No. 3

The Canterbury Coroner (Dr. T. S. Johnson) held an inquiry on Thursday morning at the "Three Compasses," St. Peter's Street, on the body of Annie BAILEY, aged 27, who met her death in a mysterious manner on Tuesday morning at 3, Bourne's Square, Northgate. Annie Elizabeth BAILEY, the mother of the deceased, stated that from a communication she received she went to the house of her daughter on Tuesday morning. Witness found her lying on her left side, dead. The bedclothes were very much disordered, and her clothes were torn off her. Deceased was a wayward girl and at times given to drink. On Monday deceased had tea with witness at 3:30, and was quite well then. Elizabeth WILLIS, wife of Pvte. Willis, 11th Hussars, now in India, said deceased came to her room just after 11 p.m. on Monday night, with Florence BROWN, together with a sailor and soldier. She was very drunk and held up a pint and a half bottle of whiskey and said she meant to get all she could down her neck before Christmas. She then drank half athe bottle of whiskey and no-one could stop her. Next morning witness went to take a cup of tea to her and she found her dead with her face buried in the clothes. Florence BROWN gave corroborative evidence, and further stated that BAILEY, herself, the soldier and the sailor all went into the dead womans room. Witness had had a little too much to drink and remembered nothing till next morning. She heard no struggle during the night. When the soldier left between five and six o'clock deceased was lying nude on the floor and the sailor was in bed. Between 10 and 11 o'clock she took a glass of beer to the deceased who was then in bed covered up. Witness did not know whether the sailor was in bed then or not. By the Foreman: Witness when she saw deceased lying naked on the floor did not cover her up. Harry MARSH an able seaman of H.M.S. Empress of India stated when he left in the morning about 8 the woman was in bed. He spoke to her but got no answer. Mr. Sidney Wacher, surgeon, stated that he visited the deceased on Tuesday evening at 5:30. Witness had since made a post-mortem examination. The only sign of violence was a bruise on the top of the head. There was an effusion of blood under the scalp about the size of a 5s. piece. The face was a dark purple colour which would be accounted for by her being found on her face. There was oedema of the larynx and of the lungs and also congestion of the stomach. On opening the body there was a strong smell of alcohol, and the stomach contained some milky fluid which smelt of alcohol. From the history of the case and the result of his examination he thought death was due to alcoholic poisoning. The bruise on her head was certainly not the cause of death. The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence. The Coroner, at the conclusion, asked BROWN, WILSON, Pvte. HOOLEY, and MARSH to let this sad end of one of the worst cases of debauchery he know of to act as a warning to them in the future. KGaCP Sat Dec 26, 1896


© T. Machado 2007