DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Sort file:- Folkestone, September, 2022.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 13 September, 2022.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton and Jan Pedersen

Earliest 1715

Royal Oak

Latest Feb 1941

19 North Street

Folkestone

Royal Oak 1920s

Above photo, 1920s, by Martin Easdown.

Royal Oak 1923

Above photo showing the Royal Oak on the left, 1923.

Royal Oak/Lifeboat painting by Elijah Albert Cox

Above shows a painting by Elijah Albert Cox R.B.A. (1876-1955) showing the "Lifeboat" at the top right of the street. The "Royal Oak" sign can just be seen opposite.

 

I also have reference to a "Royal Oak" addressed at Dover Road in 1847.

North Street was previously titled New Island and the pub was opened in 1715.

25th January 1851 Daniel Perry Poulter of Dover's Castle Brewery acquired a part share of the Inn but this was bought by Leney's in August 1884 for 400 after they took over the Castle Brewery. 1926 saw Fremlins take over Leney's.

1913, along with the "Lifeboat" the police opposed the renewal of the license as they said the grounds and building was structurally inferior, but due to the trade and good management of the licensee at the time, it continued to serve ale until the 18th of February 1941. The building was pulled down along with a lot of the other houses in the street in 1952 to make way for the yacht club and its boat park.

 

Folkestone Sessions Books 1765 – 1779 & 1792 - 1811.

General Sessions 26 June 1792.

Before Thomas Baker (Mayor), Thomas Rolfe, John Harvey, Thomas Farley, John Minter, Michael Minter, and Robert Harvey.

An ale licence was granted to James Seal at the sign of the Royal Oak until next licensing day.

 

Folkestone Sessions Books 1765 – 1779 & 1792 - 1811.

General Sessions 11 December 1798.

Before Thomas Baker (Mayor), John Minter, Edward Andrews, Joseph Sladen, John Castle and Joseph Stredwick.

The licence of the Royal Oak was transferred to Thomas Hall.

Note: Date is at variance with More Bastions.

 

Folkestone Sessions Books 1765 – 1779 & 1792 - 1811.

General Sessions 1 March 1803.

Before John Castle (Mayor), Edward Andrews, Thomas Baker and Joseph Sladen.

Ordered that William Taylor be permitted to sell beer under the licence granted to Thomas Hall at the Royal Oak in this town until the next licence day.

Note: Date is at variance with More Bastions.

 

Folkestone Sessions Books 1765 – 1779 & 1792 - 1811.

General Sessions 23 July 1810.

Before John Bateman (Mayor), John Minter, Thomas Baker, John Castle and James Major.

John Potts and Pilcher Jones appeared and made complaint on oath against John Major and Richard Major (two of the constables of the said town) who had severally refused to execute certain warrants when requested to do so.

Potts, Royal Oak; Jones, George.

 

General Sessions 20 August 1810.

Before John Bateman (Mayor), John Minter, Joseph Sladen, Thomas Baker, John Castle and James Major.

At this meeting John Major appeared according to a summons issued for that purpose on a complaint and information of Pilcher Jones against him for a neglect of duty as constable, when it is ordered that the said John Major be fined 20/- for such neglect of duty and the same to be paid into the hands of the Mayor this day and to be by him applied for the relief of the poor of the said town. Richard Major, another constable, was also summoned to appear this day, but as he was at sea, ordered to stand over till the next adjournment at Sessions.

 

Kentish Chronicle 5 January 1813.

A few days since, at Folkestone, a man known by the name of Little Captain, to the astonishment of a few friends, with which he supped at the "Royal Oak," ate a beef pudding weighing six pounds, and for a trifling wager concluded his voracious meal with depositing in his belly one pound of pork sausages, together with bread and a gallon of beer.

 

Dover Telegraph 21 January 1837.

Advertisement: To Let, with immediate possession, the old-established public house, the "Royal Oak," North Street, Folkestone.

Apply to John Franks, on the premises, Folkestone.

 

Southeastern Gazette 6 December 1853.

Inquest.

An inquest was held on Friday last, at the Royal Oak Inn, before Silvester Eastes, Esq., coroner, upon the body of George Major, aged 72.

It appeared that the deceased went on Thursday morning, at 4 o’clock, to haul his nets in, which he had placed the night before in the sea near Copt Point, and was there observed by another fisherman and a coastguardsman, with a large cod fish Shortly afterwards the deceased was found lying dead on the rocks, and the fish near him. He had complained of a pain in the chest for two or three days previously.

Verdict, “Died by the visitation of God.”

 

Southeastern Gazette 2 January 1855.

Local News.

The following licence was transferred. The Royal Oak, North Street, from Thos. Saunders to Richard Hills.

Note: Hills not listed in More Bastions.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 7 June 1856.

Wednesday June 4th :- Before the Mayor, Samuel Mackie Esq., G. Kennicott Esq., W. Major Esq., and G. Bateman Esq.

The licence of the Royal Oak, North Street, was transferred from Alfred Tookey to Filmer Thomas Chester

 

Southeastern Gazette 10 June 1856.

Local News.

The license of the Royal Oak was transferred from Alfred Tookey to Mr. Chester, of Hythe.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 31 January 1857.

Local News.

Folkestone Burial Society: The 18th anniversary of this useful institution was held yesterday evening at the True Briton, South Street, Mr. J. Jinkings, the president, in the chair. From the report as read by the secretary, it appeared that during the year the sum of 100 had been expended in payments to the friends of deceased members; it was also shown that since the establishment of the society in 1838, 127 deaths had occurred, in respect of which the large sum of 1,267 12s. had been expended. From the extension of the society to an unlimited number of members (which we believe is a feature peculiar to the Folkestone Burial Society), this favourable result has been obtained. Mr. Jinkings was unanimously re-elected president, Mr. D. Baker, treasurer, and Mr. Flaherty, secretary. We feel much pleasure in recording the continued prosperity of this useful society.

 

Southeastern Gazette 24 May 1859.

Local News.

On Saturday evening last, a married woman named Williamson, committed suicide by hanging herself at the Royal Oak, North Street.


 

Folkestone Chronicle 28 May 1859.

Inquest.

On Monday last an inquest was held before Silvester Eastes Esq., Coroner for the Borough, on the body of a married woman named Williamson, the wife of the landlord of the Royal Oak, North Street, who committed suicide by hanging herself at her residence on Saturday evening last. The deceased had lately led a dissipated life, and had several times left her husband's home, and had also once before attempted suicide. The jury returned a verdict of “Temporary insanity”.

Note: No record of Williamson at the Royal Oak.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 7 April 1860.

Quarter Sessions Extract.

Tuesday April 3rd:- The Grand Jury then retired, and in a short time returned with a true bill against John McEwan, a lance corporal of the Stirlingshire Militia, or Highland Borderers, for larceny. The indictment charged the prisoner with having, on the fourth day of February, 1860, at the town of Folkestone, stolen two dresses, one skirt, one pair of trousers, two jackets, one mat, one cruet stand, two cameo brooches and two photographic likenesses, the property of Alexander Williamson, the landlord of the Royal Oak, North Street.

The prosecutor having been sworn, deposed that the property described in the indictment was his, and to the fact of having missed it on the day above named, and that the prisoner was in his house on that day.

Mary Williamson, the wife of the prosecutor, corroborated her husband with respect to losing the property.

P.C. Ingram Swain, deposed that from information given he apprehended the prisoner, and charged him with committing the offence. Prisoner however pleaded entire ignorance of committing the crime, stating that he was in such a state of drunkenness as not to know what he was about, which was admitted by both the prosecutor and the police. The petty jury therefore under the circumstances returned a verdict of Not Guilty. This completed the business of the sessions, which was concluded at an early hour.

Note: No record of Williamson ever having had the Royal Oak according to More Bastions.

 

Southeastern Gazette 10 April 1860.

Quarter Sessions.

These sessions were held on Wednesday last, before J. J. Lonsdale Esq.

John McEwan, a lance corporal in the Stirlingshire Militia, was indicted for stealing several articles of wearing apparel from a bedroom at the Royal Oak public house, North Street, the property of Alexander Williamson, the landlord.

Prisoner said he took the things for a lark. This statement the prosecutor in his evidence appeared to believe, and the jury acquitted the prisoner.

Note: Williamson does not appear in More Bastions.

 

Folkestone Observer 11 July 1868.

Wednesday, July 8th: Before Captain Kennicott and James Tolputt Esq.

This being a Special Sessions for granting Alehouse Licenses, &c., the following business was transacted.

Mr. Sinden applied for a transfer of the license of the Royal Oak to himself from Mr. Prebble.

It appeared that the notice given was not in proper form, and had not been served on the Overseers in accordance with the Act of Parliament.

The Clerk therefore advised applicant to apply to the Bench for temporary authority to sell under Mr. Prebble's license.

This was accordingly done and the authority granted.

Note: Date differs from info given in More Bastions.

 

Folkestone Express 11 July 1868.

Wednesday, July 8th: Before Captain Kennicott and Alderman Tolputt.

A special sessions for the transferring of licenses was held in the Town Hall on Wednesday.

The following business was conducted:

Mr. Sinden, of the Royal Oak for transfer of license from Mr. Prebble. In consequence of an informality in the notice, it not being dated, the Overseers refused to sign it. The transfer was refused, but the Magistrates granted the applicant temporary power to sell under the existing license until the next sessions.

Note: Date for this transfer differs from information given in More Bastions.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 15 February 1873.

Extract from “Folkestone Past and Present” lecture at the Town Hall on Thursday, February 13th.

In 1807 the Folkestone Conversational Society existed, which held its meetings at the Royal Oak; he had seen the carefully kept minute book, detailing the transactions of the Club. Mr. Sladden was the President.

 

Southeastern Gazette 2 September 1873.

Local News.

The annual licensing meeting was held on Wednesday, when the magistrates present were J. Hoad, Esq. (Mayor), J. Gambrill, J. Tolputt, and J. Clark, Esqrs.

The Superintendent lodged a complaint against the landlord of the Royal Oak, for harbouring prostitutes. The licence was granted with a caution.

 

Folkestone Express 21 February 1874.

Inquest.

A young man named Thomas Garland, who had been lodging some weeks at the Royal Oak Inn, North Street. Was taken suddenly ill on Monday evening and died before medical assistance could be procured. From what Mr. Mercer, assistant to Mr. Bateman, told the Coroner, that officer did not consider it necessary to hold an inquest, but having received an anonymous letter, which will be found below, he reconsidered the matter and determined to hold an inquiry into the circumstances of the death, and instructed Mr. Mercer to make a post mortem examination, which was accordingly done on Wednesday, the result of which will be found in the evidence given at the inquest, which was held at the Town Hall on Thursday afternoon before J. Minter Esq., Coroner, and a jury.

The jury having been to the residence of the uncle of the deceased to view the body, on their return, Lydia, wife of Thomas Joseph Davis, Royal Oak Inn, North Street, deposed: I identify the body just shown to the jury as that of Thomas Garland, who has lodged at my house since a week or two before Christmas. On Monday last deceased was at home all day. Shortly after seven o'clock in the eveining he was in the bar parlour with my neice, who called me in, and I found deceased sitting on a chair, apparently very ill. He complained of great pain at his hear and head. I called in Mrs, Harris and Mrs. Winter, two neighbours, and then went to get a pair of blankets, as deceased complained of being cold, and on my return he was lying on the floor dead. He had complained before of his heart and used to say “Oh, my heart”, and placed his hands on his breast. I had tea with him at half past four o'clock the same afternoon, and he appeared to be well then. He would have been nineteen years of age next March. I do not know anything about the letter produced.

Mr. Richard Mercer, M.R.C.S., deposed: I am assistant to Mr. Bateman, surgeon. On Monday, 16th inst., I was called in to see deceased at the Royal Oak Inn, North Street, and found him dead. I made a post mortem examination of the body yesterday afternoon, in which I was assisted by Mr. Bateman. I found the heart enlarged and flabby; the valves on the left side of the heart had an inflammatory appearance. The other organs, including the brain, lungs, &c., were healthy. The stomach contained a small quantity of fluid and food, but there was no unhealthy signs in it or in the intestines. I could not detect any foreign or injurious substance in the stomach. The valve of the heart giving way was the cause of death, which was from natural causes. If I had given a certificate I should have given the cause of death as disease of the heart. I was aware there had been a suggestion that deceased had taken poison, and was, therefore, careful in examining the stomach, and am able to say positively that there was no poison. The symptoms preceding death, as described by the last witness, are such as would be consistent with heart disease. Mr. Bateman agreed with me as to the cause of death.

Mr. Bateman was not sworn, but said there was not the least symptom of irritation in the stomach, and there could not have been irritant poison in the stomach without leaving traces. If there had been volatile poison, it would have gone away before they could have examined the stomach. He was satisfied death was from a diseased heart, which was enlarged and weakened, and there was an inflammatory appearance of the organ.

In answer to Mr. T.J. Vaughan, Mr. Mercer said there would have been some traces of the effect of volatile poison if such had been taken.

Mrs. Mary Ann Harris deposed: I went to the Rotal Oak on Monday evening about a quarter before seven, when I saw deceased lying on the floor of the bar parlour. Mrs. Davis told me he was ill. I asked him if he would have water, and he said “No”. Mrs. Winter asked him where the pain was and he said “In my head”. I placed my hand on his heart and could feel it beating violently. I said to him “Let me lift you up” and he said “No”. He put his hand on his head and said “I am dead”. He had a very severe struggle and became unconscious and died.

Mrs. Winter gave confirmatory evidence.

The Coroner said: The evidence of Mr. Mercer makes the matter very clear the deceased died of heart complaint, and the post mortem examination clearly explained the cause of death. From inquiries made at the time the doctor was satisfied that deceased had died of heart disease, but Mr. Mercer not being present at the time he could not give a certificate. Having heard Mr. Mercer's report I confess I did not intend to hold an inquest, but in consequence of having received an anonymous letter which I, perhaps, might very well have afforded to take no notice of, but the letter intimating that I was neglecting my duty, and went on to suggest that the deceased had taken poison, and the doctor had not examined him, I certainly thought it right that an inquest should be held and the matter should be cleared up. I put the letter into the hands of the police, who made every inquiry, but could obtain no corroboration of the allegation contained in the letter. On asking deceased's father, he thought it would be satisfactory to have the matter cleared up. I cannot say what motive prompted the writer of the letter, whether it was an honest conviction that deceased had taken poison, or whether it was from a vindictive feeling towards the family. Your duty, gentlemen of the jury, is to say what was the cause of death. Looking at the evidence of the two medical gentlemen, that all the organs except the heart were in a healthy state, and the symptoms showed that action of the heart had stopped, confirms Mr, Mercer's opinion as to the cause of death.

A juror asked if the Coroner had any objection to read the letter.

The Coroner said he had not. The letter came by post, and was addressed “Mr. J. Minter, Lawyer, Guildhall Street, Folkestone”, and the contents were as follows: “Folkestone, 18th. Sir, Excuse me writing, but I feel almost sure that Thomas Garland must have taken something to cause his death, and it is the talk all over the town. There ought to be an inquest on the body. I know the doctor never examined him. I hope you will interfere, or there will be much more talk about it. From a friend, G.H.”

The Jury immediately returned a verdict of “Died from natural causes”.

 

Southeastern Gazette 21 February 1874.

Local News.

With reference to the sudden death of Thomas Garland, at the Royal Oak, North Street, on Monday evening, J. Minter, Esq., coroner, received an anonymous letter signed “G.B.” alleging that deceased had taken poison and suggesting that an inquest should be held, which was done on Thursday afternoon, after a post-mortem examination by Messrs. Bateman and Mercer, surgeons. The examination proved incontestably that there was not the faintest trace or indication of poison in the stomach. The valve of the heart had given way.

Under these circumstances, the jury had no hesitation in returning a verdict that deceased died from natural causes, and thus the talk which has been rife in the town has been set at rest.

 

Folkestone News 16 January 1886.

Local News.

On Monday morning between seven and eight o'clock a fire was discovered at the Royal Oak public house, North Street, which might have proved very disastrous if it had broken out in the night. In the bar parlour, a very small room, situated in the middle of the house, there is, over the fireplace, a beam of wood, which reaches across the front of a cupboard on the right of the fireplace. The cupboard appears to have been in such close proximity to the open chimney that the soot could drop on to the top of it, and had in that way ignited the top of the cupboard and the beam above mentioned, through which it burned a large hole, six inches across. Immediately over this spot on the wall hung a picture, and the fire burnt a round hole out of the back of the picture, and cracked a large opening through the glass corresponding with the hole, and it was through this aperture that the fire was coming when discovered by the landlord's son, Master Halke. An alarm was at once spread, and the Fire Brigade were soon on the spot. The cupboard was pulled to pieces, and a very large accumulation of red hot soot was taken out of the chimney. It would appear as if this soot must have smouldered for some considerable time before breaking out in a fire. The damage was fortunately confined to the bar parlour, and the fire quickly extinguished.

 

Folkestone Express 12 October 1889.

Wednesday, October 9th: Before The Mayor, Dr. Bateman, H.W. Poole and F. Boykett Esqs.

Henry Mercer was granted temporary authority to carry on the Royal Oak, North Street.

 

Folkestone Express 13 December 1890.

Transfer.

Wednesday, December 10th: Before The Mayor, Col. De Crespigny, Surgeon General Gilbourne, Alderman Banks and W.G. Herbert Esq.

The licence of the Royal Oak, North Street, was transferred from Henry Mercer to John Kirby.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 23 April 1892.

Inquest.

An inquest was held at the Town Hall on Tuesday by the Borough Coroner (J. Minter Esq.) on the body of Mary Ann Philpott, who died from injuries received to her head. It will be remembered that the deceased summoned a painter named Henry Moore before the Bench on the 2nd inst. for an assault, the deceased complaining that Moore had knocked her down with his fist on the previous Sunday, giving her a black eye, and causing her head to be cut against the pavement. A cross summons was also heard, and the Magistrates dismissed them both.

William Henry Marshall was called, and stated that he was a fisherman, living at 15, Radnor Street. He knew the deceased for some time. She was the wife of David Philpott, a fisherman, and lived at 15, North Street.

The jury then viewed the body, and upon returning, Moore was called into the Court, and the Coroner remarked that, as far as he could anticipate, there would be evidence to show them that the deceased had had a quarrel with a man named Henry Moore, who was now present, and whome he should give an opportunity of making a statement if he wished to do so. There appeared to have bben two quarrels – on on the Saturday night, the other on Sunday morning. On both occasions, it was stated, she was knocked down by Moore, and, on the latter occasion, received severe injuries to her head, the result of which was a rupture of a blood vessel on the brain and haemorrhage. Although Moore had been summoned there as a witness, he did not propose to call him until the last, so that he may first have an opportunity of hearing the whole of the evidence. He would then elect, after a warning from him, whether or not he would make a statement. It was, of course, their duty to ascertain what was the cause of death, and if they were satisfied that she died from a blow which Moore was alleged to have dealt, it was their duty to say whether it was a case of manslaughter. It was only right for him to say that the deceased woman was of drunken habits, and very quarrelsome. And she was always complaining to the police, when she was drunk, of having been assaulted. But, whether she was a drunken woman or not, no-one had any right to strike her in such a manner as to cause her death.

The witness Marshall was then re-called, and stated: I identify the body which the jury have just viewed as to that of Mary Ann Philpott. On Sunday morning, the 3rd of April, I was standing at the bottom of North Street, between twelve and one o'clock. I saw the deceased standing on the pavement between her house and Mrs. Rose's house – two doors below. I did not notice if she had anything in her hand. There was an old lady with her, named Spearpoint. I saw Moore and another young man – Edward Tappenden – come through the arches, and passed me to go up North Street. Moore was walking in the roadway, and when he arrived opposite Mrs. Philpott she walked towards him. I saw him strike her on the right eye with his fist, and she fell down on the pavement. She fell on her back and her head struck the pavement. Mrs. Spearpoint ran away from her when she fell, but afterwards went back and picked her up. I should judge she lay there two or three minutes before she picked deceased up. She did not seem to attempt to get up herself. She laid there quietly until Mrs. Spearpoint went. I don't know what became of her after that, because I went into my own house.

The Coroner: You say you were twenty yards off. Were you looking up the street at Moore? – Yes.

Was there any reason? – Yes.

Why? – The night before I heard a row at the Royal Oak, and I thought to myself “There will be another row”.

|You knew of the quarrel then? – Yes, sir; I heard about it. I wasn't there myself.

You say that when Moore got opposite Mrs. Philpott she walked towards him. Did you see her strike him? – I saw her strike at him, but she did not hit him.

Did you see her throw any wood at him? – No. I did not see anything in her hand. When she struck at him he knocked her down. I had not seen her before that morning, so that I could not say if she was drunk or sober.

In answer to Moore, when the Coroner had given permission to ask any questions, the witness said he noticed another young man with Moore and Tappenden, but did not know his name.

Moore said it was Tappenden's son.

Mrs. Spearpoint was then called and said: I am a widow, and live at 11, North Street. I knew Mary Ann Philpott; she lived three doors above me. A fortnight ago last Sunday, between twelve and one o'clock, I came out of my sister's house, which is opposite mine, and saw deceased on her doorstep. She called out to me “Aunt Mary”. I went up to her. She had her left arm in a sling, and in her right hand she had a short white stick. It was a little bobbin stick. Whilst I was talking to her three men came up the street, and Henry Moore, now present, was one of them. Mrs. Moore said “Here comes the three ----“. She got up and threw the stick at Moore. I don't think it struck him. She then went “squaring up” to him, and he tried to get away, but she kept in front of him to prevent him passing. I don't think she struck him. I ddi not see Moore strike her, but he gave her a push with his open hand. I think it was in her face. She fell on the back of her head. I saw that she had a black eye.

The Coroner remarked that he did not think the witness was telling the truth.

Witness: Yes I am, sir; that's the truth. She had got a black eye at the time. I turned to go into my own house, when my next door neighbour (Mrs. Rose) said “Pick her up, Aunt Mary”. I said “Why don't you pick her up? You're younger than I am”. “I can't” she said, and so I picked her up. She was very heavy, and I had a great job to get her up. When I got her up I said “Go indoors”, and she did so. When I saw her on Monday morning I was astonished to see her eye so black.

George Kirby said: I am landlord of the Royal Oak, which is two doors above the residence of deceased. She was in my house on Saturday night, the 2nd of April. I should say she was the worse for drink. It was between five and ten minutes to eleven at night. Harry Moore was standing against the door, inside, and she passed him in coming in. I was called into another room by one of my customers, and whilst there I hard a noise. When I went back I asked what was the matter, and Moore said “She has hit me in the mouth”. From my experience of her I know she is a very quarrelsome woman. Deceased said “What did he want to shove me for?”, and Moore said “I was in a good mind to hit her, but I pushed her out”. The glass of the door was broken. I got her outside, and she stood there using bad language, calling Moore bad names. I said to her “I'm sure Mr. Moore would not hit you if you did not interfere with him”. I told her to go out of the house, and that I had never had any disturbance in the house since I had had it; only with her. I told her never to come into my house again. I did not see anything of what took place on Sunday morning. She had not been in my house. Moore came in about twenty minutes to one on Sunday afternoon, and said “I have been insulted again by Mrs. Philpott”. He said she tried to hit him with a piece of wood, which he avoided. She then struck him in the mouth and broke his pipe. As he was picking his pipe up she came at him again. He put up his arm, and she fell down. While he was in the bar Mrs. Philpott's husband came in with the deceased, her sister and another woman. Philpott pulled off his coat and wanted to fight Moore, but I told them to go outside or I should send for a policeman. They did not go, so I sent for a constable, and P.C. Bowles came.

P,C, Bowles stated that he was sent for by the landlord of the Royal Oak between twelve and one o'clock on Sunday, the 3rd of April. On his arrival he found the deceased in the house, with her husband, her sister, Henry Moore, and others. There was an altercation going on between her and Moore. They went out and witness asked Moore what it was all about. He said “She struck me in the mouth, broke my pipe, and I hit her. What should you have done?” Witness saw deceased a minute or so afterwards standing just in front of her front door with her husband and sister. He noticed that her right eye was blackened, and that she had a bruise on the right side of her forehead. She said “Look at my face, what he has done!”, and witness advised her to summon the man who struck her.

P.C. Lemar deposed that on Saturday night, the 2nd of April, he was on duty in North Street, and as he passed by he saw the window of the door of the Royal Oak was broken, and he asked the landlord how it was done. He said he did not know. Witness saw that deceased and Moore were having an altercation, but when they saw him coming they stopped. The deceased was “squaring up” at Moore. After Moore had got by, the deceased said “There's a pretty ----. He hit me in the mouth and knocked me through the window”. Her mouth was bleeding.

Dr. Percy Vernon Dodd stated that he was called to see the deceased on Tuesday, the 5th of April. He observed that she had a large contusion over the right eye. The whole of the right side of the face was black – it had been bruised. She complained of pains at the back of the head, and, upon examining it, he found that there was a soft spot in the centre of the back of the head. In his opinion the spot was caused by a blow or a fall. The contusion on the forehead would have been due to the same cause. Having heard the evidence he should say that the contusion was caused by a blow, and the soft spot at the back of the head was the consequence of the fall on the pavement. He attended her regularly from the 5th until the following Saturday, when she attended the police court to summons Moore for an assault, against his advice. She complained of headache more than anything else, and had been in bed the whole time.

The Coroner: Why did you advise her not to go?

Witness said because he thought she was not in a fit state. He ought, perhaps, to state that when he called on the Tuesday morning he was told by the old lady who had been nursing her that she picked her up from the floor unconscious at six o'clock in the morning. She was conscious when he saw her. He ordered her to be put to bed. He could tell that the soft spot and the black eye were injuries which had been inflicted about two days. The spot at the back of the head could have been produced by a fall on the floor that same morning, but he should say it was probably of a couple of days' duration. He saw her on the Wednesday after the summons was heard, and on the Thursday she was unconscious, and remained so until the time of her death, which took place on Sunday afternoon at three o'clock. He had made a post mortem examination of the head of the deceased, and from the examination he was of opinion that death was due to compression of the brain, caused by haemorrhage on the surface. The haemorrhage arose from the rupture of a blood vessel on the brain, which would be caused by a blow or a fall.

The Coroner: She has been a woman of very intemperate habits for years. Would her blood vessels be more brittle than another person's?

Witness said certainly, and gave it as his opinion that the fit on Tuesday morning was due to the rupture, which had been caused on the Sunday. She was much better on the Saturday before she attended the Court. No doubt the rupture had partially healed. A rupture was bleeding on the brain, and any excitement like that would have caused the haemorrhage to set in again.

The Coroner then addressed Moore, and stated that he was not bound to make a statement unless he desired to. It was his duty to tell him that anything he said would be taken down and might be used in evidence against him, should the jury find him guilty of manslaughter. At the present moment, he was bound to tell him things look rather unfavourable, and he was afraid he would have to advise the jury to return a verdict of manslaughter. The evidence was that the deceased died from the effects of a blow or a fall, and that fall was caused by a blow which was given by him. Addressing the jury, Mr. Minter went on to say that of course it was not their duty to enquire whether Moore was justified or not, but he told the constable that he had hit her, and that certainly went against him. He did not think the enquiry could be concluded that day, because of the evidence of the doctor with regard to the deceased being picked up from the floor. That was quite a new part of the enquiry, and he thought, in justice to Moore, evidence should be given on that point. He should therefore adjourn it until Thursday at six o'clock, and in the meantime Moore had better consult his friends, or his solicitor, and decide whether or not he would make a statement.

The enquiry was continued on Thursday, when a great deal of public interest was taken.

Mr. Ward watched the enquiry on behalf of the man Moore.

Mary Ann Sellers said she was the wife of William Sellers, and lived at 55, North Street. She was in the habit of going into Mrs. Phil[pott's house every day to light her fire. On Tuesday, the 5th of April, at half past seven in the morning, she took the key out of the window, let herself in, and went into the deceased's bedroom. She found her lying flat on her back, with her head near the cuoboard. Her hands were clenched, and she was quite unconscious. Witness felt afraid and opened the window and shouted “Murder!”. At half past eight she saw a little girl, and sent her for her sister (Mrs. Weatherhead) and, between them, they got the deceased into bed. Witness then sent for Dr. F. Eastes and he came at nine o'clock and saw her. She was unconscious then. The doctor sent some medicine, and said he would send Dr. Dodd to attend her, as he was going away for five weeks. Witness followed instructions, and came up to the police court with the deceased on the Saturday morning. When she found deceased on the floor on the Tuesday morning she was foaming at the mouth.

Dr. Dodd, re-called, said he found her conscious when he called on Tuesday morning. He did not notice any paralysis at the time. The foaming at the mouth indicated that she had had a fit, and, from his post mortem examination. He was of opinion that the fit arose from the slight haemorrhage on the brain. In his opinion the contusion at the back of the head had not been caused that morning. That was merely blood between the skull and the scalp, and had nothing to do with the internal rupture.

David Philpott said the deceased was his wife, who was 51 years of age last March. On Sunday morning at quarter to one he was called home, and found his wife lying on the bed. He saw that she had had a blow on her eye, and that her face was bruised. He said “Who has done this?” and she said “Moore”. He went into the Royal Oak and said to Moore “What did you hit her for this morning?” He said “It served her right”. Witness said “Why didn't you hit me?”, and witness offered to fight him. He then went indoors and afterwards called P.C. Knowles to look at his wife's face. Witness left Folkestone Harbour on Sunday evening and did not return until the next day.

Elizabeth Rose said she was the wife of Fredk. Rose, and lived at 13, North Street. She saw the deceased sitting on her doorstep about half past twelve on Sunday morning. She saw her raise her hand to strike Moore, and he raised his hand and she fell down, but witness could not say if he struck her.

DR. Dodd, re-examined, said the foaming of the mouth and the clenched fingers on the Tuesday would raise some doubt in his mind whether she might not have had an epileptic fit. That might have caused a rupture of the blood vessel on the brain. It was very probable that if the rupture on the brain had taken place on the Sunday it would have caused a fit on the Tuesday – very probable.

Henry Moore was then called, and having again been cautioned by the Coroner, elected to make a statement. In answer to Mr. Ward, he said he was a painter, living in St. John's Road. On Sunday morning, the 3rd of April, he was going up North Street with a couple of friends. Deceased was sitting on her doorstep, and when she saw them coming up she said “Here comes the ----“. She came up to him and threw a stick at him. It was a common stick, which would weigh about three pounds. It did not strike him, and she then went deliberately up to him, knocked his pipe out of his mouth, and broke it. He had not spoken to her previously. Witness stooped down to pick up his pipe. She came at him again. He put up his arm to defend himself, and she, being very drunk, fell down. He then walked away. On several occasions she had used very abusive language against his wife. He had heard the evidence of Knowles, but it was not true. He did not speak to Knowles at all, and certainly did not say “I hit her; what would you have done?”

The Coroner: Didn't you see Knowles in the Royal Oak? – Yes.

And did he come back after he got Mrs. Philpott out? – Yes.

Did you hear him say “What is it all about?” – No, sir.

Did you hit the woman on the Sunday morning? – Not that I am aware of.

Did you hear anyone, in answer to Knowles's question, say “I hit her. What would you have done?” – No; and I didn't say it.

Did Philpott say to you “What have you hit her for this morning?” – Yes.

And did you say “It serves her right”? – I said I didn't hit her.

What? – I said it wasn't my fault.

You say you put your arm up and she fell down. Which part of your arm touched her? – My elbow, I think.

You think? You must know! – It was my elbow. I think it was her arm that struck mine. She appeared to fall on her right side and then roll over on her back.

Then she must have rolled uphill. Very extraordinary.

Edwin Tappenden senr,. Edwin Tappenden junr., and Charles Tappenden all gave evidence on Moore's behalf.

The Coroner having summed up the evidence at great length, the jury retired, and eventually returned a verdict to the effect that death was caused on Sunday the 3rd of April, in consequence of a fall, that Moore put up his arm in self defence, and the deceased fell.

The Coroner: Very well; it's your verdict, not mine!

The enquiry terminated at nine o'clock.

 

Folkestone Express 23 April 1892.

Inquest.

An inquest was held at the Town Hall, Folkestone, on Tuesday afternoon, before J. Minter Esq., Coroner, on the body of Mary Ann Philpott, wife of David Philpott, of 15, North Street. The deceased had been a noted character in the fishing quarter.

The Coroner, in opening the enquiry, said: So far as I can anticipate, there will be evidence to show you that the deceased had had a quarrel with a man named Henry Moore. He is summoned here as a witness, and I shall give him the opportunity of making a statement. The enquiry is as to the cause of the death of Mary Ann Philpott. I am told that it is alleged that there was a quarrel on Sunday morning, the 3rd. Instant, and that she was knocked down in North Street on a Sunday morning, and received very serious injuries to her head, the result of which was the rupture of certain blood vessels in the brain, from which the woman had died. I was told, but of course you will hear it presently in evidence, that there had been a previous quarrel between her and Henry Moore. He has been summoned here to give evidence. I don't propose to call him until the last to give evidence, so that he will have an opportunity of hearing the evidence that will be given. He will then elect whether or not to make a statement. Your duty is to enquire as to how she came by her death. If you are satisfied she received the injuries from a blow or from a fall caused by a blow, and that blow was improperly given by anyone, it will be your duty to say whether or not it was the prisoner, and whether he is guilty of manslaughter. I think it is only right for me to say that the deceased woman was a drunken and very quarrelsome woman, and it was well known to the police that she was always, when she got drunk, making complaints to the police that she had been assaulted. Therefore I think it is right that I should call the police to give evidence. But whether a person is drunken or not, another person has no right to knock her down and inflict such injuries as to result in death. If you, Moore, desire any questions to be put to the witnesses, who will be called before the jury, and will tell me what they are, I will put them.

William Henry Marshall, a fisherman, living at No. 5, Radnor Street, said: I identify the body as that of Mary Ann Philpott, wife of David Philpott, of 15, North Street, Folkestone, a fisherman. On Sunday, the 3rd inst., between twelve and one, I was standing at the bottom of North Street. I saw the deceased woman between her house and Mrs. Rose's, her next door neighbour. She was standing on the pavement. I could not say whether she had anything in her hand. There was an old lady – Mrs. Spearpoint – with her. I saw Moore and another man come along through the arch. The other man's name I do not know. (A man named Edwin Tappenden came into Court and was identified by the witness) The two men went up North Street, so as to go opposite Mrs. Philpott's. Mrs. Philpott walked towards Moore, who was walking in the street. I saw Moore strike Mrs. Philpott on the right eye with his fist. She went down on her back, and her head struck on the pavement. I was about twenty yards off when the blow was struck. Mrs. Spearpoint ran away from the deceased and then went back and helped her up. The deceased laid on the pavement two or three minutes before she was picked up. The deceased did not attempt to get up till Mrs. Spearpoint picked her up. I saw her take hold of her arms and help her up. I then went into my own house and did not see what became of her. I heard there was a row the night before and I was looking at Moore and Mrs. Philpott in consequence. Mrs. Philpott, when she got up at Tappenden, tried to strike him. She did not hit him. She struck at him with her fist. I did not see her throw any wood at him. Then he knocked her down. I could not say whether she was drunk or sober.

Moore asked: Did you see anyone else go up the street with us? – Yes, another young man. I don't know his name. I saw no-one else.

Mary Spearpoint, widow of the late Richard Spearpoint, living at No. 11, North Street, said: I knew Mary Ann Philpott. She lived two doors above me in North Street. On Sundat the 3rd, between 12 and 1, I came out of my sister's and saw Mrs. Philpott sitting on her doorstep. She called out to me “Aunt Mary”, and I went up to her. She had one arm (the left) in a sling, and a short white stick in the other hand. Whilst I was talking to her, three men came up the street. Henry Moore was one of them. They were walking in the street. As they came up, she said “Here comes the three b----s”. She got up and threw the stick at Moore. It did not hit him, I think. Then she went and squared up at him. I think he had a pipe in his mouth. He tried to get away from her, but she kept in front of him and would not let him pass her. I did not see Moore strike her, but he pushed her with his hand and she went down. His hand was open. I could not say whether his hand touched on the face or on the body. She fell on the back of her head. I do not know how she got the black eye. I did not notice that she had a black eye when I picked her up. Mrs. Rose, my next door neighbour, said “Pick her up, Aunt Mary”. I said “Why don't you – you are younger than I am”. She said “I can't”. I had a great job to get her up because she was so heavy, but I did get her up, and she walked indoors. I saw her on Monday morning with her black eye, and I was astonished to see it. I saw Chadwick, the Town sergeant, this morning, but I did not tell him that I saw Moore knock the woman down.

George Kirby, landlord of the Royal Oak, a house a door or two above the residence of the deceased, said: The deceased was in my house on the night of Saturday the 2nd of April. I should say she was the worse for drink. She came in between five and ten minutes to eleven. Henry Moore was standing against the door by which she came in. She passed him on coming in. I ws called to another room and I heard a noise. On going back I asked what was the matter, and Moore said Mrs. Philpott had hit him in the mouth. I know she was a very drunken and quarrelsome woman. She said “What did you want to shove me for?” Moore said “I'd a good mind to hit her, but I pushed her out”. He had pushed her out and the glass of the door was broken. She stood outside using bad language for a time, calling Moore bad names. I told her to go away and that Moore would not interfere with her if she did not with him, and hoped she wouldn't come into my house again. There was never any disturbance except when she came in. I saw nothing of the disturbance on Sunday morning. She had not been in my house. She went in after the disturbance. Moore had told me he had been insulted again that morning by the deceased. He said she struck at him with a piece of wood, and afterwards struck him in the mouth and broke his pipe. He put his arm up to avoid being hit again and she fell down. The deceased's husband afterwards came in and wanted to fight Moore. I saw the woman's eye was black. As they would not leave the bar I sent for a policemen.

P.C. Knowles said: On Sunday the 3rd April, between 12 and 1 o'clock, I was sent for to go to the Royal Oak. On arrival there I found the deceased, Mrs. Philpott, her husband, her sister, Mrs. Weatherhead, Henry Moore, and others. There was an altercation going on between the deceased and Moore. The landlord said he wanted the people out of his house. He ordered them out, and Mrs. Philpott declined to go. I asked Moore what all the bother was about. He said “She struck me in the mouth and broke my pipe and I hit her – what would you have done?” I saw the deceased afterwards inside her front door with her husband and sister. I noticed that her right eye was blackened and there was a bruise on her forehead. She said “Look what a face I've got”. I told her that she must summons the man that struck her.

P.C. Harry Lemar said: On Saturday the 2nd April I was on duty in North Street, and spoke to the landlord of the Royal Oak, and asked him how the window was broken. I heard a disturbance and saw the deceased and Henry Moore in the street having an altercation. Mrs. Philpott was squaring up to Moore, who was trying to get away from her. When I got to Mrs. Philpott, she said to me “There's a pretty b-----. He hit me in the face and knocked me through that window”. Her mouth was bleeding.

Dr. Percy Vernon Dodd said: I was called in to see the deceased on Tuesday, the 5th April. She had a large contusion over the right eye. The whole side of the face was black and bruised. She complained of pains at the back of the head, and on examining it I found there was a soft spot on the back of the centre of the head. In my opinion it was caused by a blow or a fall. The contusion on the right side of the forehead was also due to a blow or fall. If she had been struck by a man's fist on the eye and she had fallen back on the pavement the marks would have been caused by that. I should say the injuries were due to those causes. I attended her from the 5th until the following Monday when she attended the Court at the hearing of a summons against Moore. She complained of headache all the time. I advised her not to go to the Court, thinking she was not in a state to attend. On the Tuesday morning that I was called to attend her, I was told by an old woman who was nursing her that she had picked her up from the floor that morning about six o'clock, in an unconscious state. She was conscious when I saw her. I ordered her to be put to bed. The injuries to the eye and the back of the head appeared to be of some days' duration. The sore place on the back of the head could have been produced by the fall on the floor, but I should say it was of two or three days' duration. No-one was present when she fell. On Thursday she became unconscious, and remained so up to the time of her death on Sunday. I have made a post mortem examination of the head of the deceased, and found that death was due to compression of the brain caused by haemorrhage on the surface. The haemorrhage arose from the rupture of a blood vessel on the brain, which a blow or a fall might cause, and having heard the evidence as to the blow and fall I should say it was so caused, but cannot say whether by the blow or fall. I have heard that the deceased was of intemperate habits, and had been for years, and that would make the blood vessels more brittle and more likely to be ruptured. It is possible the deceased might have ruptured the blood vessel by the fall in her bedroom, but I should think the fit was probably more due to the rupture.

Henry Moore was then called. The Coroner told him he was not bound to give evidence, but anything he might say would be taken down, and should the verdict be one of manslaughter, the evidence might be given against him. “At the present moment” he added “in my judgement things look rather in your disfavour, because you see this woman died from the effects of a blow or a fall, and that blow was caused by you”. Whether there was provocation or not was another matter. He did not think, in justice to Moore, that the enquiry should be concluded that day, so that enquiries might be made as to the fit the deceased appeared to have had on the Tuesday morning. If, in that fit she had a fall, it was obvious that the rupture of the blood vessels of the brain might have taken place on that occasion, and not on the Sunday morning when she fell on the pavement – a matter that would weigh very seriously in the minds of the jury.

The enquiry was then adjourned until Thursday evening at six.

The inquest was resumed on Thursday evening. Mr. J. Ward represented Henry Moore.

The witnesses having signed their depositions, Mary Ann Sellars, wife of William Sellars, said: I live at 51, North Street. On Tuesday, the 5th April, I went in to Mrs, Philpott's to light her fire. I have done it for a long time when she was not well. I went in at half past seven in the morning and went straight into the bedroom which deceased usually slept in, and I found her lying flat on her back, with her head in a cupboard, the door of which was open. Her hands were clenched, and she was quite unconscious. I remained with her till half past eight. There was no-one else in the house but an old lady upstairs, who was very deaf, and I did not call her. At half past eight I sent a little girl to call the deceased's sister. I called “Murder!” several times before I got anyone to hear me. I had then been with the deceased for an hour. The little girl went to Mrs, Weatherhead, who came, and we got the deceased into bed. She was in her night dress. Then we sent for Dr. Eastes. He attended about nine o'clock and asked how long she had been unconscious. He examined her, and said he would send some medicine and Dr. Dodd. He said he was going away for five weeks. Dr. Dodd came some time after. I followed the doctor's directions in applying the remedies. I came to the Court and met the deceased on Saturday morning. When she was lying on the floor I saw she was foaming at the mouth.

Dr. Dodd was re-called, and said when he was called to see the deceased she was semi-conscious. He did not notice any paralysis. The foaming at the mouth indicated that she had had a fit, which, in his opinion, arose from the slight haemorrhage on the brain. There was no indication of an epileptic fit found in the post mortem examination. In his opinion the contusion at the back of the head had not been received that morning.

David Philpott, husband of the deceased, said: She was 51 years of age last March. Her name was Mary Jane, not Mary Ann. I went to bed on Saturday evening about half nine and got up between twelve and one in the night. I was fetched home about a quarter to one on Sunday, and found my wife lying on the bed in the back bedroom. I saw she had a blow on the eye, and her face was all swollen. In consequence of what she said, I went into the Royal Oak, and I found Moore. My wife followed me. I said to Moore “What did you hit her for this morning?” He said “It served her right”. I said “Why didn't you come and hit me, not her?” I asked him to come out if he wanted to fight. I then called Policeman Knowles and showed him my wife's eye. I can't say whether she was sober or drunk – she had nothing to drink in my presence. I left the harbour on Sunday evening at ten o'clock, and did not return till Tuesday afternoon. My wife was then having a cup of tea. I then went upstairs.

Elizabeth Rose, wife of Frederick Rose, of 18, North Street, said: I saw deceased sitting on her doorstep about half past 12 on Sunday morning. I saw her raise her hand to strike Moore; he put up his hand to defend himself and she fell down on her back. I can't say whether he struck her. I was in my kitchen and went up to my front door. She was then kneeling, and Mrs Spearpoint was helping her up and I then went indoors.

Dr. Dodd was again called and said the evidence of the woman Sellars raised a doubt in his mind whether the deceased might not have had an epileptic fit on the Tuesday. The foaming at the mouth and the clenched fingers might have been caused by an epileptic fit, and then, supposing that she had fallen suddenly, the vessel on the brain might have been ruptured. Frothing at the mouth was not an indication of compression – it indicated nothing but an epileptic fit.

Henry Moore was then called, and the Coroner cautioned him. He said: I am a painter, residing at 18, St. John's Road. On Sunday, the 3rd April, I was in North Street about twenty minutes to one. I saw the deceased sitting on her steps. She helloed out “Here comes the b----s”. She got up off the pavement, ran up to me, and threw a stick at me. Then she came up and hit me in the mouth, knocked my pipe out of my mouth and broke it, and injured one of my teeth. I had not spoken to her at all. I stooped to pick up my pipe, and while doing so she came at me again. I put up my arm to defend myself, and she, being very drunk, fell down. She had often abused me, but I had never spoken to her. I swear I did not strike her. She has frequently used abusive language to my wife.

By the Coroner: I saw Knowles in the Royal Oak after he had got Mrs. Philpott out. He did not come into the room, but into the passage. I did not hear what he said. I did not say “I hit her – what should you have done?” I saw the husband. He asked me “What did you hit her for this morning?” I told him it was not my fault. I think when I put my arm up, my elbow touched her. She appeared to fall on her side and roll over on her back.

Edwin Tappenden said he was with Moore in the Royal Oak on Saturday night and saw deceased strike Moore. Moore pushed her out. He was with Moore on Sunday morning going up North Street. Deceased threw a bit of wood at him, and then struck him in the mouth and broke his pipe. He stooped to pick up the pipe, and the woman came at him again and struck at him. He put up his arm in self defence, and the woman fell down backwards. They walked away.

Edward Tappenden and Charles Tappenden gave similar evidence.

The jury retired to consider their verdict, and on their return the foreman said they found that death was accidental, caused by Moore, in self defence, raising his arm to protect himself, and they found that Moore did not strike the deceased, but that she fell down accidentally.

 

Folkestone Herald 23 April 1892.

Inquest.

An inquest was held at the Town Hall on Tuesday afternoon, before Mr. J. Minter, touching the death of Mary Jane Philpott, wife of David Philpott, a mariner, of North Street.

It will be remembered that on Saturday, April 16th, deceased was prosecutrix in a case of assault against a man named Moore, whom she alleged had struck her and knocked her down, afterwards kicking her hip. The defendant, at the same hearing, preferred a cross-summons against Mrs. Philpott, who, he said, had assaulted him. The Magistrates in the end dismissed the case, each party having to pay their own costs. When the deceased appeared before the Magistrates she had a black eye, and walked very lame. Moore was present at the inquest.

The jury having viewed the body, the following evidence was taken:

William Henry Marshall identified the body as that of Mary Ann Philpott, of North Street. He swore he saw Moore strike deceased on the right eye. He could not say if she were drunk or sober.

Mary Spearpoint, a widow, said a fortnight ago last Sunday she saw deceased insult and square up to Moore, as if to fight. He tried to get her out of the way, but could not pass her. Moore pushed deceased with his open hand, and she fell on to the back of her head. Witness afterwards picked deceased up and led her indoors, and was astonished on Monday morning to see her with a black eye.

George Kirby said he was landlord of the Royal Oak, North Street. Deceased was in his house on the night of Saturday, 2nd April, and appeared to be the worse for drink. Moore was standing at the bar when deceased came in. Witness's attention was diverted for a moment to the wants of other customers, when he heard a crash. On enquiring the cause of this Moore said Mrs. Philpott had hit him in the mouth, and that he (Moore) had thrown her out, but did not strike her. Deceased stood outside witness's house for some time after this, and used bad language. He then sent for a constable, who cleared the house.

P.C. James Knowles deposed to being called to the Royal Oak on the day in question, and on arrival found an altercation going on between Moore and deceased. The landlord asked witness to clear the house, which he did. Moore remarked that deceased had struck him in the mouth, and that he had hit her in return. Witness saw deceased standing at her door soon after, and she called out “See what a face I have”. Witness noticed her eye was blackened and forehead bruised, and advised her to issue a summons against her assailant.

P.C. Henry Le Mar gave corroborative evidence, and Dr. Todd, M.R.C.S., said he was called to see deceased on the 5th of April. She had a large contusion over the right eye, and one side of her face was black with bruises. She complained of pains in the back of the head. On examination witness found a soft spot at the back of her head, and in his opinion it was due to a blow or fall. Witness attended her up to the time she went to the Police Court. He warned her that it would be dangerous for her to go there, but she persisted. On the following Tuesday, he called at her house, and an old woman told witness she had picked up deceased in an unconscious state from the floor of the bedroom. She was conscious when witness saw her. He ordered her to bed, and she became unconscious on Thursday, and died on the following Sunday. Witness had made a post mortem examination, and found that death was due to compression of the brain, caused by haemorrhage on the surface. A blow or a fall such as had been described by the previous witnesses would account for the injuries he had described. Drunken habits would accelerate death in such a case.

The Coroner said Moore could, if he desired, give evidence, but whatever he said would be taken in evidence against him. The evidence of the doctor as to deceased being picked up in the room unconscious had thrown a different complexion on the case, and he should adjourn the enquiry till Thursday, for the purpose of taking further evidence.

The adjourned inquest was held on Thursday night, and additional evidence was taken. Mr. Ward appeared for Moore.

Mary Ann Sellars deposed to finding deceased in a fit in an unconscious state.

Dr. Todd, re-called, said deceased was foaming at the mouth, and her hands were clenched, which probably indicated an epileptic fit, and this had created a doubt in his (the doctor's) mind, since his last evidence, whether the death was due to the fit or the fall.

David Philpott, husband of the deceased, said he was away from home when the altercation between his wife and Moore had taken place. He taxed Moore shortly afterwards with what he had done, and he said “It served her right”.

Moore then elected to give evidence, and was further cautioned by the Coroner. Examined by Mr. Ward, witness said he was going up North Street on the Sunday morning, and when opposite deceased's house she threw a piece of wood at him, at the same time using a foul expression, squaring up as if wanting to fight. She knocked the pipe out of his mouth; he stooped to pick it up. Deceased again “made for” him, and putting his arm up, for his own defence, to ward off a blow, deceased came against him, and fell over on her side. He did not push her, nor did he speak to P.C. Knowles about it after.

Edward Tappenden and his two sons gave corroborative evidence, and the Coroner reviewed the evidence in a most lucid manner.

The jury retired, and on coming into Court gave their verdict that death was accidental, caused by Moore, in self defence, raising his arm to protect himself, and they found that Moore did not strike the deceased, but that she fell down accidentally.

The Coroner (surprised): Well, gentlemen, that is your verdict, not mine.

 

Folkestone Express 4 August 1894.

Transfer of Licence.

Wednesday, August 1st: Before J. Holden, J. Fitness and J. Pledge Esqs.

The licence of the Royal Oak was transferred to Mr. Thomas Hughes.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 28 March 1896.

Saturday, March 21st : Before J. Sherwood, J. Holden, J. Fitness, C.J. Pursey and T.J. Vaughan Esqs.


Mr. Benjamin Spicer was granted temporary permission to sell at the Royal Oak, North Street.

 

Folkestone Express 28 March 1896.

Saturday, March 21st: Before J. Sherwood, C.J. Pursey, J. Fitness, J. Holden and T.J. Vaughan Esqs.

Mr. Spicer applied for a transfer of the licence of the Royal Oak, North Street. Granted.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 23 May 1896.

Saturday, May 16th: Before Messrs. J. Holden, J. Pledge, T.J. Vaughan, and J. Fitness.

Mr. Benjamin Spicer, of the Royal Oak Inn, was granted an occasional licence to sell at a fete at the Football Ground on Whit Monday from noon until 9 p.m.

 

Folkestone Express 23 May 1896.

Saturday, May 16th: Before J. Holden, J. Pledge, T.J. Vaughan, and J. Fitness Esqs.

Mr. Spicer applied for a licence to sell at the Football Ground on Whit Monday from twelve noon until ten at night. The Bench granted the licence till nine.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 13 June 1896.

Wednesday, June 10th: Before Mr. W.G. Herbert, and Mr. W. Wightwick.

Benjamin James Jacob Spicer was summoned for selling intoxicating liquor without a licence at the football ground, at a fete on Bank Holiday. Mr. Frederick Hall appeared for the defendant.

Superintendent Taylor said that the defendant was the landlord of the Royal Oak public house. On Bank Holiday he had a booth at a fete. About ten minutes to three witness visited it and found some forty of fifty persons being served with liquor. He asked to see Spicer's licence, and he was shown a document attached to the pole of the tent. As he could not read it at a distance he requested it to be handed to him, and this was done. It was a justices' consent to the issuing of an excise licence, a printed copy of which the defendant produced. He informed Spicer that this was not a licence, and asked him if he had done as he had told him to and sent the document to the excise authorities with a fee. Defendant said he had no recollection of being told, and had not sent to the excise. Witness pointed out the clause on the notice calling on him to do so. He replied that he had not noticed it. He was directed to stop selling, which he did. Witness then fetched Mr. Welch, the secretary of the Football Club, and explained matters to him. Spicer spoke of going to Canterbury to get the licence, but witness pointed out that, being Bank Holiday, all public offices would be closed. He then said he would see Mr. Powell, the local officer of Inland Revenue. At 4 p.m. witness again saw Spicer in Cheriton Road, when he said he had been to the Customs House, but could not find anyone. Before leaving the field, witness had placed P.S. Lilley at the booth, and gave him certain instructions. From what he was informed, he applied for a summons the next day.

Cross-examined by Mr. Hall: Spicer had been in business two or three months, and it was the first time he had held a licence. When he applied for the licence, witness did not object, for he saw no reason why it should not be issued. On Whit Monday he reminded defendant of what he told him in Court. He said he did not remember, as he was talking and paying money to Mr. Andrews. He believed other business was transacted at the Court that morning. Witness was quite certain he told defendant. At the fete there was a large attendance, perhaps 4,000 or 5,000. It was a very hot and “thirsty” day. He took the summons out as he had equal powers to do so with the Excise. The officer had informed him that the Excise were not going to take proceedings. Witness did not see how they could, as he had already done so. The officer did not say it was a “trumpery case”. He had never heard of a case where the Excise refused to issue a licence when the justices had given the permit. He imputed no corrupt motive to Spicer. He had no reason to apprehend a disturbance in the field if the booth was closed. If there was, it would be through the defendant's fault.

P.S. Lilley said on the day of the fete he went to the booth at two o'clock and asked if defendant had his licence. He said he had, and pointed to a document, which witness took to be the Magistrates' permit by the colour of it. As he had that, he assumed he had the Excise licence also. About three o'clock he was called to the booth by Supt. Taylor, and given certain instructions. At 4.15 he saw defendant, and he said he was going to serve, acting under the advice of Mr. Powell. He then commenced to serve.

Mr. Hall proposed to call Spicer to speak as to what took place when the licence was applied for, and also on the day, but the Magistrates' Clerk said that had nothing to do with the case. It was not incumbent on the Superintendent to instruct the defendant. It was quite voluntary.

The Bench said his evidence would make no difference whatever.

Mr. Hall, however, had the defendant sworn. He stated that the Committee of the fete advertised for tenders for refreshments, but had received no replies. They came to him and asked him to cater. Witness therefore applied for his licence. He did not send the paper, but thought it was sufficient. He carried it in his pocket, and nailed it up to the pole of the tent, thinking it was his consent. He did not remember the Superintendent telling him about going to Canterbury. He consulted the committee, with the result that before he recommenced selling the 2s. 6d. was sent to Canterbury by post. He acted under advice. Afterwards he went to Canterbury and saw several officers, and explained matters. He had received no threat from the Inland Revenue authorities. He thought if he refused to sell there would be a serious row. After he commenced to sell he said he would take the risk.

By the Superintendent: The money was posted after 4 o'clock. He believed it would reach Canterbury that night.

For the defence, Mr. Hall said the man was admitted to be new to the licensing laws. The obtaining of the Excise licence was really only formal, and defendant had acted entirely in ignorance. The committee were really responsible, and when their error was pointed out they did their best to perfect the licence. He thought the aggrieved party was the Excise, and not the police. He asked that the summons should be dismissed.

The Bench said they considered the offence a serious one, and the defendant should have made himself properly acquainted with his duties as a licence holder. However, under the circumstances, he would be fined 20s., costs 11s., or 14 days'.

The money was at once paid.

 

Folkestone Express 13 June 1896.

Wednesday, June 10th: Before W.G. Herbert, and W. Wightwick Esqs.

Benjamin James Jacob Spicer was summoned for selling intoxicating liquor elsewhere than his own premises without a licence.

Superintendent Taylor said defendant was the landlord of the Royal Oak, North Street. On the afternoon of the 25th May a fete was held in the Folkestone Football Ground, Cheriton Road. Defendant had a booth there for the sale of liquor. He visited the booth about ten minutes to three in the afternoon, and there were from 40 to 50 people being served with drink. He saw defendant and asked him to show him his licence. He pointed to a paper fastened to one of the poles of the tent, and he told him he could not read it at that distance, and asked him to show it to him. He did so, and gave him the justices' consent to issue an excise licence, a duplicate of which he produced. He told defendant that was not the licence, and asked him if he had not done as he had told him – sent to the Excise.

The Magistrates' Clerk: When had you told him that?

Witness: I'll come to that. I reminded him of that when he obtained the justices' consent. I told him to send it to the Excise with the fee. I pointed out the paragraph on the form where the instructions are to send to the Excise with the fee. He said he had not noticed it. I then said “You must stop selling, as you have no licence”. He stopped selling then, and went and fetched Mr. Welch, the Secretary of the Football Club. I explained to him how matters stood, and that he had no licence to sell. Defendant spoke about going to Canterbury to get a licence, but I pointed out to him that as it was Bank Holiday all the Government offices were closed. Defendant said he would go and see the local officer, Mr. Powell, and went away, and the sale of drink was stopped in the meantime. About four o'clock I saw Mr. Spicer in Cheriton Road and spoke to him. He told me he had been to the Custom House, and could not find anyone. I again told him he must not go on with the sale of liquor. Previous to leaving, I placed Sergeant Lilley close to the tent, and gave him certain instructions. From what I subsequently heard, I applied for a summons on the following morning (Tuesday).

Mr. Wightwick: Do you mean to say 40 or 50 people were served while you were there? – There were 40 or 50 people in the booth, and they were being served by defendant and his assistants.

Cross-examined by Mr. Hall: How long has defendant been in business as a licence holder? – About two or three months.

You know, of your own knowledge, that he has lived in the town and that it is the first time he has held a licence? – That is so.

When he applied, on the 16th of May, for a justices' consent for an occasional licence you offered no objection? – Certainly not.

You saw no reason why a licence should not be granted to sell on an occasion of that sort? – No.

When you saw defendant on the football ground, you say you reminded him that you had told him to get the justices' permit sent on to Canterbury? – Yes.

That he denied? – He did not deny it.

He said he did not remember anything about it? – I have already said that in my evidence.

He did not deny it, but he said he did not remember it? – He replied “I don't remember you saying it. I was paying the fee to Mr. Andrews”.

On the 16th of May you were present in Court, and there was another case going on. Mr. Haines was applying for an early opening licence for a house in the lower part of the town? – I cannot say if it was the date.

You are quite positive you told Spicer to take it to Canterbury? – Quite positive.

It was a very hot day on the Whit Monday – a thirsty day, wasn't it? I am not asking your opinion as an expert. – You may assume that.

He had exhibited his permit, hadn't he – nailed his colours to the mast? – Yes.

It was impossible for him to get a licence on that day, it being a Bank Holiday? – It was. But consent was given on the 16th. I also drew his attention to the paragraph on that day.

Don't you this it was the Excise who should have taken this up? – It came under my cognisance first, and I took it up, having equal powers with the Excise.

Did you bring it before the Watch Committee? – No.

You applied for the summons on the Tuesday, and the summons was not issued till the 5th of June. Do you know the reason? – No.

Do you know it was on account of the Excise having refused to prosecute in the case? – I don't see how they could, as I had commenced.

You have made no communication to them? – No, except verbally through Mr. Powell.

What took place with Mr. Powell? Didn't they say they regarded it as a trumpery case, and were not going to proceed in it? – He did not say it was trumpery.

This permit only necessitates the payment of a small fee, does it? – That is all.

Did you ever know a case where the Commissioners had refused to endorse an occasional licence? – No.

It being merely a question of payment of 2s. 6d. – No. It is a question of the issue of a licence or authority to sell.

Do you allege that the defendant acted from any other motive than positive ignorance? – Certainly not. It was a breach of the law.

You had some of your men on the field, I believe? – Yes.

I suppose the consequences might have been serious if the booth had been closed up all afternoon? – It would have been serious for the committee. I can't say that it would have been for anybody else.

Mr. Wightwick: When you told him it was necessary to get the licence, did you call his attention to the memorandum? – Not when I handed it to him.

Mr. Bradley (to witness): It was no part of your duty to do what you did. It was the defendant's duty to read it? – Exactly.

Sergeant Lilley said: On Whit Monday, May 25th, I was on duty in the football ground, and saw defendant in charge of a booth there. I went to the booth about three o'clock and saw defendant. I asked him if he had got a licence. He said “Yes”, and pointed to the paper, which I took to be the Magistrates' Permit by the colour of it. Seeing he had got that, I took it he had got the other, and turned away. He was then serving beer. I afterwards saw Superintendent Taylor, and received certain instructions from him. About 4.15 I saw defendant in the booth again. He said he was going to commence serving beer again. He said he was acting on the advice of Mr. Powell, the Excise Officer. I pointed out to him that he was doing it at his own risk, and I should have to report it. He said he perfectly understood that, and he should take the risk, and then commenced selling. There were then quite 100 persons in the booth, and I left after three or four minutes.

Mr. Wightwick: I understood the Superintendent to say he ceased supplying?

Supt. Taylor: That is so. I have another witness to prove he continued to serve up till nine o'clock. He desisted for a time.

Mr. Hall was about to call the defendant to say what took place in the Court, and at the field, but Mr. Bradley said it was nothing to do with it.

Mr. Hall said he did not question the selling. He went on to argue that the man might have been in the wrong in not reading his permit. They had heard the Superintendent say he told Spicer to take the permit to Canterbury, but he said he did not understand that. He ought to have done so. He applied to the justices for permission, and paid 1s. 6d., and he thought nothing more was necessary.

Mr. Bradley: If it was the duty of the Superintendent to inform him, it would be important. But as it it, it is not.

Mr. Hall said he should tender the evidence to contradict what had been said by the Superintendent. If he did not tender it, he would be taking it as correct. There was a mutual misunderstanding.

Mr. Herbert: It makes not the slightest difference.

Mr. Wightwick: Ignorance is no excuse.

Mr. Hall: Well, I'll call him to say what took place on the Monday.

Defendant was then sworn, and said he was a licence holder at the Royal Oak, and had only been there three or four months. It was the firt time he had held a licence. The Sports Committee advertised for tenders to supply refreshments, but as they got no replies, they applied to him to sell. He got a magistrates' consent, and put it in his pocket, but he did not read it. He was never told it was only a permit, and he thought it was sufficient. He carried it in his pocket from that time till Whit Monday. On Whit Monday he nailed it up against the post in the booth, thinking it was the consent. He did not remember the Superintendent telling him to send it to Canterbury. There were 5,000 or 6,000 people on the football ground. When the Superintendent pointed out to him that it was wrong, he came to Folkestone and saw Mr. Powell, and then went back to the field and consulted the committee, with the result that he recommenced selling. They sent 2s. 6d. by post to Canterbury, and it would reach there the same day. He had previously been told by the Superintendent that it was no use sending to Canterbury as the office was closed on Bank Holiday. On Wednesday he went to Canterbury and saw the Inland Revenue Officers and explained the matter to them.

Mr. Bradley: We can't have that, you know. It is not evidence.

Mr. Hall: There was a statement made by the Inland Revenue Officer.

Mr. Bradley: Well, you must call him. It is not of the slightest use.

Mr. Hall: Have you had any communication from the authorities? – No.

Do you think there would have been a serious disturbance if the booth had been closed all the time? – I do, sir.

Mr. Bradley: The last witness warned you not to sell? – No. The Superintendent warned me.

You said you would take the risk? – Yes.

That was after being warned? – Yes. After we sent the half a crown away.

Superintendent Taylor: How was the money sent to Canterbury? – By post.

At what time? – I could not say. I never looked at my watch.

Superintendent Taylor said it could not arrive there until it was too late to give consent.

Mr. Hall said he had some other evidence, but after the intimation from the Bench that it would be to no avail, he would not call the witnesses. He addressed the Bench, pleading that his client was new to the business, and it was the first time he had made such an application, and he was therefore ignorant of the requirements. Next time, perhaps, he would employ a solicitor to be on the safe side. He urged that the Magistrates should, under all the circumstances, dismiss the summons. He never knew a case where there was less need for a prosecution than in that particular one. He defendant had erred in ignorance, and had not complied with the law in paying the half crown fee. He hoped the Bench had made up their minds that there was no necessity for a conviction, and that they were not going to fine the man or endorse his licence, for it was a serious thing for a licence holder to be fined. The owners of the house did not go into the pros and cons of the case. They simply said “This man has been fined”, and he would be requested to quit, so that his living was jeopardised by a trifling little matter of that description. There was no ill intention whatever. If the Bench held that he could not be excused, then he hoped they would take a merciful view of the case, and allow the summons to be withdrawn. Were they, he asked, going to convict the man, and put him into purgatory as to the ultimate effect for such a trivial offence? He did not think it was a case where the police ought to ask for a conviction, and therefore he pleaded with the Bench to allow the summons to be withdrawn.

Mr. Herbert, addressing the defendant, said there was no question that he had committed a breach of the licensing laws, and it was a breach that was considered very heinous, and he was liable to a fine of 50. His excuse that he did not read the licence was absolutely absurd. It was his duty as a licence holder, and the manager of a public house. He was warned by the police not to go on selling, but he did not take the Superintendent's warning, and said he would take the risk. The Bench would, however, only inflict the modified penalty of 20s.. and 11s. costs, or 14 days'.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 1 August 1896.

Saturday, July 25th: Before Messrs. Banks, Wightwick, Herbert, Pursey, Vaughan, Stock, and Gen. Gwyn.

Mr. Benjamin Spicer, of the Royal Oak Inn, North Street, applied for an occasional licence to sell at the Football Club's fete on Bank Holiday.

Supt. Taylor said he had no objection, although he hoped Mr. Spicer would be more careful than on the last occasion.

Mr. Spicer said there would be no fear of that.

The licence was granted.

 

Folkestone Express 1 August 1896.

Saturday, July 25th: Before Alderman Banks, General Gwyn, W. Wightwick, H.D. Stock, C.J. Pursey, and W.G. Herbert Esqs.

Mr. Spicer applied for an occasional licence for a fete on August Bank Holiday. Granted.

 

Folkestone Express 24 October 1896.

Local News.

Benjamin J. Spicer, of the Royal Oak Inn, North Street, was summoned for selling after hours. The defence was that a girl had bought some ale in a jug earlier in the evening, and fetched it after eleven. The case was dismissed.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 27 August 1898.

Wednesday, August 24th: Before Captain Carter and others.

Walter Howard was charged with stealing a pair of field glasses, the property of Mr. B.J. Spicer, landlord of the Royal Oak, North Street, where he had lodged. He had pawned them with a Hastings pawnbroker, and when arrested by P.C. Lawrence, said “Quite right. I had the glasses, but nothing else. I had been drinking several days, and this is the result”.

Mr. Spicer said he missed a watch and white shirt, and the money from his children's money box.

Prisoner was sentenced to one month's hard labour.

 

Folkestone Herald 27 August 1898.

Police Court Report.

Walter Hayward was charged with stealing a pair of field glasses in a leather case, the property of Benjamin Spicer.

Prosecutor, landlord of the Royal Oak, deposed that the defendant lodged in his house. He came two months before. He left on the 27th July. The day after he left, witness missed a pair of field glasses in a case, and other articles. Witness next saw them that morning, and he now identified them. The glasses were hung behind the bar. He put the value at about 25s.

George Smith, assistant to a firm of pawnbrokers at Hastings, named Gush, said he recognised the defendant, who came to the shop on the 8th inst. He asked 5s. on a pair of field glasses. Witness asked where he got them, and he said he bought them in London. Witness advanced him 5s. On the 23rd inst., a woman came to the shop, bringing with her a ticket, which witness refused to renew. The defendant afterwards came to the shop, and said he wanted the new ticket. Witness detained defendant, and sent for a constable.

P.C. Frank Lawrence deposed that the previous evening he received the field glasses and case, which he produced, from the shop in Hastings. He went to the Hastings police station and there received defendant into his custody. Witness said “I shall take you into custody on a charge of stealing a pair of field glasses and other articles, the property of Benjamin Spicer, of the Royal Oak”. Defendant said he had been drinking several days. At the police station he said, when charged, “Yes, I had the glasses, but nothing else”.

The defendant pleaded Guilty, and said he was very sorry. He had the intention of borrowing. He felt it keenly.

The Bench sentenced him to one month's hard. The glasses were to be given up on payment of 5s.

 

Folkestone Up To Date 27 August 1898.

Wednesday, August 24th: Before Captain Willoughby Carter, W. Wightwick, W.G. Herbert, J. Herbert, J. Fitness, C.J. Pursey, and J. Pledge Esqs.

Walter Hayward was charged with stealing a pair of field glasses and a leather case, the property of Benjamin Spicer, landlord of the Royal Oak, Folkestone.

The complainant said: I am the landlord of the Royal Oak, in North Street. The prisoner is a lodger in my house. He came to lodge with me about two months ago, and left on the 27th ult. On the day he left I missed a pair of field glasses. I had previously seen them on the Saturday before. I value the glasses and case at about 25s.

George Smith said: I am assistant at Ada Gush and Walter Benbold's, 48 and 49, George Street, Hastings, and recognise the prisoner. He came to our shop on the afternoon of the 8th inst., with a pair of field glasses, for which he asked 5s. I asked where he had got them from, and he said he bought them in London. I advanced 5s. on them. He gave his address as 6, Swan Avenue. I afterwards went with the constable to that address, and found that he was not lodging there. A woman came to renew the ticket, but I refused her application.

P.C. F. Lawrence deposed to receiving the glasses and case (now produced) from the pawnbroker's shop, George Street, Hastings, and receiving the prisoner in custody at Hastings police station. The prisoner in reply said “I had been drinking several days and this is the result”.

The prisoner pleaded guilty and expressed his regret for the offence.

The complainant said he had also missed a cash box and a shirt.

The prisoner denied all knowledge of the other things. He was sentenced to a month's hard labour.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 21 January 1899.

Licence Transfer.

Wednesday, January 18th: Before Messrs. Willoughby Carter, Pledge, Vaughan and Holden.

Royal Oak, North Street, to Mr. Anson.

 

Folkestone Express 21 January 1899.

Wednesday, January 18th: Before Capt. Carter, James Pledge, John Holden, and T.J. Vaughan Esqs.

Mr. Joseph Anson applied for transfer of the licence of the Royal Oak, North Street. Granted.

 

Folkestone Herald 21 January 1899.

Folkestone Police Court.

On Wednesday last transfer was granted to the following: Mr. Hansom, Royal Oak.

 

Folkestone Up To Date 21 January 1899.

Wednesday, January 18th: Before Captain Willoughby Carter, J. Pledge, J. Holden, and T.J. Vaughan Esqs.

Transfer was granted for the Royal Oak, North Street, to Mr. Joseph Handsom (sic).

 

Folkestone Herald 9 September 1899.

Folkestone Police Court.

On Saturday last, Frank Care, seaman, was summoned for assaulting Edward Delaney on the previous Sunday. He pleaded Not Guilty.

Complainant deposed: I live at 28, Walton Road, and am a boatman on the beach. This occurred on Sunday last between one and two. I was in the Oak public house, Fenchurch Street (sic). Defendant was there also, but we were not in company. I went in to have a glass of ale with two friends of mine. The defendant accused me of keeping money. I had been in partnership in a boat with him. All of a sudden he jumped up and struck me once in the face with his fist. I told him that I did not want any row on Sunday. Suddenly he said “I will give you two black eyes, and I will go outside and wait for you”. He went out. I thought the coast was clear, and I left the house about a quarter of an hour after Care had gone. I met him coming up Fenchurch Street. I tried to get by him. He ran after me. He caught me and knocked me down. I don't remember anything else until I found a woman bathing my face with water. Defendant said “I am very sorry for what I done”. I said “You are sorry, but you have done it”. I went home and laid down till the morning. I went to the hospital on Monday. They put me under gas to set my collarbone. The doctor said that it was fractured. They dressed my face. I have been to the hospital twice, and am under treatment as an outdoor patient. The bother was about my keeping 8s. 6d., but I deny that I kept any money from them. I did not give Care a single word of provocation.

George William Curtis, bricklayer, