The next witness was another who had given testimony at Colwick and who was now recalled; it was none other than Constable Parr. He was holding up a small piece of material in his right hand as he began to speak,
“I produce the pocket taken off the deceased Anne Saville. There is a large stain of blood on the front but none at the back. There is a quantity of brown sugar loose in it. The pocket contained a small part of a comb, a thimble, a pin-cushion and two pieces of paper. There was no money or tea in the pocket. I did not take any notice of the pocket in the plantation, the examination was made when the body was removed to the barn. The gown did not appear to have been torn behind nor her dress in any way disarranged. She was laying down the hill so that the blood would run down the hill from her pocket, not to it.”
The Coroner asked the prisoner if he wished to ask any questions of the witness and he declined. There was a stunned silence as the parish constable left the room. Parr had shocked all present when he had produced a bloody razor at Colwick. The showing of the victim’s bloody pocket had reminded all present that a poor woman had lost her life in terrible circumstances.
A new witness, a young woman brought everyone to their senses. Elizabeth Tate a singlewoman of New Radford was sworn in and her testimony started.
“I live at New Radford and I have known the prisoner about eleven weeks yesterday. I considered him to paying his addresses to me. He has not particularly asked me to marry him, we have talked about it sometimes. He generally came to my house. I saw him as he was going from my sister’s house to my own between four and five o’clock in the high street in new Radford and he went home with me on Tuesday. At that time I had heard about his wife coming out of the workhouse and I named it to him. Before that afternoon I had never heard he had a wife and family but had heard he lived with a woman and had two or three children. When I got home I told him about his wife and family and discharged him from coming to my house. When I told him he said she was not his wife he had to keep from other women and go to see the children. He stayed about half an hour and went away. I saw him again that night at the top of Pelican Street in Radford. We went down the highway out of Gang Lane and up the fields to New Radford. We chiefly talked about his wife and children. He never owned to her being his wife. He said they had never troubled me and never would as they had better friends to provide for them. When we got back to the Pelican I left him and went home. I saw him again about nine o’clock. I said “I suppose if you had never known me you could have been living with your wife long since.” He replied “No such thing Bessy, if I had not known you I never should have lived with her again.” That was all that passed. I then put my bonnet on and went out. He came to me again about quarter to eleven the same night I was up and alone waiting for Mr and Mrs Cutts coming home. Mrs Cutts is my sister. I told him we must part, he said “We must not!” I told him if he would not keep from me I would obliged to leave the town and he said this was all nonsense. He said they had better friends than he could be to them. He asked me if I would have something to drink and I declined. He did not stay with me more than ten minutes
At this point the witness went into a violent fit of hysterics which interrupted the evidence. “I shall die!” she screamed, “If you do not take me out!” and she stamped the ground with enormous energy. The poor girl was removed and the medical evidence was now introduced.
Sandford Tatham Davison, surgeon of Carlton was sworn in and testimony began;
“I made an external post-mortem examination of the four deceased bodies Friday morning at about twelve o’clock as they lay in Parr’s barn. I was in the presence of several medical men; my brother Robert Davison, Dr. Lightfoot, Mr Booth Eddison and Mr Higginbottom. Here are my findings.
Mother; Incised transverse wound upon her throat, four and a half inches in length and an inch and a half in depth. Effect was to divide the integments down to the cellular tissue, the common carotid artery on the left and left jugular vein, exposing the vertebra column and dividing the windpipe and oesophagus. The effect of such a wound would have been near instant death. It is probable she was sitting or lying down when receiving the wound but it is impossible to stab. I cannot form a decisive opinion whether the wound was inflicted by herself or some other person. It is possible she might have done it be herself. The razor handed to me would produce such a wound. After receiving such a wound I think she could not have removed herself a distance of five or six yards. I should say the wound was from left to right.
Mary Saville; Incised transverse wound on her throat was about two and three quarter inches long to a depth of one inch to one and a half inches. The wound cut through the integments, superficial muscles, windpipe and oesophagus, the right and left common carotid arteries, jugular vein on both sides and all the blood vessels and made a division of the anterior vertebral ligaments, exposing spinal marrow. The wound would have been almost instantly fatal. The child could not inflict the wound upon herself. I also observed an incised superficial wound on the inner side of the right thumb. It might have been caused by holding her hand up to protect herself. There was a contusion on the right cheek bone which might have been caused by a blunt instrument; also an abrasion on the skin on the right frontal bone. It might have been caused by an ordinary fall. There was also a slight discolouration to the stomach.
The wounds on the three eldest were left to right, on the young boy from right to left.”
This completed the testimony of the surgeon and the prisoner had no questions for him. The Coroner now asked for a witness to return to complete their testimony. Elizabeth Tate had been calmed by a draft administered by Robert Davison who was the surgeon for the prison within Shire Hall. She re-started her testimony by describing her last moments with the prisoner on the Tuesday evening,
“He appeared very low and melancholy on Tuesday night. He never said he had a wife and children, he would only admit that he had one child and would never say where it was. On Tuesday night he said he felt unhappy and that he had been a little to the public house.”
The witness then broke down and began sobbing uncontrollably. It was clear she could not go on and was helped out of the room. The Coroner then rose to his feet. It was very late in the evening and he informed all those present that it would be impossible to complete the inquisition as there were still more witnesses to testify. The Inquest was therefore adjourned to ten o’clock the following morning.
The Inquisition would now go into a third day and all those present including all witnesses knew they had to return within twelve hours. Some made their way home by foot, those who could afford a cab travelled home in comfort. The final witness was kindly put into a cab by the Davison brothers who paid her fare back to New Radford. She sobbed all the way home. She had begun to realise her part in this tragedy and no amount of kind words could comfort her. [i]
TO BE CONTINUED
Copyright@Michael Sheridan 2013 ALL Rights Reserved
[i] Nottingham Journal Friday May 31st