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Title: The Holocaust of Manor Place Author: Arthur Conan Doyle * A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook * eBook No.: 0600451h.html Language: English Date first posted: July 2012 Most recent update: July 2012 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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In the study of criminal psychology one is forced to the conclusion that the most dangerous of all types of mind is that of the inordinately selfish man. He is a man who has lost his sense of proportion. His own will and his own interest have blotted out for him the duty which he owes to the community. Impulsiveness, jealousy, vindictiveness are the fruitful parents of crime, but the insanity of selfishness is the most dangerous and also the most unlovely of them all. Sir Willoughby Patterne, the eternal type of all egoists, may be an amusing and harmless character as long as things go well with him, but let him be thwarted, let the thing which he desires be withheld from him, and the most monstrous results may follow. Huxley has said that a man in this life is for ever playing a game with an unseen opponent, who only makes his presence felt by exacting a penalty every time one makes a mistake in the game. The player who makes the mistake of selfishness may have a terrible forfeit to pay, but the unaccountable thing in the rules is that some, who are only spectators of his game, may have to help him in the paying. Read the Story of William Godfrey Youngman, and see how difficult it is to understand the rules under which these penalties are exacted. Learn also from it that selfishness is no harmless peccadillo, but that it is an evil root from which the most monstrous growths may spring.
About forty miles to the south of London, and close to the rather passé watering-place of Tunbridge Wells, there lies the little townlet of Wadhurst. It is situated within the borders of Sussex at a point which is close to the confines of Kent. The country is a rich pastoral one and the farmers are a flourishing race, for they are near enough to the Metropolis to take advantage of its mighty appetite. Among these farmers there lived in the year 1860 one Streeter, the master of a small homestead and the father of a fair daughter, Mary Wells Streeter. Mary was a strong, robust girl, some twenty years of age, skilled in all country work, and with some knowledge also of the town, for she had friends up there, and above all she had one friend, a young man of twenty-five, whom she had met upon one of her occasional visits, and who had admired her so that he had actually come down to Wadhurst after her, and had spent a night under her father's roof. The father had expressed no disapprobation of the suitor, a brisk, masterful young fellow, a little vague in his description of his own occupation and prospects, but an excellent fireside companion. And so it came about that the deep, town-bred William Godfrey Youngman became engaged to the simple, country-bred Mary Wells Streeter, William knowing all about Mary, but Mary very little about William.
July the 29th of that year fell upon a Sunday, and Mary sat in the afternoon in the window of the farm-house parlour, with her bundle of love- letters upon her lap, reading them again and yet again. Outside was the little square of green lawn, fringed with the homely luxuriance of an English country garden, the high hollyhocks, the huge nodding sunflowers, the bushes of fuchsia, and the fragrant clumps of sweet William. Through the open lattice came the faint, delicate scent of the lilac and the long, low droning of the bees. The farmer had lain down to the plethoric sleep of the Sunday afternoon, and Mary had the room to herself. There were fifteen love-letters in all some shorter, some longer, some wholly delightful, some with scattered business allusions, which made her wrinkle her pretty brows. There was this matter of the insurance, for example, which had cost her lover so much anxiety until she had settled it. No doubt he knew more of the world than she, but still it was strange that she, so young and so hale, should be asked and again asked to prepare herself for death. Even in the flush of her love those scattered words struck a chill to her heart. 'Dearest girl,' he had written, 'I have filled up the paper now, and took it to the life insurance office, and they will write to Mrs. James Boric today to get an answer on Saturday. So you can go to the office with me before two o'clock on Monday.' And then again, only two days later, he had begun his letter: 'You promised me faithfully over and over again, and I expect you to keep your promise, that you would be mine, and that your friends would not know it until we were married; but now, dearest Mary, if you will only let Mrs. James Bone write to the insurance office at once and go with me to have your life insured on Monday morning next!' So ran the extracts from the letters, and they perplexed Mary as she read them. But it was all over now, and he should mingle business no longer with his love, for she had yielded to his whim, and the insurance for £100 had been duly effected. It had cost her a quarterly payment of 10s. 4d., but it had seemed to please him, and so she would think of it no more.
There was a click of the garden-gate, and looking up she saw the porter from the station coming up the path with a note in his hand. Seeing her at the window he handed it in and departed, slyly smiling, a curious messenger of Cupid in his corduroys and clumping boots—a messenger of a grimmer god than Cupid, had he but known it. She had eagerly torn it open, and this was the message that she read:
'16, Manor Place, Newington, S.E. Saturday night, July 28th.
'My BELOVED POLLY,
'I have posted one letter to you this afternoon, but I find that I shall not have to go to Brighton tomorrow as I have had a letter from there with what I wanted inside of it, so, my dear girl, I have quite settled my business now and I am quite ready to see you now, therefore I send this letter to you. I will send this to London Bridge Station tomorrow morning by 6:30 o'clock and get the guard to take it to Wadhurst Station, to give it to the porter there, who will take it to your place. I can only give the guard something, so you can give the man who brings this a small sum. I shall expect to see you, my dear girl, on Monday morning by the first train. I will await your coming at London Bridge Station. I know the time the train arrives —a quarter to ten o'clock. I have promised to go to my uncle's tomorrow, so I cannot come down; but I will go with you home on Monday night or first thing Tuesday morning, and so return here again Tuesday night, to be ready to go anywhere on Wednesday; but you know all that I have told you, and I now expect that you will come up on Monday morning, when I shall be able to manage things as I expect to do. Excuse more now, my dearest Mary. I shall now go to bed to be up early tomorrow to take this letter. Bring or burn all your letters, my dear girl. Do not forget; and with kind love and respects to all I now sum up, awaiting to see you Monday morning a quarter to ten o'clock.
Believe me, ever your loving, affectionate,
WILLIAM GODFREY YOUNGMAN.'
A very pressing invitation this to a merry day in town; but there were certainly some curious phrases in it. What did he mean by saying that he would manage things as he expected to do? And why should she burn or bring her love-letters? There, at least, she was determined to disobey this masterful suitor who always 'expected' in so authoritative a fashion that she would do this or that. Her letters were much too precious to be disposed of in this off-hand fashion. She packed them back, sixteen of them now, into the little tin box in which she kept her simple treasures, and then ran to meet her father, whose step she heard upon the stairs, to tell him of her invitation and the treat which awaited her to-morrow.
At a quarter to ten next morning William Godfrey Youngman was waiting upon the platform of London Bridge Station to meet the Wadhurst train which was bringing his sweetheart up to town. No observer glancing down the straggling line of loiterers would have picked him out as the man whose name and odious fame would before another day was passed be household words to all the three million dwellers in London. In person he was of a goodly height and build, but commonplace in his appearance, and with a character which was only saved from insignificance through the colossal selfishness, tainted with insanity, which made him conceive that all things should bend before his needs and will. So distorted was his outlook that it even seemed to him that if he wished people to be deceived they must be deceived, and that the weakest device or excuse, if it came from him, would pass unquestioned. He had been a journeyman tailor, as his father was before him, but aspiring beyond this, he had sought and obtained a situation as footman to Dr. Duncan, of Covent Garden. Here he had served with credit for some time, but had finally resigned his post and had returned to his father's house, where for some time he had been living upon the hospitality of his hard-worked parents. He had talked vaguely of going into farming, and it was doubtless his short experience of Wadhurst with its sweet-smelling kine and Sussex breezes which had put the notion into his Cockney head.
But now the train rolls in, and there at a third-class window is Mary Streeter with her pink country cheeks, the pinker at the sight of her waiting lover. He takes her bag and they walk down the platform together amongst the crinolined women and baggy-trousered men whose pictures make the London of this date more strange to us than that of last century. He lives at Walworth, in South London, and a straw-strewn omnibus outside the station conveys them almost to the door. It was eleven o'clock when they arrived at Manor Place, where Youngman's family resided.
The household arrangements at Manor Place were peculiar. The architect having not yet evolved the flat in England, the people had attained the same result in another fashion. The tenant of a two-storied house resided upon the ground-floor, and then sub-let his first and second floors to other families. Thus, in the present instance, Mr. James Bevan occupied the ground, Mr. and Mrs. Beard the first, and the Youngman family the second, of the various floors of No. 16. Manor Place. The ceilings were thin and the stairs were in common, so it may be imagined that each family took a lively interest in the doings of its neighbour. Thus Mr. and Mrs. Beard of the first floor were well aware that young Youngman had brought his sweetheart home, and were even able through half-closed doors to catch a glimpse of her, and to report that his manner towards her was affectionate.
It was not a very large family to which he introduced her. The father departed to his tailoring at five o'clock every morning and returned at ten at night. There remained only the mother, a kindly, anxious, hard-working woman, and two younger sons aged eleven and seven. At eleven o'clock the boys were at school and the mother alone.She welcomed her country visitor, eyeing her meanwhile and summing her up as a mother would do when first she met the woman whom her son was likely to marry. They dined together, and then the two set forth to see something of the sights of London.
No record has been left of what the amusements were to which this singular couple turned: he with a savage, unrelenting purpose in his heart; she wondering at his abstracted manner, and chattering country gossip with the shadow of death already gathering thickly over her. One little incident has survived. One Edward Spicer, a bluff, outspoken publican who kept the Green Dragon in Bermondsey Street, knew Mary Streeter and her father. The couple called together at the inn, and Mary presented her lover. We have no means of knowing what repellent look mine host may have observed in the young man's face, or what malign trait he may have detected in his character, but he drew the girl aside and whispered that it was better for her to take a rope and hang herself in his skittle-alley than to marry such a man as that—a warning which seems to have met the same fate as most other warnings received by maidens of their lovers. In the evening they went to the theatre together to see one of Macready's tragedies.
How could she know as she sat in the crowded pit, with her silent lover at her side, that her own tragedy was far grimmer than any upon the stage? It was eleven o'clock before they were back once more at Manor Place.
The hard-working tailor had now returned, and the household all supped together.Then they had to be divided for the night between the two bedrooms, which were all the family possessed. The mother, Mary, and the boy of seven occupied the front one. The father slept on his own board in the back one, and in a bed beside him lay the young man and the boy of eleven. So they settled down to sleep as commonplace a family as any in London, with little thought that within a day the attention of all the great city would be centred upon those two dingy rooms and upon the fates of their inmates.
The father woke in the very early hours, and saw in the dim light of the dawn the tall figure of his son standing in white beside his bed. To some sleepy remark that he was stirring early the youth muttered an excuse and lay down once more. At five the tailor rose to his endless task, and at twenty minutes past he went down the stair and closed the hall door behind him. So passed away the only witness, and all that remains is conjecture and circumstantial evidence. No one will ever know the exact details of what occurred, and for the purpose of the chronicler it is as well, for such details will not bear to be too critically examined. The motives and mind of the murderer are of perennial interest to every student of human nature, but the vile record of his actual brutality may be allowed to pass away when the ends of justice have once been served by their recital.
I have said that on the floor under the Youngman's there lived a couple named Beard. At half-past five, a little after the time when the tailor had closed the hall door behind him, Mrs. Beard was disturbed by a sound which she took to be from children running up and down and playing. There was a light patter of feet on the floor above. But as she listened it struck her that there was something unusual in this romping at so early an hour, so she nudged her husband and asked him for his opinion. Then, as the two sat up in bed, straining their ears, there came from above them a gasping cry and the dull, soft thud of a falling body. Beard sprang out of bed and rushed upstairs until his head came upon the level of the Youngman's landing. He saw enough to send him shrieking down to Mr. Bevan upon the ground-floor. 'For God's sake, come here! There is murder!' he roared, fumbling with his shaking fingers at the handle of the landlord's bedroom.
His summons did not find the landlord entirely unprepared. That ill- boding thud had been loud enough to reach his ears. He sprang palpitating from his bed, and the two men in their nightdresses ascended the creaking staircase, their frightened faces lit up by the blaze of golden sunlight of a July morning. Again they do not seem to have got farther than the point from which they could see the landing. That confused huddle of white-clad figures littered over the passage, with those glaring smears and blotches, were more than their nerves could stand. They could count three lying there, stark dead upon the landing. And there was someone moving in the bedroom. It was coming towards them. With horror-dilated eyes they saw William Godfrey Youngman framed in the open doorway, his white nightdress brilliant with ghastly streaks and the sleeve hanging torn over his hand.
'Mr. Beard,' he cried, when he saw the two bloodless faces upon the stairs, 'for God's sake fetch a surgeon! I believe there is some alive yet!' Then, as they turned and ran down stairs again, he called after them the singular explanation to which he ever afterwards adhered. 'My mother has done all this,' he cried; 'she murdered my two brothers and my sweetheart, and I in self-defence believe that I have murdered her.'
The two men did not stop to discuss the question with him. They had both rushed to their rooms and huddled on some clothes. Then they ran out of the house in search of a surgeon and a policeman, leaving Youngman still standing on the stair repeating his strange explanation. How sweet the morning air must have seemed to them when they were once clear of the accursed house, and how the honest milkmen, with their swinging tins, must have stared at those two rushing and dishevelled figures. But they had not far to go. John Varney, of P Division, as solid and unimaginative as the law which he represents, was standing at the street corner, and he came clumping back with reassuring slowness and dignity.
'Oh, policeman, here is a sight! What shall I do?' cried Youngman, as he saw the glazed official hat coming up the stair.
Constable Varney is not shaken by that horrid cluster of death. His advice is practical and to the point.
'Go and dress yourself!' said he.
'I struck my mother; but it was in self defence,' cried the other. 'Would you not have done the same? It is the law.'
Constable Varney is not to be drawn into giving a legal opinion, but he is quite convinced that the best thing for Youngman to do is to put on some clothes.
And now a crowd had begun to assemble in the street, and another policeman and an inspector had arrived. It was clear that, whether Youngman's story was correct or not, he was a self-confessed homicide, and that the law must hold her grip of him. But when a dagger-shaped knife, splintered by the force of repeated blows, was found upon the floor, and Youngman had to confess that it belonged to him; when also it was observed that ferocious strength and energy were needed to produce the wounds inflicted, it became increasingly evident that, instead of being a mere victim of circumstances, this man was one of the criminals of a century. But all evidence must be circumstantial, for mother, sweetheart, brothers—the mouths of all were closed in the one indiscriminate butchery.
The horror and the apparent purposelessness of the deed roused public excitement and indignation to the highest pitch. The miserable sum for which poor Mary was insured appeared to be the sole motive of the crime; the prisoner's eagerness to have the business concluded, and his desire to have the letters destroyed in which he had urged it, forming the strongest evidence against him. At the same time, his calm assumption that things would be arranged as he wished them to be, and that the Argus Insurance Office would pay over the money to one who was neither husband nor relative of the deceased, pointed to an ignorance of the ways of business or a belief in his own powers of managing, which in either case resembled insanity. When in addition it came out at the trial that the family was sodden with lunacy upon both sides, that the wife's mother and the husband's brother were in asylums, and that the husband's father had been in an asylum, but had become 'tolerably sensible' before his death, it is doubtful whether the case should not have been judged upon medical rather than upon criminal grounds. In these more scientific and more humanitarian days it is perhaps doubtful whether Youngman would have been hanged, but there was never any doubt as to his fate in 1860.
The trial came off at the Central Criminal Court upon August 16th before Mr. Justice Williams. Few fresh details came out, save that the knife had been in prisoner's possession for some time. He had exhibited it once in a bar, upon which a bystander, with the good British love of law and order, had remarked that that was not a fit knife for any man to carry.
'Anybody,' said Youngman, in reply, 'has the right to carry such a knife if he thinks proper in his own defence.'
Perhaps the objector did not realize how near he may have been at that moment to getting its point between his ribs. Nothing serious against the prisoner's previous character came out at the trial, and he adhered steadfastly to his own account of the tragedy. In summing up, however, Justice Williams pointed out that if the prisoner's story were true it meant that he had disarmed his mother and got possession of the knife. What necessity was there, then, for him to kill her? and why should he deal her repeated wounds? This argument, and the fact that there were no stains upon the hands of the mother, prevailed with the jury, and sentence was duly passed upon the prisoner.
Youngman had shown an unmoved demeanour in the dock, but he gave signs of an irritable, and occasionally of a violent, temper in prison. His father visited him, and the prisoner burst instantly into fierce reproaches against his treatment of his family—reproaches for which there seem to have been no justification. Another thing which appeared to have galled him to the quick was the remark of the publican, which first reached his ears at the trial, to the effect that Mary had better hang herself in the skittle-yard than marry such a man. His self-esteem, the strongest trait in his nature, was cruelly wounded by such a speech.
'Only one thing I wish,' he cried, furiously, 'that I could get hold of this man Spicer, for I would strike his head off.' The unnatural and bloodthirsty character of the threat is characteristic of the homicidal maniac. 'Do you suppose,' he added, with a fine touch of vanity, 'that a man of my determination and spirit would have heard these words used in my presence without striking the man who used them to the ground?'
But in spite of exhortation and persuasion he carried his secret with him to the grave. He never varied from the story which he had probably concocted before the event.
'Do not leave the world with a lie on your lips.' said the chaplain, as they walked to the scaffold.
'Well, if I wanted to tell a lie I would say that I did it.' was his retort. He hoped to the end with his serene self-belief that the story which he had put forward could not fail eventually to be accepted. Even on the scaffold he was on the alert for a reprieve.
