left Miss Barrow brought her cash-box down to my husband, saying that there was between £30 and £35 in it; she said she could not trust the Hooks. He would not have it unless she counted it out and she took it upstairs, we thought to count it; she never brought it downstairs again. After the Hooks left my daughter looked after her up to the time she was ill; Miss Barrow gave her 1s. a day. She was always crying; she told me it was about the Compensation Fund increase on her public-house, and she asked me would I tell Mr. Seddon that she wanted to see him. Later he saw her; I do not remember whether I was present or not. He told me something about these properties, but I do not understand financial affairs. I witnessed an annuity certificate and the will later. Miss Barrow used to pay 12s. a week, which was entered up by my husband in her rent book every week; but after the annuity certificate he wrote in it, "Rent free, as arranged." When the transaction was finished she brought this diamond ring (produced) into my bedroom, where I was confined, and made a present of it to my husband, and he during her life wore it on his little finger. On my 31st birthday she gave me a gold watch and chain with three charms (Exhibits 21 and 122). She gave my daughter Maggie a gold necklet and a locket (Exhibit 123) on her birthday. In March last year, when my husband was out, she gave me this letter about her relations; I gave it to him when he came in. On one occasion she had tried to cash a bank note and someone would not cash it for her and she asked me to do so. I took it to the Post Office and they asked me my name and address. I thought it was rather funny as I had never cashed a note before in my life, so I gave the first name and address that came into my head; this was about a month or so after she first came to the house. I gave the name of "M. Scott, 18, Evershot Road," or "12, Evershot Road"; I am not sure which. Afterwards she asked me to cash several notes for her and had no difficulty in doing so; I would change the note in shopping, make up the difference, and give her the £5 in gold and silver. At shops where I was known I gave my right name and address because hey already knew it, but at shops where I was not known I gave this wrong name and address. On one occasion she asked my husband to let me go to her bank with her and I went. She was paid in two bags containing £100 in each and £16 loose gold and, I think, some coppers; she emptied it out on the counter, but the cashier said it was not necessary to count it as it was just as it had come from the bank. I never handled the money. When she came in my husband said something about putting it away, as he did not like to have it in the house all in gold, and she said she knew what to do with it; she did not speak to him for a week after that. Up to the time of her illness she went out every day, taking the boy to school and bringing back her dinner. She used to tell me she met a woman, but I cannot say who it was. She told me her relations were not kind to her. She could hear my or Ernie's voice quite plainly. On the morning of September 1, when I came down, she was sitting in my kitchen. She complained of being bilious and I advised her to go upstairs and have a lay down. I helped her upstairs and she laid down on the bed. I gave her a cup of tea and she was sick. I had seen her with these sick bilious attacks on and off every month. The next day she had sickness and diarrhoea after dinner. In the morning she said she would sign for her annuity, and my husband went up to her and gave her some money, and she, in my presence, signed two receipts. I thought it best to send for Dr Paull, to whom I had previously taken her, and I did so, but he could not come. I sent for him a second time and then he said we were to get the nearest doctor. My daughter telephoned for Dr. Sworn, our family doctor. He came and told me that she was to have no solid food. He sent some thick chalky medicine, but she would not take it. He called again on the 3rd, gave her a dose himself, and said she would have to take it. About two or three days later when she would not take the "phizzy" medicine that he had sent her he said she would have to go to the hospital and I asked her in his presence why she would not do so; she said she would not, and also refused to have a nurse. Soon after the commencement of her illness she went into the boy's bedroom. I remonstrated with her and said that the doctor would blame me if anything happened to her She complained of the flies and the heat in her room; we had to fan her to keep the flies away. She asked me to get her some flypapers; she did not want the sticky ones but those that you wet; I got her some; this was either the 4th or 5th. I purchased them at Meacher's a chemist just round the corner; an old gentleman served me. I think I also ordered a 9s. 6d. bottle of Horlick's malted milk, but he said he had not got it in but would send it round. I also bought a pennyworth of white precipitate powder for her to wash her head with; I have also seen her clean her teeth with it. I never signed a book for these flypapers; I had never seen them before. I asked for two first and I put down twopence. He said, "Why not have four? You can have four for 3d." and I took the four; they were wrapped up in