It was on the 4th of September, a little more than a month after the commission of his crime, that he was led out in front of Horsemonger Gaol to suffer his punishment. A concourse of 30,000 people, many of whom had waited all night, raised a brutal howl at his appearance. It was remarked at the time that it was one of the very few instances of capital punishment in which no sympathizer or philanthropist of any sort could be found to raise a single voice against the death penalty. The man died quietly and coolly.
'Thank you, Mr. Jessopp,' said he to the chaplain, 'for your great kindness. See my brother and take my love to him, and all at home.'
And so, with the snick of a bolt and the jar of a rope, ended one of the most sanguinary, and also one of the most unaccountable, incidents in English criminal annals. That the man was guilty seems to admit no doubt, and yet it must be confessed that circumstantial evidence can never be absolutely convincing, and that it is only the critical student of such cases who realizes how often a damning chain of evidence may, by some slight change, be made to bear an entirely different interpretation.
Proceedings Of The Old Bailey, 13th August 1860
723. WILLIAM GODFREY YOUNGMAN (25), was indicted for the wilful murder of Mary Wells Streeter. He was also charged on the Coroner's Inquisition with the like offence.
MESSRS. CLERK and BEASLEY conducted the Prosecution.
JAMES BEVAN. I am a carman, and reside at 16, Manor-place, Walworth—I am the landlord of the house—I occupy the ground floor—the house consists of a first and second floor—the first floor is immediately above my rooms—on 31st July last Mr. Beard occupied the first floor—that consists of a front and a back room—there was Mr. Beard, his wife, and one son—the floor above that was occupied by Mr. Youngman—I believe his name to be John—he is the father of the prisoner—his family consisted of his wife and two little boys—the second floor consisted of two rooms, a front and a back one—I had known at that time that the prisoner had been there for a few days; for a holiday, I understood—I had seen him backwards and forwards before 31st July—I believed him to be sleeping there—I remember the morning of 31st July—I was disturbed about ten minutes to 6, or something like that—I was then in bed, in the lower back room on the ground floor—I was disturbed by hearing a lumbering, as I supposed, on the top of the house; a lumbering, or heavy fell on the floor; a lumbering noise, as if something had fallen on the floor—the noise proceeded from the top of the house, as I supposed at the time, the second floor—as soon as I heard the noise I immediately jumped out of bed to hear and see what was amiss, and, before I could get to the door, Mr. Beard, who has the first floor, tapped at the door and said, "For God's sake come up stairs, here is murder;" that was before I had got out of my room—I immediately proceeded up stairs to see what was amiss—I went on to the top landing, the landing of the seoond floor, and I turned my head and saw the little boy—there is a staircase that ends with a landing, and a door on each side of the landing—a door opens on to the landing from each room; the doors front each other on the landing—I saw the little boy lying dead on the top floor—I did not take very particular notice of him—I believe him to be the eldest boy—I did not see any one else about—I came down stairs and dressed as quickly as I could, to get assistance—as I was about to proceed for the officer the prisoner was standing on the first staircase—that was the first time I saw him that morning—it was directly I came down stairs and dressed; after I had dressed—I was then about to proceed for the officers—I should think not two minutes had been occupied by my dressing—on coming out of my room dressed I saw the prisoner standing three parts of the way on the first staircase; the staircase leading from the ground floor to the first floor—he was standing at that time looking downwards; looking down stairs—that staircase does not face the front door—the stairs, face the passage which leads to the door—at the bot-tom of the stairs there is a long passage, quite through the house, and the staircase is in the middle of the passage—he had got nothing on then, only his shirt—he told me his mother had done all this.
COURT. Q. What were the words he used, as near as you can say? A. He said, "My mother has done all this; she has murdered my two brothers and my sweetheart, and I, in self-defence, believe I have murdered her."
MR. BEASLEY. Q. Was that all he said at the time? A. Yes—I then went for the police—I believe I heard the prisoner's father go out that morning about half-past five.
COURT. Q. You heard somebody go out? A. Yes; and believe it was he.
Cross-examined by MR. BEST. Q. Had the Youngmans lived long in your house? A. On 24th March they came to lodge with me—I am not much at home in the day-time—I go out in the morning and come back in the evening, calling in sometimes in the course of the day—I do not know but what Youngman and his wife lived on pretty tolerable good terms—perhaps occasionally I heard them have a word or two, but not enough for me to interfere.
COURT. Q. They had a word or two occasionally, but nothing particular? A. Nothing particular.
MR. BEST. Q. Did they seem to be pretty well off in the money way? A. Well, the man always paid me his rent, and so far I had nothing more to do with him; he paid me regularly 4s. a week—I was awoke by a lumbering noise—the noise was like a heavy fall on the floor, as if something heavy had fallen—I do not know how far the distance is from the room where I was sleeping to the landing where I saw the body of the boy; I never measured it—I cannot tell you—the floor of the second floor was not so high as this Court—I lived on the ground floor—I never measured the distance between the ground floor and this third floor where these people were living—it is about three parts of the height of this Court, I should say—when I went up to the landing the first time I saw no live person there; I did not go up on to the top of the landing, as soon as I saw the boy's body I turned down stairs—I saw the prisoner afterwards, not at that time, some portion of the way down stairs—I cannot say much as to his being collected and composed at the time—I should not think he was very collected at that time; I did not stop long enough to make any particular observation of the man.
FREDERICK HENRY CAIGER. I am a surveyor—I made this plan of the premises.
COURT. Q. Is it made to a scale? A. It is; I have not measured any heights, but I should say that from the floor of the ground floor to the floor of the second floor was about from twenty to twenty-one feet.
MR. CLERK. Q. I see by the plan there is a door to each room opening on to the landing? A. Opening inwards to the rooms from the landing—I am speaking of the second floor—the doors are exactly opposite each other—the two doors, when closed, are 5ft. 10 1/2 in. from one another, across the landing—from that landing of 5ft. 10 1/2 in. there is a narrow landing 2ft. 6in. wide—that goes toward the head of the stairs—that goes from the landing that is between the two doors towards the head of the stairs—2ft. 6in. is the width of each stair.
SUSANNAH BEARD. I am the wife of Philip Beard—I live with my husband at 16 Manor-place—we occupy the first floor—I have one little boy about 11 years old—I occupy the back room as a sleeping-room—the little boy slept in the same room—on the morning of Tuesday, 31st July, I should think it was nearly 6 o'clock when I awoke—a noise above my head awoke me—it was a sort of scuffling on the boards—I thought it was the children playing when I first awoke—I awoke my husband, thinking it was late—I heard a sort of lumbering as if something fell on to the boards after that; that was not till after I awoke my husband—I could not say what it sounded like, falling—it appeared to be as if something heavy had fallen on the boards—I thought it was in the bed-room; it seemed over my head—I could not say whether what I heard fall fell on the landing or in the room—my husband went to the bed-room door and went up the stairs—he then called out the "Murder!" and came down—he afterwards went up again with Mr. Bevan, the landlord—after he came down the second time I went to the door of our room and saw the prisoner on the stairs between the first and second floors—he either said, "Mr. Beard" or, "Mrs. Beard, my mother has done all this, she has murdered my sweetheart and my two little brothers, and, in seltdefence, I believe I have murdered her"—while my husband was dressing the prisoner called out from the stairs, "Mr. Beard, for God's sake fetch a surgeon, I believe there are some alive now"—when my husband was dressed he left the house—he and I went down stairs into the lower parlour—I locked my bed-room door, and locked my child in, and we went down below to the landlord's room, and my husband directly went for a doctor—I did not see the body of the young woman at all—I had seen a young woman come to the house on the previous day, Monday, 30th July; I think it was pretty well 11 o'clock in the morning when she came—she came with the prisoner—I saw them again about 7 in the evening, going out, as I thought for a walk; they went as if they were going to the Walworth-road—I afterwards saw them return about 10 o'clock; they returned together, by themselves—I saw them come down stairs again about five minutes afterwards, that is I saw them outside the door as if they had come down stairs—I saw them come into the house again about a quarter of an hour afterwards; that would be about a quarter past 10.
Cross-examined. Q. Had you seen this young man before that day? A. Oh, yes; he had been staying at the house for a short time previously—he and the young woman seemed very friendly when they were at the door together at 10 o'clock—they seemed on affectionate terms with each other—when the prisoner addressed me on the stairs, and said, "This is my mother's doing," he seemed very much excited—on other occasions he was generally calm and quiet in his manner.
PHILIP WILLIAM BEARD. I am a carpenter and joiner—I and my wife occupy the first floor at 16 Manor-place—I remember the prisoner coming to the house, but I cannot say exactly what time he came—I had seen him there some days before 31st July—I had seen him in the house—I remember Sunday the 29th—I had some conversation with the prisoner that day in the yard—a little conversation passed on trivial affairs, and he told me that he had been a valet and footman, but that he had left that, and was going into the farming business—he did not say why he had left it—I did not see the young woman on the Monday night—on the Tuesday morning I was awoke by my wife early; it was about 5 minutes before 6, or something like that—after she had awoke me I heard a sort of rumbling noise on the stairs, it appeared to be on the landing over me, it was like children running about, or something like that, I had heard the noise frequently before—I was on my landing—it seemed to come from the top floor above me—when I came out of my room I heard a slight scream, when I got to the foot of the stain—I went up stairs—the first thing I saw was a spot of blood on the stairs, on the fourth stair from the top, I did not notice any on any other—I went a little higher, and the first thing I saw was the little boy lying on the landing—I thought he was dead, he had his throat cut, and was lying on his back with his head towards the stairs—I then went a little higher and there saw the female lying on the landing—I did not then know who she was—I found afterwards it was Mary Streeter—she was also lying dead, a little beyond the dead body of the boy—I did not observe any other body at that time—I was alarmed, and went down, and called up Mr. Bevan, the landlord—I then went up again with him, behind him; there was no one else with us; the inspector had not come at that time—when I had called the landlord I went up stairs and began to drees—I did not go up with him then, I went up to my own bed-room, I did not go up to the second floor then, not till the inspector came—he did not come till Mr. Bevan went for him—I did not go up any more till after the police had been—I went for a surgeon—I saw a policeman at the top of Manor-place, and I sent him down—I did not see anything more of the prisoner—he called me out of my bed-room after I had began to dress, he was then on the stain—he called me and said, "Mr. Beard, my mother has done it all, she has murdered my two little brothers and my sweetheart, and, in self-defence, I believe I have murdered her"—that was all he said then—I then went into my bed-room again, and finished dressing and he begged of me to go for a surgeon.
Cross-examined. Q. Did he say to you, "For God's sake go to a surgeon's, I think there is some of them alive now?" A. Yes—I was about five minutes in my room dressing myself—I dressed as speedily as I possibly could—I do not know whether my wife was present at this conversation on the stain—she was present in one instance, I believe, I did not see her—I have not known the prisoner for any time—I only just saw him backwards and forwards in the house—I never had any particular conversation with him—I was not at home most of the day—I was always out at work from 6 in the morning till 8 or 9 at night—I had no opportunity of observing how Mr. Youngman and his wife lived towards each other.
MR. CLERK. Q. Your wife used to be at home? A. Yes.
JOHN YOUNGMAN. I am the father of the prisoner—I resided on the second-floor of the house, 16, Manor-place, Wai worth—I can't say exactly how long I had been there—my wife, Elizabeth Youngman, also lived there, and my two sons, Thomas Neale Youngman, and Charles Youngman—Thomas was eleven years of age, and Charles seven—in the month of July the prisoner came to live with me—he had before that been at service at Dr. Duncan's; that was the last place he had lived at—he was footman there—I do not recollect on what, day it was that he came to my lodgings, but I should suppose it was about a fortnight before the 31st July—he used to sleep in the back room, the same room that I slept in—Thomas, the eldest of the two boys, slept with him in the same bed—I slept on a bed made up on the shop-board—I am a tailor, but I work away from home along with a son who lives in the neighbourhood—my wife slept in the front room and the boy Charles with her—I am frequently away from home at my work, during the day; mostly all day—I go home to dinner very frequently; not at all times—I was away from morning till night, except sometimes when I went home to dinner—on Monday, 30th July, I came home about a quarter or twenty minutes after 10 at night, as near as I can bring it to mind—I did not see the young woman, Mary Streeter, at all that night—I saw my wife before I went to bed—the prisoner went, to bed that night as usual, in the room—I should think it wanted about twenty minutes to 11, at that time—I told him when he was ready I would put the light out, and he said he was all ready, and I put the light out and went to bed directly, and he at the same time—my boy, Thomas, was in bed when I got into bed; he was in the bed with the prisoner—I awoke in the morning, I consider, somewhere about 4 o'clock; I did not know the time because I had not a clock in my room; I imagine that was the time by the appearance of the morning—at that time I saw the prisoner at the foot of his bed—it was daylight; just the break of day—he was in the act of getting into bed—I supposed he had been to look at the clock—I believe the door of the room was not closed; it generally stood open, but I did not take that notice—I usually slept with the door about an inch open—I took no notice of it then—the door of the front room was always closed at night, to the best of my knowledge—I fell asleep again—I got up at 5 o'clock that morning—it was about twenty minutes after 5 when I left my room—I expected that the clock went 6, but in lien of that it was 5 I found when I got out—the prisoner and Thomas were in bed at that time—I went to my son John's to work—I did not go into the front room before I left; the door of that room was closed—I was afterwards fetched from my son's—I should think it was about twenty minutes after 6—I came back to the house—I saw the body of the young woman, Mary Streeter—she was then dead—I had seen her before, three or four times, I believe—the first time I saw her I dare say might have been two years previous—she had not been in the habit of coming to our house then—I saw her two or three times since—I saw her once or twice in July; that was at Manor-place—I do not think I saw her more than once in Manor-place—I saw her once at my son John's, along with William, and once at Manorplace with him—the prisoner had never said anything to me about his intended marriage—I understood it was to be the case, but he never acquainted me with it—a knife was shown to me on the morning of 31st July, by Lack the constable—this (produced) is it—I had seen that knife before that day—I saw it in my son John's shop—it was in the prisoner's possession—it was then quite whole, to the best of my knowledge; not broken as it is now—the prisoner was showing it to a man who was working at my son John's, and the man said it was not a fit knife to carry—the prisoner said anybody had a right to carry such a knife, if they thought proper, for their own protection—I should think this was about nine days or a fortnight before 31st July—I never saw him use the knife for any purpose—I never saw him show it at home to my wife; not to my recollection—as soon as I got back to the house on the morning in question, I called out, "Where is William?" he was then brought down in to the passage by the police; he was in custody—he said, "This is all mother's doings, father"—that was all he said—to the best of my knowledge the prisoner was not possessed of any property at this time; he had no money, except what he had from service—I believe he had been in Dr. Duncan's service for half a year—he was out of employment for some time before he went there—I cannot say for how long—it was as long as a year—I learnt so from him.
Q. Had he ever said anything to you about insuring the life of the young woman? A. I had heard it talked of; I don't think he ever said anything about it to me—I am not certain he did not; I have heard it repeated and talked of at different times—I heard it talked about at my son John's.
COURT. Q. You say he never mentioned it to you; but did you hear him mention that he was about insuring the life? A. Oh, yes; at different times—I heard him mention it at my son John's.
MR. CLERK. Q. Do you know the prisoner's handwriting? A. I think I should know it, but I am not sure; I am a very little writer myself—I saw the dead body of my wife and of my son Thomas, at the same time I saw the dead body of the young woman—I also saw the dead body of my youngest boy, Charles; I saw him last.
Cross-examined. Q. You say this insurance was talked about at your son John's; was that in the presence of several persons? A. Yes, openly—I should think that was something like nine days, or a fortnight, or a week before 31st July, and perhaps a day or two before, but I cannot bring it to mind—my wife's maiden name was Golden—I knew her mother quite well—she was a lunatic at the latter part of her life—she died in Peckham Asylum—a brother of my own also died'a lunatic in Norwich Thorpe Asylum—none of my children have died in that way—my father, I believe, died tolerably sensible, but he had been in an asylum two or three times—I work for my son as a journeyman and receive journeyman's wages—I receive a pound a week, on an average; I am sometimes short of work—I was not short at this time; I had plenty doing just then—my wife and I lived upon tolerably good terms; we used to have more words about the children than anything else; I thought that she talked to them a good deal more than there was any occasion for—we quarrelled occasionally about the children—I thought she interfered with them too much—she used to correct them more than I thought she had any occasion for—she did not correct them particularly severely, but she corrected Thomas more than I thought she ought, because I thought Charles was quite as much or more in fault than Thomas—my wife and I did not sleep together at all times—we had not slept together for the last week previous to William coming to the house—that was because I wished to get to bed always when I got home of a night; and not only that, my wife was troubled with an inward complaint—she had a cancer in the womb; that was the reason why we did not sleep together—I sometimes took my breakfast at my son John's—I sometimes took my supper at home, not often—I supped at my son's, and sometimes I had no supper at all—I always took my tea at my son's when I was there—I did not go to any place of entertainment to spend my evenings, or to any public-house; and had not done so for a long time—I saw this knife when I was at my son John's house—I do not remember the prisoner saying that it was a good sort of knife for eating meals with—I cannot say that I ever heard him say that—I have seen him take his meals in the house, but I never saw him use that knife at all—I did not sup in the house the night before 31st July—the front room was used for supper and meals; that was the room in which the family lived in the daytime—the point of this knife is broken off and the guard is also broken.
MR. CLERK. Q. When was it that your wife's mother died? A. 15 years ago, in October—I never visited her in the asylum but once—I can't say whether she was there 12 mouths or 2 years—I think she was between sixty and seventy when she died—my wife had never been confined in any asylnm—I cannot say that I ever perceived any appearance of an unsound mind in her during our marriage—I never did—she was rather more kind to Charles than to Thomas—that has been a cause of difference, a cause of words between us—I have frequently told her that Charles was most in fault.
JOHN VARNEY (Policeman, P 333). I remember Beard speaking to me on the morning of 31st July—I went by myself to 16, Manor-place, Walworth, about 6 o'clock—I went into the house and went up stairs on to the second floor landing—when I went up there I saw three dead bodies on the landing; the first was a boy about 10 or 11 years old; the next was a female lying on her face; and another female a little to the left of her—the prisoner came to the door; he said, "Oh! policeman, here is a sight; what shall I do?"—he made a step to come towards me on the landing—he was standing at the back room door when he said that—he was stepping out on to the landing, and I said," Go back into the room and put on your clothes"—he was not dressed; he was in his night-shirt; I noticed the right sleeve of the shirt was torn, and the wristband was hanging on his hand—I noticed that when he was standing at the door—the wristband appeared to hang on the back of his hand—the inspector arrived just then—I then left the prisoner with him and went into the front room—the prisoner did not say anything to me before the inspector came, further than what I have stated; he said his mother had done all this—he said that at the time that he said "Here is a sight; what shall I do?" he said, "My mother has done all this;" and when in the back room he said, "I struck my mother, but it was in self-defence, and would not you have done the same? that is law."
Crosi-examined. Q. You told him to go into his room and dress himself? A. Yes—at that time he was only in his shirt—I am sure I saw the wristband hanging down—after my coming into the front room he took off his shirt to put another one on, and at that time I missed the wristband of it; I could not find it anywhere—I am quite sure it was on when I saw him first—I have the shirt here.
JAMES DANN (Police Inspector, P). Shortly before 6 o'clock on the morning of 31st July I heard of what had taken place at Manor-place—I went to the house accompanied by a constable of the name of Lack—I went up the stall's—I saw the prisoner standing on the landing on the second floor—we were both on the landing—he said, "This is my mother's doing; she came to the bedside where my brother and I were sleeping; killed him, and made a stab at me, and I in my own defence wrenched the knife from her hand and killed her, if she is dead"—upon that, the constable Lack, pointing to the body of the young woman, said, "Was this young woman lying here when you killed your mother?"—the prisoner hesitated a little and then said, "I don't know"—at that time there were three bodies on the landing—the boy, Thomas Neale Youngman, was lying on his back—his head was close to the edge of the top stair—his feet were in a direction away from the stairs; towards the wall of the house; the opposite wall—he was in his night-shirt—the right leg was a little drawn up—there was a great deal of blood where the body of the boy was lying—I then observed the position of the young woman, Mary Streeter—she was lying on the landing with her head inside the back room door—I should say that her head was about a foot or thirteen inches inside the doorway—her feet were towards the front room door—the body wag lying on the right side—she was in her night-dress—there was nothing on her feet; no slippers—there was a great deal of blood near where her head was lying—the blood had flowed from near her head under the door of the back room and under the foot of the bed in the back room; the Stream was about four feet six or seven inches in length—the breadth at the commencement was about fifteen inches, at the termination about six or seven—I then observed the body of the elder woman, Elizabeth Youngman—she was lying on the landing with her face downwards; on her stomach—her face was close to the thighs of the young woman; resting on the floor—the right shoulder of the elder woman rested on the legs of the young woman—the feet of Mrs. Youngman were inside the front room door—she was also in her night-dress; without slippers, or steckings, or anything on her feet—I observed a great deal of blood where she was lying—most of it was close to her head and throat; it had spread some distance; several inches away from her—there was a pool of blood where she was lying; where her bead was—I went into the front room and there saw the body of the youngest child—it was on a bed in the front room, outside the bed-clothes, quite dead—he was in his nightdress—he was lying move on the right side than any other position—the feet were towards the head of the bed; and the head towards the foot—there was a great deal of blood on the bed—it had soaked through the counterpane, blanket, and sheet; and into the bed—the blood was just underneath where the child was lying; underneath the child's neck and shoulders—I observed the floor of that room—there was not any pool of blood anywhere on the floor in that room—I saw marks of blood in the room—some had been trodden into the room with a naked foot—the footmark was sufficiently distinct for me to be able to speak of its size—it appeared to be the foot of a grown-up person—I saw two footmarks of blood; both in the same direction—I mean that I saw two footsteps which had imprints of blood, which had left the marks of blood, both going in the same direction, from the door towards the bed where the child was lying—there was no smear of blood along the floor of that room—there was no other blood in the bed except that which I have mentioned as being underneath the head and shoulders of the child, and that which had soaked through the clothes—I examined the bed in the back room—there was an appearance of blood about that bed—there wen three or four drops of blood on the sheet, and some smears of blood on the sheet—it appeared to have been wiped off a person's hands—there was no pool of blood about that bed—there was some blood that had run from the door under the foot of the bed, and there was some blood that bad been trampled about the floor of the room; but no pool of blood in any part—when I first came to the house the prisoner was not dressed; he was in his night-shirt—his bands and feet were bloody; his night-shirt was very much stained with blood also—I did not see any wound about any part of his person—I did not examine him particularly, but I stripped him, and I did not see any wound—I saw the weapon after it was found—the prisoner was taken into custody—I did not see any cut on him when he was taken into custody; he did not complain of any—on the evening of the same day I went down to Wadhurst, to the residence of Mr. Streeter the father of the deceased—I received from Mr. Streeter a number of letters, which I have here—I have fifteen in all—six of these letters were read before the Magistrate—these (produced) are the six given in evidence, and these (produced) are the nine—they are all here—on my return to town I saw a box at the police-station, in the possession of Superintendent Payne—I opened that box with a key which I found in the prisoner's possession—I there found the paper which I now produce—it is a policy of assurance—I have a piece of the guard of the knife which has been produced—the prisoners brother John gave it to me.
Cross-examined. Q. You have told us there were two footmarks leading into the front room? A. Two—the first I should say was about two feet inside the door; that is, as near as I can remember—the second was about two feet six inches further on; towards the bed—one was the right, and the other was the left foot—there were no more footsteps round the bed—there was too much blood just at the landing outside between the two doors, to trace any footmark there—when the prisoner had the conversation with Lack, myself, Lack, and Varney were present—when the question was put to him he was a little confused—he was not so all through—he was very little excited; not at all—he appeared confused when Lack put the question—he hesitated, as I have said—he was not confused during any other part of the time—he appeared to be quite collected.
DAVID LACK (Policeman, P 132). On the morning of 31st July I went with Mr. Dann to 16, Manor-place, Walworth, a few minutes before 6—I saw three bodies lying on the second landing—I found this knife—it was lying just between the two females; it was open as it is now, with the point and a piece of the guard broken off, and smeared with blood just the same as it is now—I picked it up—I saw the prisoner at this time—he spoke to me first—he pulled his right shirt-sleeve up and said, "Here is a job; my mother has done all this"—I said, "Where is your mother?" he pointed down to the elder female and said, "There she lies; I struck her in my own defence"—I said, "Was this young female lying here when you struck your mother?"—he hesitated for a moment and then said, "I do not know."
EDMUND PAYNE. I am superintendent of the P division of police—I obtained the box which was opened by inspector Dann at the house, 16, Manor- place—I found it in the back room on the top floor—I directed its removal to my office and went with it—when the prisoner was brought to the police-station on the morning of 31st July, I spoke to him about the knife which has been produced here—I said, "Do you know anything about that knife?"—Lack the constable had just shown the knife to me; I think that was in the presence of the prisoner—the prisoner's reply was, "It is my knife; it is what I had to cut my bread and cheese with"—I think I asked how long he had had it, and he said, "A few days," or "about a fortnight"—I did not expect at that time to be called as a witness, and I do not recollect distinctly whether it was in reply to me or of his own accord, but he said he had had it in his possession a few days or nearly a fortnight—I believe he used both expressions; first, "a few days," and I believe he afterwards said, "Nearly a fortnight."
JOHN VARNEY (re-examined). When I saw the prisoner on that morning at the house in Manor-place, I asked him where the young woman slept the previous night, and he said, "In the front room"—he said she had slept with his mother and his little brother, and the elder boy slept with himself in the back room
WILLIAM BARNARD BODDY. I am a surgeon, and practise at 3, Savillerow, Walworth—on the morning of Tuesday, 31st July, I was called to go to the house 16, Manor-place—that was, I should think, about 6 o'clock—Beard, the carpenter, the man who lives in the second floor, came to me—I went to the house immediately—I there found the bodies of four persons, who were dead—three were on the landing and the body of the little boy was on the bed in the front room—the bodies were all quite warm; as warm as if they had been alive; from animal heat—I examined the body of the young woman, Mary Wells Streeter, which was lying on the landing—I found a stab over her left breast which penetrated the cavity of the chest—there was also a wound on the throat; it was literally cut from ear to ear—that had been done with a very sharp and very strong instrument—the carotid artery and jugular vein on each side were divided; making a clean sweep through everything, down to the cervical vertebrae or bones of the neck—the wound had severed the windpipe and the gullet—such a wound would, I think, have caused instantaneous death; the cutting through the windpipe and the gullet would prevent a person from calling out; it would be quite impossible for a person to call out with such a wound—I think it must have required a strong arm to have inflicted that wound.
COURT. Q. That must, of course, depend upon the instrument? A. It would depend upon the instrument.
MR. CLERK. Q. What sort of person was the deceased? A. A young woman in good animal condition, I think—in no way emaciated, but healthy—she was anything but weak; I think she was healthy and strong—I then examined the body of the elder woman; she had three stabs altogether, two over the left shoulder-blade, one over the sternum or breast- bone, and a deep cut or stab behind the left side of the neck, which divided the carotid artery and jugular vein on the left side down to the cervical vertebra—that wound would have caused almost immediate death, perhaps not so instantaneous as with the other, who had her throat cut—I should not think it possible that the wounds either upon the young woman or the elder woman could have been inflicted by themselves, particularly upon the elder woman; it would be an impossibility—the elder woman seemed to be a person in tolerably good health, not particularly bulky or muscular, but tolerably healthy, I thought—she was not particularly strong certainly, rather inclined to be stout than thin—I did not discover any injury about the hands of either of the women—I then examined the body of the younger boy, Charles, who was lying on the bed in the front room—I discovered one wound over the chest-bone, and two small incised cuts on the left upper arm, and there was one deep plunging cut or stab through the back of the neck, which divided the bones of the neck and cut right through the spinal cord—that wpund would have caused immediate death—a part of the gullet and windpipe was likewise wounded in the sweep of the knife; that would have quite prevented the child from crying out—I then examined the body of the elder boy, which was lying on the stairs; he had two cuts, one on the right angle of the lower lip, and one cut all round the throat, merely dividing the cutis, not the skin positively, but the small enveloping membrane—there were six stabs altogether, one on the right side of the neck and half way between the ear and the right shoulder, one over the left breast, another over the left breast about an inch and a half below the former, and more to the left side, and three stabs on the left side over the ribs—the three first fingers of the right hand at the extremities were cut through to the bone; the third finger of the left hand was likewise cut at its extremity quite into the bone—those were all the wounds—the one that entered the chest was the cause of death—there wore two wounds on the chest; both were fatal wounds; one entered the pericardium, the enveloping membrane of the heart, that would be necessarily fatal, the other penetrated the lungs—both wounds entered the lungs, the top as well as the bottom plunge, and both would be fatal—if the child had grasped a sharp instrument, the hands would have presented exactly the appearance that I discovered, if the weapon had been drawn through the hands—I see the knife that has been produced; the marks I saw were just such as I should have expected to find from such an instrument—all the wounds upon all the four bodies were inflicted with a sharp instrument; it must have been a very sharp, powerful instrument—I have seen this knife before; the point of it is broken—I apprehend that it was originally a sharp pointed instrument; such an instrument as that, if the point had been sharp, might have inflicted all the wounds I saw upon all the bodies—there was no mark upon any of the bodies of a struggle having taken place during life, except upon that of the child that was lying near the stairs; his were the only hands that were wounded.
Cross-examined, Q. If I understand you rightly the mother had one wound in the chest? A. Yes—if that wound had been inflicted first I think she would possibly have screamed; I think it is more than probable she would—she had four wounds—I think the mischief that was product on the boy's hand was from an attempt in struggling to relieve himself from some injury that was being inflicted upon him; the cuts presented the appearance as if they were inflicted when struggling with some person, putting his hands up to prevent his throat being cut—if those wounds on the boy had been inflicted with great rapidity he would have died almost immediately—the two in the chest would have caused nearly instant death—I think he might have had time to scream out; death would not have followed so rapidly as that; there would have been some moments between the infliction of the wound and death—I have had very little experience in cases of cancer of the womb—I have never known it to create delirium; it produces a great deal of emaciation if it is of long continuance—it is an extremely painful disease—I should not think the pain would affect the brain; it might occasionally, but not as a general rule—it is not taken as a symptom or consequence of disease of the womb—supposing that Mrs. Youngman had been in a state of delirium I think she was strong enough to have inflicted these blows.
MR. CLERK. Q. Had there been an attempt to cut the throat of the boy that was lying on the stairs? A. Yes.
COURT. Q. That was the wound on the throat you have described? A. Yes, the superficial cut—that led me to suppose that there had been an attempt to cut the throat; the mark was very defined all round the throat—I did not distinguish much difference as to size and bulk between Mrs. Youngman and Mary Streeter; the elder woman was the fatter of the two I think—there was no appearance whatever of any struggle on the part of Mary Streeter.
MARY ANN WOOTTON. I am in the service of Dr. Duncan, of Henriettastreet, Covent-garden—I know the prisoner; he was there a week before me—he left on 16th July last—he had been in Dr. Duncan's service three months, I believe; during that time I have seen him writing frequently—he used to write letters and poetry—the date of the letter I am looking at is the 21st June; I believe it is the prisoner's handwriting—this one of 18th Juue is his writing, and this of the 21st—I believe this letter of 13th July is in his handwriting; also these two on 16th, and this one of the 19th—to the best of my belief this one without a date is in his haudwriting—this letter of 21st is his, and also the one of the 28th.
JAMES ANDREW DUNCAN. I am a physician, residing at Henrietta-street, Covent-garden—the prisoner was in my service as a footman; he came to me on 18th April last, and quitted on 16 th July—I was in the habit of seeing him frequently; it was the greater part of his duty to wait on me.
Cross-examined. Q. Have you had any experience in cases of cancer? A. Yes: cancer in the womb is a most painful disease; it generally makes a patient very irritable—I should not set down delirium as one of its symptoms; it may come up as an accidental symptom—if there has been mania in a family and a disease is acting upon a person, it would be more likely to bring it on—I know a mania, described as homicidal mania, especially among women—one of the great features of that mania, is, that persons afflicted by it, most frequently attack those to whom they have the greatest affection—it generally occurs after confinement, where the mother, although she has the greatest affection for her child, cannot resist destroying it—I have read Dr. Taylor's work on homicidal mania—I agree with him when he says that individuals are liable to be seized by a sudden impulse, when they will destroy persons to whom they are most strongly attached; but it is impossible to define what madness is; that is to say a person may have reason and know the wickedness of what he is going to commit, but yet be unable to resist the animal part of the functions, of the brain.
MR. CLERE. Q. Does cancer in the womb, where it exists, produce emaciation of the body? A. Yes; that is how the patient dies, from being completely worn out.
COURT. Q. Supposing a person not to be emaciated, does that indicate anything with respect to the state of the disease? A. That would show it was merely beginning, not advanced; that the disease had made but little progress—it might or it might not be attended with pain, then it would not necessarily follow the patient would be made more irritable—in my judgment if the disease had not got so far as to emaciate the patient, I don't think the pain would be such as to bring on delirium—the patient might, possibly have taken opium as a remedy for it, which would perhaps cause it.
EDWARD SPICE. I keep the Green Dragon public-house, Bermondsey-street, in the Borough—I knew the deceased Mary Streeter—on Monday, 23d July last, she came to my house on a visit; she came with the prisoner—she came in the afternoon and stayed there all night—on the next day, the 20th, the prisoner came, as near as I can recollect, about half-past 6 in the morning—Mary Streeter stayed four days at my house on a visit—she was an old friend of mine; I and her father Were brought up together—after partaking of breakfast on that morning, they went away together and returned again about 9 o'clock in the evening—he came down at half-past 5 the next morning—it rained on that day, and they stopped till 9 o'clock—on Thursday morning I called her out at 5 o'clock, and the prisoner came in about five minutes past 5—I had some conversation with him about the girl—I spoke to her first in the tap-room—I saw what I did not like in the man, and said to her in his presence, "Mary, I would sooner see you take a rope and hang yourself in the skittle ground, than marry a man like that"—I said to the prisoner, "What means have you got to support my girl? "I called her my girl—he said, "I am independent"—I said, "What is your independency, was it left by a legacy? have you got anything to show me, any paper?"—his reply was, "In houses"—I then asked him if they were in the country or London? "Various places in London—he said—I said, "Well, you must be a rich man," and said to deceased, "Now, Mary, take my advice, give him a total denial, have no more to do with him; go and seat yourself in my bar parlour, and I will take you home safe to your father"—the prisoner made no remark on that—he said he intended to take her either to Hastings or Brighton; I think it was Hastings he said.
Cross-examined. Q. He did not say to reside there? A. He said he was going to take lodgings there to keep her independent—I said, You must have a good income to support a young woman like this"—he said, he was a retired tailor—I did not know anything about his being a valet.
SAMUEL WELLS STREETER. I am a farmer in Essex—the deceased young woman was my daughter—the prisoner came to my house on Sunday, 8th July last, and stayed there one night; I had never seen him before—my daughter had never mentioned to me that he was paying his addresses to her—the prisoner had not mentioned it to me—when Inspector Dann came down to my house I gave him some letters that were locked up in my daughter's writing-desk.
Cross-examined. Q. I believe you had the misfortune to lose another of your daughters some time before? A. Yes; in May last—she was not married, she died of consumption—this girl had not been subject to any disease of the chest or anything of that kind.
THOMAS TANNER. I am clerk in the office of the Argus Insurance Company—on 19th July last I saw the prisoner at that office (he had had a form previously)—he brought a form of application with him; I have it here (produced)—this is one of the forms issued by our office; the name of William Godfrey Youngman was signed in my presence by the prisoner—he wrote the answer to question No. 18, it is "William Godfrey Youngman, 16, Manor Place, Newington, London, retired from the business of a tailor"—that is written opposite the question "Name and place of residence"—before he signed it I asked him what he was—he said he was no trade—he came again on the following day, the 24th, accompanied by a young woman—she was examined by the medical officer, and a policy on her life was prepared—that is the policy (produced)—there is no attesting witness; that is the policy that was effected on that day—the premium was paid on 25th, 10s. 1d. for three months—the premiums are according to the wish of the parties; if they wish they can pay quarterly or half-yearly—in this case the prisoner expressed a wish to pay quarterly—I gave a receipt for the premium; I have it here, this is the first receipt—I believe the young woman paid the money.
(The following letters from the prisoner to the deceased were read; the first was dated 18th June, from Henrietta-street, Covent-garden; it contained some allusions to his long silence, and expressed a desire to renew his former intimacy with the deceased; the second was dated 21st June, acknowledging a reply to his first letter, and expressing a wish to see her when she came to town. Editor's note: Spelling errors in these letters are italicized.)
"8, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, July 13th, 1860.
"My dearest Mary.—This comes with my kindest love to you, trusting you are well and happy; myself I am pretty well in health. Now, come to London, dear girl, on Monday next, the 23d, and stay till Mrs. Walker leaves her situation, then go back home again and come up again on Friday morning, 10th August, and I will come on 10th Augnst to meet you, and shall stay at the lodgings I shall take for you and myself. I shall engage furnished lodgings for a week only, when I shall be able to settle all things and go down to your father and stay with him a day or two. You can lodge somewhere on the Friday you come up, and I, at our lodgings, so be ready for Saturday morning, when we will be married at St. Martin's, Charing Cross, on Saturday, August 11th next; I have published the banns of our marriage, last Wednesday, and it will be asked in church on Sunday next, and Sunday, 29th, for the third time. I gave warning to leave on Wednesday hist, 11th, can leave on 10th ef next mouth having a day's wages less; now you will have quite money enough, my dear, till after we are married, when I shall have plenty, but not till then; but you need only wear your black clothes, my dear girl, at our wedding. I shall only wear black things and have no white gloves at all dearest; our coachman will stand as father for you, and I shall not require a bridesmaid unless you like, if so, our housemaid will come if she can, and we will go after we are married to Kew Gardens or somewhere, and breakfast before we are married, by ourselves. I think I want to assure your life when you come up on Monday week; it will be settled in the time you are here, two or three days; bring all your things when you come on 10th August; say to your mother you are going to stay with my Mends a fortnight and then look for a situation in the time. After we are married you can have all you wish for, so you will have enough money for the present time, as you do not want to boy anything; all the clothes you have will do for the present, till we are married, and on Wednesday, after we are man and wife for life, I shall take money enough to supply all your wants and wishes, so rest happy till then, my dearest girl. I will expect to see youthen in London on Monday week, to assure your life and buy you the wedding-ring to give you to keep till the day 1 put it on your finger; the 11th August next must be the day, I cannot wait another day longer than that my dearest girl Buy nothing except you want it very much indeed, as I will buy you all you want the Wednesday after we are married on a certainty, but at the same time remember all I have told you. I am now awaiting to hear from you again; say you will do as I write by return of post—I am, dearest Mary, your ever affectionate lover, W. G. YOUNGMAN.—Kind respects to all friends, remember, do not forget what I have said; be careful keep all your letters looked up, so your mother and no one can see them, and bring them when you come here."
"8, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, July 16th, 1860. "My beloved Polly.—I received your kind and most welcome letter this morning, and was glad to hear you were enjoying good health, myself I am pretty well in health, bnt am anxious to see you again; indeed I long for the 23d, Monday, to come to see you. I suppose you will stay as you said before with Mrs. Walker, at Gloucester-terrace, till she leaves, which you said would be on 26th of this month, that would be on Thursday week, so you could stay three or four days there, and I shall be, of course, there with you once a day at least, I have made up my mind to get away from here this week, so I shall be with you next week when you come. Since I gave notice to leave here last Wednesday, our people have spoken to me in such a manner that has not suited me, and I am certain to give Mrs. Duncan a good talking to next time she goes on at me again, when I hope the Doctor will tell me to go at once, has then that is what I want, when I shall be paid my wages the same up to 11th August, when I shall go to my brother's and be able to do many things I want to do before we are married, dearest girl. I know I shall have a job to get a holiday when I want it if I stay here longer than this week, so I am in hopes of getting off from here this week, to-day; tonight I want Mrs. Duncan or the Doctor to talk to me, then I shall he ready to talk to them, and so be sent off. You understand, I am a little sharp in this. Now, my dearest Polly, I have a form to be filled up to take to the Life Assurance Company's office, that his, to answer all the written questions as asked on the printed forms, which is necessary should be done first. I know your name and address, but your occupation, I shall say you have (none)—you understand? But I want to know your place of birth, and date, and your certificate of birth is required to be taken to the office, just to let them see your right age; then, of course, I shall say single, and a spinster; then I want to know your father's and mother's ages, and also to know if you have ever been abroad; if so, where, and for what period of time; also, have you had the small-pox, or have you been vaccinated; have you ever had the gout, or spitting of blood, asthma, rupture, convulsions, fits of insanity, vertigo, habitual cough, disease of the lungs, complaint of the liver, or any other disease which tends to the shortening of life; let me know this, but I can say what I like, or you like, has any of these complaints, of corse, would be against your having your life assured. Then it's asked, has any member of the family died of consumption; I think you said your sister died of that dreadful complaint; but I must say no to that answer. Then they want to know the name and residence of your medical attendant; you could say you had none, to that question; but the name and residence of an intimate friend is required to be referred to for general information, that is to say, they must have some one who knows you to write to, to ask they how long they have known you and your family, and are they healthy, and his your health been good, and his it so now, and to ask if any member of the family have died of any bad disorder, such as I have said; and you must tell the friend, whoever you get to do this for you, to make it out in the best manner he or she can, has you will also do; and let them say they are not a near relation, only a friend, if ever you are. You understand that, dearest girl, has all must be done in the best possible manner to have them assure your life, has they would not take you if they thought you were unhealthy, or any of your family had died of anything bad, or where any of them unhealthy, that would be, of corse, against it, so, when they write to your friend, let them give a good letter to them—he sure and manage that with them, and to answer the letter they send by return of post; so, when you come up on Monday next, all you will have to do will be to go with me to the Assurance Office, near the Bank of England, city, and see the, medical man there, then I can give you the money to pay the first premium upon your life, which will not be a large sum to assure 100l. in case you should die any death, which sum would be of use to your children or me, in that case, dearest girl; but it his a very good thing to do, and the duty of every mother, or wife, or father to assure their lives, if they can but spare a little to pay every quarter; see what distress often arises from friends not leaving any thing to their relations or dear friends when they die! You know the benefit of all this, therefore you will, of corse, just send me the information I require of you, that I may take and fill up the form to take to the office, so they can write to your friend has I tell you. Write has soon has you can, I am anxious to get on with it before you come next Monday to London. Now, I am, with love ever to you, your loving, affectiouate, WILLIAM GODFREY YOUNGMAN.—My kindest remembrance to your friends, and quick answer I hope to have, my most beloved girl; I am indeed anxious to get all these things settled, and look forward for the happy day when you will be mine for life. Adieu, dearest."
"16, Manor-place, Newington, London, S.
"My most beloved Mary.—I received your affectionate note this morning, but I must say I am very much hurt to find you state in your note that you do not wish to have your life assured; why, my dearest girl, why do you alter your mind? I have been to the office, have told them to write to your friend, Mrs. James Bone, for the information they require, they did so yesterday, and expect her to send them answer by return of post; and I told them you would come with me on Monday for the policy, so let Mrs. James Bone write to them has they wish, and that you will go with me and assure your life on Monday next has you said you would before. Why can you go from your word? You will never lose anything by assuring your life; will not die any sooner, my dear girl And as regards your father and mother not liken you to do so, you can do has you like without them preventing. Now, say no more to them about it, but come and do has I wish you to do. I shall, indeed, never forgive you if you do not, has I, wish you to do so for a particular purpose, which I will tell you of. I will always pay for it, of corse, and you will never lose anything by it. I intend to get a house for you and myself near or in Brighton next week, as it will, of corse, be foolish for me to go there without you can go with me, even after you have assured your life; but if you will not do this, and will rather mind what your friends say to you about assuring your life, why I cannot think you would love me has I wish you would. You will never find any one to love you so again, and would you break my heart aud not do has I wish you in this little thing? Why do you not do has you said? Can you cease to love me? Will you now refuse to do this which is for the good of those you leave behind when you should DIE? Surely, my dearest girl, you will still love me and do this, or how can I think you do love me if you refuse? no, I cannot believe you love me. Now, my dearest girl, I have nearly settled the assurance, I have left my situation, I have look for a house for us to live in, and with your consent I have published the bans of our marriage, and you have consented to be mine next Monday week. Now, can you break my heart and act like-this? do has I tell you, dearest girl, and I will do anything you wish to be done, only do has you have agreed to do, let me assure your life on Monday next, and be mine own dear wife the following Monday has you promised me in your letter, and every thing you wish for shall be yours. I shall have money enough to supply more than our wants. Next Wednesday or Thursday come and be mine, and we will have all this settled, and we will go down and see all your friends in a few days after things are Bettled. I want you to go to Brighton to get a house, where I wish to live with you, my dearest Polly. Do you love me still 1 if so, do as I wish and keep your promise; be sure and bring the certificate of your birth with you on Monday, and let Mrs. James Bone answer the letter to the Assurance Company to-day, if she has not done so yesterday, so they will get answer on Monday morning before you and I go there. They will not keep you a moment, ray dear girl, only be mine and do this and be happy. You cannot do wrong in this, you will never have cause to regret; pray do has I wish, come and do this on Monday; come, come to me, and be mine, you will never want for a thing while you live, believe me. I cannot but be hurt, hurt, indeed, if you do not comply with my request; do make me happy, do this, it will be all for your good. Write again so I can have a letter on Monday before you come up. Oh, my dearest girl, I know you will not break my heart, I that love you more than life; be mine and never will you want for anything, I swear; but say not a word to your friends till we are married, then they shall be made glad, and we will have a jolly day near home; they will not be sorry for your having me, one that make a lady of you soon, and make you happy for life; one who loves you more thau his life, and can you not do has he wished you to do I say yes, dearest Mary.—I am,-with love to you, hoping you are well and happy, your ever affectionate lover, and ever more I am your best Friend, believe me; but I am hurt, pray heal me, say you will do has I wish, my dearest girl, I am your dearest W. G. YOUNGMAN."
"16, Manor Place, Newington, July 19, 1860.
"My most beloved Mary.—I received your kind and most welcome letter this morning about 11 o'clock; I was expecting to get it by 8 o'clock, but you put Boro' in the address too much, so it was sent to the Boro' first, which caused it to be late; put the address only as above, dearest girl. I have filled up the paper now and took it to the Life Assurance Office, aud they will write to Mrs. James Bone to-day to get answer on Saturday, so you can go with me to the office before 2 o'clock on Monday; when you come up you will arrive in London about half-past 9 o'clock on Monday morning, that was the time I arrived last Monday week. Do not, my dearest girl, say anything to your mother about what you are going to do, only say you are coming to see me and stay with me and my friends till you get a situation here in London; and I think you had better not bring all your things, only the most particular ones, the best you has. You will not want many things till we are married, has you will have some made or bought for you by me before we are married, but bring a few of your best things only, and, above all things, bring all your letters and papers, leave nothing of importance behind, has all little things you have I want to see, And I shall, of corse, go to Brighton for a time after we are married, if not before; but I shall see you on Monday morning. You must bring the certificate of your birth with you, has it must be taken to the office on Monday next, before the quarter's premium is paid, aud I wish it to be done nest Monday morning. I will take lodgings for you and me when you come up on Monday. You need not go to Mrs. Walker's at all; keep with me and I will manage it all comfortable enough for you; don't bring all your things, you understand, and only the best bring with you, and if you can borrow a little money of your father, do so for a few days when I can give it you to send him back, you understand, has money is short with me till about this day week, Thursday. But I want to see you, dearest, and get your life assured, and get many things settled before then; and we will both go down and see your father and mother and friends, and surprise them, in about a week or eight days after we are married; but I am now, even now, has much has husband to you, dear girl, do has I tell you, and I am, with love, ever and ever to you. Do not forget to bring your birth certificate, as you cannot assure your life without it. I hope you will let me have answer by return of post, my most beloved girl, and one on Monday as well, to meet you at the station, London Bridge on Monday. I am your dear and most affectionate, W. G. YOUNGMAN."—Kind remembrance to your frieuds. You might bring a little of your home-made butter, and some things with you, only do not say I told you, you understand, it will be for your good, my dearest girl, I am now waiting to see you.
"16, Manor Place, London, July 21, 1860.
My dearest Mary.—I received your letter this morning. I am very much hurt to find you say you will not have your life assured, after I have troubled, and you had promised me faithfully to have it done, and to be my own dear wife on Monday next, but Tuesday will do has well has Monday, my dear girl, only your father, and mother, or any one must not know it. You promised me faithfully, over and over again, and I expect you will keep your promise that you would be mine, and that your frieuds would not know it till we were married. But now, dearest Mary, if you will only let Mrs. James Bone write to the Assurance Office at once, and go with me to have your life assured on Monday morning next, I will settle with you, and after that his done your friends may know that we are going to be married. I will arrange all things, so you and myself can go down to your house, if possible, the same day we are married, so you need not bring any of your things up with you. Keep to your promise, my dear girl, and your friends shall know we are married the same day that we are, next Tuesday week, but I must have you first assure your life, has I have a great wish for you to do so, and cannot believe you love me unless you do, so cannot certainly think you do love me now. I sent this in haste that Mrs. James Bone may have time to write to them to-day, so the letter will get in London on Monday morning, first post, if not, and you come, bring the letter with you, and the certificate of your birth. Now, I am in earnest; I am keeping my word; you have promised me, now if you love me do this. I am, your affectionate lover, ever till death, WILLIAM GODFREY YOUNGMAN—For your own sake, dearest girl, do has I say. Adieu."
"16, Manor Place, Newington, Saturday night, July 28th, 1860,
My beloved Polly.—I have posted one letter to you this afternoon, but I find I shall not have to go to Brighton to-morrow, as X have had a letter from them with what I wanted inside of it; so, my dear girl, I have quite settled my business now, and I am quite ready to see you now, therefore I send this letter to you. I will take this to London Bridge station to-morrow morning, by a quarter past 6 o'clock, and get the guard to take it to Wadhurst station, to give it to the porter there, who will get a man to take it to your place. I can only give the guard something, so you can give the man who brings this a small sum. I shall expect to see you, my dearest girl, on Monday morning, by the first train. I will await your coming at London Bridge station. I know the time the train arrives, a quarter to ten o'clock. I have promised to go to my uncle's to-morrow, so I cannot come down, but I will go back home with you on Monday night, or first thing Tuesday, so return here again Tuesday night to be ready to go anywhere on Wednesday; but you know all I have told you, and I now expect you will come up on Monday morning, when I shall be able to manage things has I wish to do, Excuse more, my dearest Mary. I shall now go to bed to be up early in the morning to take this letter. Bring or bum all your letters, my dear girl; do not forget, and, with kind love to you and respects to all, I now sum up, waiting to see you Monday morning, a quarter to 10 o'clock. Believe me ever your loving, affectionate, WILLIAM GODFREY YOUNGMAN.—You know all I have told you, therefore come, dearest girl; come, I am anxious now to see you. Adieu for the present."
The form of proposal was then put in, and the answer to question 13 "Has any member of your family died of consumption?" was "No"—The policy of assurance was also put in, it was for 100l. effected by William Godfrey Youngman, of 16, Manor-place, Newington, retired tailor, on the life of Mary Wells Streeter, of Hunter's hall, Wadhurst, Sussex, commencing on 25th July, and renewable quarterly. The receipt for the first quarter's premium 10s. 1d. was produced and read.
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