white paper. I showed them to Miss Barrow and she said they were the ones she wanted. I put them on a plate and damped them and then I put them on four saucers, two of which I put on her mantlepiece and two on her chest of drawers in between her mirrors; I put water in the saucers. Up to the time she took ill Maggie did her cooking, but after that I did what there was to do; the only food I prepared upstairs was the Valentine's meat juice, which did not require any boiling. Before she was ill all her cooking was done upstairs in her kitchen except once or twice when she asked me to cook her a pudding or some fish. Before and during her illness Mary always made her a cup of tea in the morning which Maggie, I think, used to take up to her. At first I used to get a glass of milk when the milkman came and give it to her, and then at about seven she used to take the cup of tea. This went on until four days before she died, when the doctor said she was not to have any more tea because she never kept it in her stomach. During her illness I always waited on her except when I happened to be out of the road, when Maggie or anyone who was knocking about would. The only time that my husband ever gave her her medicine was when I told him that she would not take this "phizzy" medicine while it was "phizzy." On the Sunday or the Monday I told him that she wanted to see him about making a will. He did not go up at once, but I think on the Monday afternoon he went up and in my presence she told him that she wanted the furniture and jewellery which had belonged to Hilda and "Ernie's father and mother to go to them and she did not want Hook and her relations to have it. He suggested her having a solicitor, but she did not want the expense of that and asked him if he could not do it himself. I think he went into the office after that. The next thing I remember is my husband calling me and my father-in-law between 6 and 7 after we had all had dinner (my sister-in-law was stopping with us at the time) to come up and witness tins will for her. We went up and propped her up with pillows and got her to sign it. I and my father-in-law signed it; my husband read it to her and then she asked for her glasses to read It herself, which she did. She then signed it. My sister-in-law had arrived that day, Monday, September 11; her husband had written to my husband to ask if she could come for a few days and he had replied that we had an old lady ill in the house but if she liked to come and take "pot luck" she could. On the 12th the doctor came again; I was always there when he came. On September 12, I think it was, I knocked off one of the saucers from the mantlepiece. I went down and got a soup plate and put the flypaper from the broken saucer and the three others into the plate, which I put on a little table between he two windows; I had to put fresh water into the plate as well, as there was not enough. The plate remained there till the morning she died.
MARGARET ANN SEDDON (prisoner, recalled. Further examined).
Dr. Sworn called on the morning of September 13. At about 12 at night, while standing at the gate with my sister-in-law, waiting for my husband who had gone to the theatre, Miss Barrow called out, "I'm dying." I asked my sister- in-law to come upstairs. She did not like to at first but she followed me up afterwards. I asked Miss Barrow what was the matter with her and she said she had violent pains in her stomach and that her feet felt cold. I asked my sister- in-law what I should do, as I had no hot water bottles in the house, and she replied, "Wrap a flannel petticoat round her feet," which I did. Then I put hot flannels on her stomach as I had done before and tried to make her as comfortable as I could. I went downstairs again. When my husband came home at 12.30 I told him what had happened. He did not go up immediately but began telling my sister-in-law about a dispute he had had at the theatre. I think Ernie came down before we went up. She and my husband went up and I followed. He introduced his sister to her; but she just looked at her and she went downstairs again, I think. I attended to what she wanted; I do not know whether my husband gave her a drop of brandy then or not, but he told her that she must go to sleep or that I would be knocked up. She said she could not help it. He then left the room. I followed shortly afterwards. We went to bed, and we were not there long before the boy came downstairs again and said, "'Chickie' wants you." I went up and put more hot flannels and attended to her what she wanted to do; she was suffering from diarrhoea. I did not think she was dying. I have never seen anyone dying. I went to bed again, but was almost immediately called by the boy again; he knocked at the door. I went up to her and attended her in the same way. That night she was not properly sick, but nasty froth came up and she retched. She also had the diarrhoea bad. I went to bed again and then the boy called out that she was out of bed. My husband told me to stop in bed and he would go up. I said it was no good his going up because I thought she wanted me for the same thing as before. He would go up, so I followed him. She was in a sitting position on the floor and the boy was holding her up. We lifted her into bed again; this must have been between 3 and 4 a.m. I again put hot flannels on her and made her comfortable. She did not complain of anything in particular; she always used to complain. She asked me to stay with her but my husband said, "If Mrs. Seddon sits up with you all night she will be knocked up. You must remember she has got a young baby and wants her rest." Ernie was then in her bed. He was in and out of her bed all the time. Every time we went up my husband told him to go to his bed. I sat in a basket chair at the foot of the bed, and my husband stood by the bedroom smoking and reading. When he suggested my going to bed I said it was no good, as she would only call me up again. Then she seemed to be sleeping peacefully for some time. I was dozing, sleeping tired. After a while she seemed to be snoring. It was getting on towards daylight then. Then my husband called my attention to the fact that her snoring and breathing had stopped. He lifted her eyelid and said, "Good God, she's dead." With that he hurried out and went for Dr. Sworn; this would be between 6 and 6.30. I locked the door, so that the boy should not get in, and came down with him. I went into the kitchen and told Mary that I thought Miss Barrow had passed away. I had a cup of tea and then woke my daughter and the boys and told them. One of them went for Mrs. Butt. She came at about the same time as my husband returned. We three went upstairs and Mrs. Rutt and I attended to the body; my husband assisted in getting the feather bed from under her. He asked me if I knew where she kept her keys, and I said I did not and started looking for them, and found them hidden under the paper in one of the drawers in the chest of drawers. I gave them to him. He opened the trunk with one of them and lifted the tray up. Underneath he found the cashbox, which he opened with another one of the keys, and found £4 10s. in gold in a little brown paper bag. I do not know what he did with the cashbox after this as we were still attending to the body. He searched the trunk and found two silver watches and chains and some other articles, but no more money. Later on I was emptying the clothes out of her drawers and in the drawer in which I had found the keys I found three sovereigns wrapped up in paper in the fold of the paper. In the pocket of the handbag hanging at the foot of the bed I also found £2 10s. wrapped in tissue paper. That morning we sent the children to Southend. That morning Nodes came and advised that the body should be removed. I said, "What a shame, when she died in the house," but he said, "Remember, you have a young baby in the house and your health is not very good," and with the bad smell in the house it was better for it to go to his shop. On the next day I went with my sister-in- law and ordered a wreath. I went with her and my father-in-law subsequently to the undertakers, taking the wreath. I put it on her body and kissed her. I, my husband, and my father-in-law went to the funeral the next day. From the moment she died the blinds were drawn down. My sister-in-law pulled them up and I said, 'What a shame. Let us show a little respect by keeping the blinds down until after she is buried,' and I pulled them down. The windows were left open until we returned from the funeral. On the afternoon of the day she died I was resting, when my husband came upstairs and said he was tired. I asked him why he did not have a rest and he said he had to write a letter to the Vonderahes. He left me and I do not know what happened after that. On September 21 the two Mrs. Vonderahes called. My husband asked them if they had received the letter and Mrs. Vonderahes seemed a little excited and said, "No; what letter do you mean?" He took from his pocket a copy that he had kept and gave it to her. She read it. Then I think, they went on talking about Miss Barrow and about her being buried in a public grave when she had a family one. He said if they liked they could have the body reburied in her own grave. She said the public grave; was quite good enough for her, as she had been a bad wicked woman all her life and she went on to describe how they had fallen out. He said that she was only a woman who wanted a little humouring and that we had got on all right with her. Then I think they asked what would happen to the boy, and he said that he had got a good home with us unless any of his relations could give him a better one; we had no claim on him. They wanted to know about the public-house and the stock, and I think he said that she had bought an annuity with that. One of them said it would have to be a clever person to get over her with her business transactions. They asked him if he would see the two Mr. Vonderahes the next evening or the same evening (I am not certain which), and he said he would see them on his return from his holiday. We went to Southend, where we stopped nearly a fortnight. On our return Ernie was sent round to say that we were at home, and on October 9 Mr. Frank Vonderahe called with a friend. I was present. I cannot say word for word what was said, but I think my husband said he would not go into details unless he could prove he was next-of- kin. I do not remember anything more as I was not sufficiently interested in the conversation. I have never administered arsenic or caused it to be administered to Miss Barrow in any shape or form.
Cross-examined. I ordered the things for the house and my husband paid the bills at the end of the week. Maggie did errands for me and took the baby out. I always got on well with Miss Barrow. I started taking her to Dr. Paull in November, 1910. I only saw her cash box when she brought it down to my husband and on the day she died. I cannot say where the notes that I cashed for her came from; she used to bring them down to me in the dining-room. I very seldom went out with her. The only time I told my husband that I was cashing notes for her was when I cashed the first one at the Post Office; he asked me why did not I ask him to do so. I did not tell him I had given a false name and address. I was not troubled in any way about it. It never struck me as an ordinary thing that I should write a different name and address as I had never changed a note before. I never had a note in the wardrobe business. I did not know anybody of the name of "Scott" at 18, Evershot Road; I had never been there. I never thought there was any harm in it. I did not give my own name because the note did not belong to me, and I did not sign hers as I had no right to. "Scott" was the first name that came into my head. I think it is right that I gave a false name at three shops; I never thought about giving the false name in the intervals. I did not tell my husband about it because he never used to take any notice when I said anything to him; he always had other things to think of. I agree that if I wanted to conceal that I was passing these notes it would be useful to give a false name and address. When giving the address "12, Evershot Road" instead of "18," I had no wrong intention; it was meant to be "18." She never liked having notes; she always wanted gold. I know that at the same time my husband was getting notes from her for rent; but I only heard that for the first time yesterday. I do not deny the dates on which I cashed the notes. I suppose by April, 1911, I had got pretty used to cashing them. Having once given a false name and address I had to keep to it. It is true that on April 8, 1911, I cashed a note at Rackstraw's for the first time and gave a false name, but I did so because I was not known there. I never enquired whether there was such a person as "Scott" of Evershot Road. I was not anxious about all this gold coming into the house; I was not her keeper and her affairs did not concern me. I am not responsible for what my husband thought about the £216 gold. It never occurred 10 me to tell him that I was giving her all this other gold. I suppose with her annuity, the £216, and the gold I changed for her there should have been more money after her death than we actually found. I was never in the habit of using flypapers in the house and I am positive I never bought a flypaper of any sort or kind in my life until I bought these for Miss Barrow; they were the first I had ever seen in my house. I cannot say Meacher's number in Stroud Green Road, but his shop is just round the corner. I have bought several things there. I did not renew these four flypapers. I never sent Maggie for flypapers and she never went and never was sent for them to my knowledge. She went on December 6 for Mr. Saint. I never read the directions on them; the man told me to put water on them. The reason why I put all these four flypapers into one soup-plate was that I did not want to be bothered with having the four. I had been repeatedly moistening them because they dried up in consequence of the heat of the room. When I put them into the soup-plate there was not much water on them and I put more. I put them into the soup-plate for convenience; the flies were nearly all gone. I have never seen Thorley's shop and I do not know Meacher's second shop in Stroud Green Road. About once a month Miss Barrow used to have a proper sick bilious attack. I was in constant attendance on her from September 2 to September 13, and I was called up once or twice in the middle of the night. On the morning of the 13th she seemed rather weaker with the diarrhoea but she was not so sick; that is what I told the doctor. She had pains in her stomach; that had been going on on and off during the whole time. When the doctor left I did not think there was any fear of her dying within 24 hours. I did not notice whether she got worse after the doctor left. I was not with her all day long; about 10 p.m. I gave her her medicine and I did not see her again till 12 o'clock. Before my husband came home I had been up on and off putting hot flannels on her; she had been complaining a good deal, but there was nothing unusual about that. After 12, it is true, she was worse than she had been before; the doctor found her about the same that morning, not "rather worse"; I do not remember that he told me she was rather worse. She had had worse attacks than that and what he told me did not alarm me. He said she was in a weak condition. I had never heard her scream, "I'm dying" before. When I went up she was just the same as she usually was. It is true that I smiled when I told my husband about it but I cannot help it; it is my way; no matter how serious anything was I think I would smile. He knows my ways. It was not a few minutes after he came in that Ernie called and we went up. There was a doctor quite close. The brandy that my husband left in the bottle was gone by the morning; she must have drank it at the time she was out of bed. My husband sent Ernie to his bed for the last time at between three and four in the morning; I see that I said before the Coroner that he did not sleep in her bed after two, but that was a mistake. When I found her sitting on the floor she wanted to use the commode and I helped her. The last time we went up my husband would not leave me in the room alone so he stood by the open door smoking. There was nothing alarming about her snoring; she seemed to be snoring from her throat. I was very shocked when I found she was dead; I could not believe it. There was nothing to alarm me before she stopped breathing; it was the first sick room I had ever been in in my life. I never gave the doctor a thought, because I knew Dr. Sworn would come next morning and I never expected she was dying. My husband said, "Good God, she's dead!" and then hurried off for Dr. Sworn, and I expected Dr. Sworn to come back with him, I suppose, to see if she was dead. I cannot remember whether it was before he went or after he came back that I put my handkerchief round her head; I do not think it could have been before. I saw my husband find the money in the cashbox, as he put the box on the side of the bed by the body. So far as I knew, up to the afternoon that was all the money that had been found. I knew that she had had £10 on September 2, which my husband gave her, and she could not have spent it as she had not gone out since then; she had only given me 2s. 10d. to buy meat juice. She only had two bottles of that; she commenced taking it several days before she died; I gave it her in cold water once a day in the afternoon. I only used the stove in her kitchen to heat the flannels, not to boil water. It was a great surprise to me when we only found £4 10s. in the cashbox; I thought there was certainly more; as far as I knew the £216 would still be there and part of the gold I had given her in exchange for the notes and the monthly payments of £10. I never said to my husband that I was surprised. He said it was funny what had become of it. I did not then tell him that I had been giving her gold for notes because I did not think it was necessary. The bunch of keys (produced) is the one I found. I do not think I explained to my husband that I had driven a false name and address, because I did not want everybody to know my business—not exactly in that way; I do not remember what I did tell him. It is true that on the night of the 14th I went to the music hall, returning at 12 o'clock; I knew that the body was going to be removed that night. The reason why I took the watch to the jeweller to have the name taken out of the back plate was that I would not wear it with the name in; and I have never worn it yet. Anybody could see the name if they opened it; a good many people open your watch. When I said that I never had any flypapers in my house of any kind before these four I made a mistake; there have been sticky papers. I called this to mind after I went away. (Witness referred to the adjournment in the middle of the day.) I got mixed up in my answers before. My attention was not called to the fact that my husband had said that I had used sticky ones in the house. I do not remember what he said in court. I had not used them very often. I do not think I used them during her illness. I do not think we used them at 63, Tollington Park. When I went to Meacher's I asked for "the flypapers that you wet"; I had never seen them before. I cannot say whether Mr. Saint has been to Meacher's and tried to get a statement from him. I told him about it and that I had bought white precipitate powder there; this would be about the ime that Maggie went to Price's. I knew she was going to Price's for flypapers. I do not recognise Mr. Saint's signature on this document (produced). That is the gentleman who served me. (This of Mr. Meacher who had been brought into court.) Maggie has bought baby food at his shop. I do not think I changed any notes for Miss Barrow after September 1. If I did it was with my own money; the last occasion I changed a note for her it was out of my own money that I had in hand. I did not pay the note into my bank. The entry of £5 gold on September 18 in my bank book is the change from the note given me by Kregg's.
Re-examined. I do not know in the least what Miss Barrow did with the money I gave her in change for the notes. I did not know until the Police Court hearing that it was suggested that Maggie had bought flypapers on August 26. I cannot say how long I was in the chair before the final end came as I was dozing. Before she took to bed she complained of asthma and she was troubled with bronchitis on and off. This was an ordinary morning. I gave her the meat juice in a cup—two or three teaspoonfuls and nearly full of water; it was a sort of brown colour. The trunk was underneath the window. I do not know what Miss Barrow did when she went out. The reason why I went to the Music Hall on the 14th was that my eldest son bought four seats at the Empire; I said I felt tired and would rather stay at home, but my husband thought it would do me good and advised me to go. (To the jury.) I paid a penny for the white precipitate powder. If I wanted money my husband would give it me.
JOHN ARTHUR FRANCIS, M. R. C. S., 108, Fortess Road, Tufnell Park. From October, 1904, to February, 1910, I attended Miss Barrow, first when she was living with the Grants at 52, Lady Somerset Road, and afterwards at Woodsome Road and at Evershot Road. I attended her for a few months for gastro- enteritis, brought about by alcohol; at other times I attended her for bronchitis. I have here extracts from my ledger showing the dates upon which I attended her. I have not the book, but can produce it. She was a business-like woman and seemed to have her wits about her.
ERNEST BURDON, clerk to Frere Cholmeley and Co., Solicitors, Lincoln's Inn Fields. I produce a number of letters that passed between my firm and Miss Barrow in connection with the Compensation charges on the "Buck's Head" in 1910. In October, 1910, instead of her sending us a money-order for the ground rent, as she had previously done, we received from her a cheque for £9 8s. 4d. upon Seddon's account at the London and Provincial Bank. After that we had notice of an assignment and received payments direct from Seddon.
MARY CHATER, recalled. It is not the fact that every morning I took a cup of tea up to Miss Barrow; I do not know that Maggie Seddon took tea up to her.
MARGARET SEDDON. I am 16 years of age. Every morning I used to take a cup of tea to Miss Barrow; Chater used to bring it up to my bedroom, and I would take it to Miss Barrow. On December 6, after father had been arrested, mother sent me to buy some flypapers. I do not know Thorley but I know his daughter. On two occasions I went to the side door of his shop to see the daughter, and Mr. Thorley opened the door. I have never been there to buy flypapers. I have never at any time bought there or anywhere else any flypapers similar to Exhibit 26. On December 6 I went to Mr. Price's shop; I went with two of Mr. Saint's daughters.
Cross-examined. I sometimes took the baby out in a perambulator. I know a shop called Wilson's; I am sure I did not purchase anything there on August 26. I have been into the shop. I remember buying there a pair of shoes and a little writing case; I do not remember the date. Wilson's is about five minutes' walk from Thorley's. I have seen flypapers like this in Miss Barrow's room during her illness in September; I was in there every day. I have never been in Thorley's shop. (Counsel put it to witness that she asked Thorley for four packets of flypapers; that he said, "Do you want the sticky ones"; that she said, "No, the arsenic ones"; that he told her he could not let her have four packets because he had not got them in the shop; witness repeated that she had never been in the shop and had never had a conversation with' Thorley.) Inspector Ward did ask me whether I had ever been to the shop at the corner of Tollington Park and Stroud Green Road to purchase Mather's flypapers; that is Price's shop. I told Ward that I had been there to try and get some flypapers, but that Price would not give them to me When I mentioned my name, owing to the trouble we had already got. I said that I could not say whether my mother or my father had asked me to go for the flypapers. I knew why I was being asked these questions by Inspector Ward; when he questioned me on December 6 I did not know that he had traced my visit to Price's shop. It was Mr. Saint who sent me to Price's shop on December 6; I did not know the purpose for which he sent me.
ALICE RUTT. I was employed by Mrs. Seddon to come in for two days a week, to help in the housework and do washing. I remember going to the house on the morning of Miss Barrow's death, about 7.30. Seddon was then not there. On the way from the kitchen to Miss Barrow's room I saw Seddon and Mrs. Seddon. We went up together, and Mrs. Seddon and I washed the body and laid it out. After this I saw Seddon open Miss Barrow's trunk and take out of it this cash box, and from the cash box take £4 10s. in gold. Early in last year Mrs. Seddon had told me about a present of a watch and chain; she said that Miss Barrow had given her this as a birthday present.
Cross-examined. I have been working for the Seddons for seven or eight years. I was left in the house in September last when they went away for a holiday. It is not true that I stole some of their property. My husband was out of work and I did pledge some of Seddon's things, intending to get them out again, but Seddons returned sooner than I thought they would; they threatened to prosecute me, but I do not think they meant it. (To the jury.) I am quite sure that it was after the body was laid out that Seddon commenced the search for money. The £4 10s. was loose in the cash box, not in a bag.
Mrs. LONGLEY, recalled. When I went upstairs with Seddon I saw through the door the lower part of Miss Barrow's body as she laid on the bed; I did not see her face; I did not go into the room. I certainly did not think she was dying or anything of the kind; she did not look like it. Mrs. Seddon had said to me, "She says, she is dying"; I said, "If she is dying she could not shout loud enough for you to hear her at the gate, and I don't believe it; I think she is making more of it than is necessary." (To the Court.) Mrs. Seddon appeared genuinely anxious to know what my opinion was; she knew that I had seen a lot of sickness.
This concluded the case for the defence, subject to Dr. Francis attending for cross-examination.
WILLIAM HENRY WILLCOX, recalled, further cross-examined by the Attorney- General. There is no arsenic in white precipitate powder. I have made further experiments with regard to the distal ends of the hair. I took some hair which was quite free from arsenic and soaked it for twenty-four hours in the blood- stained fluid from Miss Barrow's body; blood-stained fluid which was in the body, not in the coffin. I made two analyses; one was of the hair which had been soaked in the blood-stained fluid which was taken from the coffin; the other was upon some mixed hair which I got from the undertaker which had not been soaked in blood-stained fluid; it was hair from a normal person and was quite free from arsenic. I soaked this in the same fluid for 24 hours. I thoroughly washed the hair which had been soaked in this experiment as completely as possible; I then broke it up to destroy the organic matter and submitted the hair to the Marsh test. The mirror showed that the hair had absorbed an appreciable amount of arsenic. The result of that experiment is that hair when soaking in a blood-stained fluid containing arsenic will absorb the arsenic from that fluid throughout its entire length. There is a constituent in hair, called keratin, which will absorb arsenic. I have no doubt that the presence of arsenic in the distal ends of the hair obtained from the coffin was due to absorption from the blood-stained fluid in which the hair lay and which I know contained arsenic. This deposition of arsenic in the hair would occur after death and not during life. Fourteen days elapsed between the first post-mortem and the second. I heard Dr. Francis's evidence. I found no indication of chronic alcoholic indulgence. I should have expected to find signs of it if it had been continued over a number of years and up to the time of death.
Further cross-examined. I do not say that Dr. Francis's evidence is untrue. There might have been in 1910 a condition of gastro-enteritis due to alcohol, and no trace of it in 1911. Cirrhosis of the liver would have been distinguishable at the post mortem; there was no cirrhosis. That is a sign of a very advanced stage of alcoholism; I saw no signs of advanced alcoholism. I showed Mr. Rosenheim the results of all my experiments. My analysis showed 1- 18th of a grain of arsenious acid per pound of hair in the tips. Unless explained from some other source, that might be indicative of arsenic taking over a period of time. It was because I did not think there had been here a prolonged course of arsenic taking that I made this further experiment—to prove that a similar condition of hair could be arrived at by soakage of the hair in blood-stained fluid containing arsenic. That experiment would not apply to the hair which was cut off at the undertaker's shop.
JOHN ARTHUR FRANCIS (Recalled, cross-examined.). I now produce my book. It does not show what Miss Barrow was suffering from, although the prescriptions may indicate a little. What I have produced is a verbatim copy of the dates of my attendances. According to the ledger I never attended her for alcoholic indulgence after March, 1909. In July, 1909, and December, 1909, and January, 1910, I attended her merely for general debility and I gave her a tonic.
MARGARET ANN SEDDON (prisoner, recalled). (To the Court.) Disagreements began between my husband and myself in October, 1909; they were simply business disputes about the lot numbers getting off the clothes; I left him on January 3 and returned five weeks afterwards.
Verdict, F. H. Seddon, Guilty; M. A. Seddon, Not guilty.
On F. H. Seddon being asked whether he had anything to say why the sentence of death should not be passed upon him, he said: "I do not know whether anything I have to say can in any way affect the judgment that is about to be passed upon me; but there is one thing that is quite patent to me, and that is that this money, which it is suggested by the prosecution was in Miss Barrow's possession, has not in any way been traced to my account, either during the life of Miss Barrow or since her death. There is the sum of £165 suggested in notes turned into gold. There is the sum of £216 which was stated to have been drawn out in June. There is the sum of £91 which has been paid to Miss Barrow in the shape of annuities by me. If Hook's evidence is accepted, there was the sum of £420 in the house. I think, my lord, that that sum comes to something like £890 odd. The prosecution, as far as I can learn, has traced my banking account back to the year 1907 or 1908. I have had submitted to me documents at Brixton Prison, which I have gone through from that date, and from which I am in a position to explain every item of my banking account during that period. All that the prosecution has brought up against me in the shape of money is the sum of £156, which is since Miss Barrow's decease, and it has been stated during the evidence yesterday and today that the sum of £200 was in my possession. I clearly pointed out from the witness-box that it was not £200 when the Attorney-General stated it was very near the sum of £216 which Miss Barrow drew out in June. I clearly stated then that it was £170 which I claimed to have in my possession, and which was testified to by three independent witnesses. There were other witnesses in my home I could have brought forward to prove I had that money in my possession, but they have not been called in this case. I have clearly shown the money I put into the Post Office Savings Bank, £30, with the £35 I put into my current account, £65, and £90 I invested in the building society shares was £155, and £15 which I reserved for my holidays, was the sum of £170, and yet since I stated that in the box it has been stated that there was over £200, or thereabouts. There is one other point I would like to put and that is regarding Thorley's evidence regarding the alleged purchase of arsenical poison packets. If it was true that my daughter went up to Thorley's for the purchase of arsenical flypapers on August 26, and he informed her that he had only got one packet in his possession and that he would have more in on the Monday, I have not heard one word since as to whether my daughter went back on the Monday for the other three packets of arsenical flypapers. I have not heard any evidence adduced that if my daughter required four packets of flypapers she called at any other chemist on the way back again. If she were sent either by me or by her mother for those four packets—that is, 24 flypapers—naturally, the girl would have got them either at the chemist's shop or at one or other of the chemist's establishments on the way back, as there are plenty on the way. Another point I want to put forward in respect of this alleged purchase of a packet of flypapers from Thorley is that it has been brought forward by the prosecution that my daughter called at Wilson's on the way. It is not stated what the distance is, but as far as I can judge, Thorley's shop is in the vicinity of Crouch Hill Station, and it is much farther than what has been stated as two minutes' walk from there. I should also like to mention, my lord, that in your summing-up—I do not know whether I am quite clear upon it or not— you said there was a time when the wife left me in the room when the will was being prepared. I have no recollection that my wife stated that she left me in the room at any time. As a matter of fact, I have never been in Miss Barrow's room alone from the 1st of September until the day of her death. On the 4th of September it is stated that I went up to speak to Miss Barrow and remonstrate with her about leaving her room. I did go up to remonstrate with her about leaving her room, but I was not alone. My wife was with me, and I do not know when my wife stated she was not. It is not true. She did not state it. I do not believe she stated it. I do not think she was ever questioned on the point. I should also like to state there has never been any witness called respecting my possession of the jewellery before the death of Miss Barrow. There is an independent witness. It has been stated by the prosecution that Miss Barrow was devotedly attached to the boy Ernest Grant. It has been pressed home to the jury by the prosecution that Miss Barrow was so devotedly attached to this boy that she intended to make him her heir. There has not been any witness brought forward by the defence to contradict that assertion. I contradict it, for Miss Barrow has repeatedly shaken the boy in the street, and she has from time to time in the home shaken him and shouted at him. It is stated that on one occasion, and on one occasion only, she threatened to throw herself out through the window in consequence of the annoyance the boy caused her. I venture to say that my position in this case is this: I am surrounded by a set of circumstances from which there seems no way of extricating myself if I am condemned on circumstantial evidence. It seems to me that various points that might be in my favour, perhaps, have not been given sufficient consideration. I say in this way, that had Miss Barrow thrown herself out from the bedroom window this set of circumstances would be just the same. I would have been believed to have thrown or pushed her out. Had Miss Barrow fallen downstairs the same thing would have applied. If she had been killed it would have been Mr. Seddon, who had such interests in the matter, who threw her downstairs. When she went to Southend-on-Sea, had she fallen into the sea, Mr. Seddon would have pushed her into it. I can see through it. There is another point I would like to mention. My wife found a bottle of gin in her bedroom after the death. That has never been mentioned in the evidence. We do not know where she got it from. It was half full of gin. We do not know what was in that gin. This inquiry took place fully two months after the woman was buried; therefore, we did not know what she had possessed. Evidence has not been given that all the bottles that were in Miss Barrow's room were taken away. We do not know what bottles Miss Barrow had or what they contained. We haven't the slightest idea as to whether Miss Barrow committed suicide. I should like to make this point— that you referred in your summing-up to Dr. Willcox's statement that a dose would produce violent pains in half an hour after it had been taken or administered. You have heard in evidence that while I was in the theatre Miss Barrow called out, 'I am dying.' That is supposed to have been at twelve o'clock. There is a possibility that the woman had taken a dose of arsenic, and that it had begun to operate with these violent pains, so that she called out, 'I am dying.' Otherwise, why should she say 'I am dying,' when she had the same pains off and on from the 2nd September to the 14th? All this is quite clear to me now when I come to look at the evidence. As I stated before, it is a puzzle to me how she could get arsenic. But when I come to look at it and think it over, it seems to me that that woman knew she was going to die, therefore she must have had a reason for saying she was going. Regarding what Maggie, my daughter, has stated in her evidence in the box, when she was pressed by Detective Ward for her explanation of her purchase of flypapers, I understood her clearly to say from the way the question was put to her, 'I did not buy flypapers,' and meant, as she explained there, that she did not get them. She may have gone to purchase them at Price's on the instructions of Mr. Saint, the solicitor, but I am not concerned about that, because it was after I was arrested. But my daughter has been terrorised evidently by Inspector Ward for a statement.
She has already contradicted that she ever bought them at Thorley's and then he comes round to the question of whether she bought them at Price's and so he gets her in a moment of thoughtlessness to say 'No.' He takes advantage of that opportunity to get her signature to it. After he arrested me Detective Ward went to my home and tried to terrorise my wife into making statements; I have only my wife's word for it. I do not know, I was not there as a witness, but she states that he tried in every possible way to terrorise her into making statements and told her what trouble she would get into if she did not admit this or that. And, further, she said when he found he could not get her to agree to the statement he said, 'I have not done with you yet.'
"You also referred, my lord, to the letter I sent to the Vonderahes after her death wherein I omit to state anything at all regarding the money. I thought I pointed out in the witness-box that when I wrote the letter, the search having been made, there was no money to mention. The prosecution has never traced the money to me. The prosecution has never traced anything to me in the shape of money, which is the great motive suggested by the prosecution in this case for my committing this diabolical crime, of which I declare, before the Great Architect of the Universe, I am not guilty, my lord. If I say more, I do not suppose it will be of any account, but still if it is the last word I have to speak I say I am not guilty of the crime for which I stand committed."
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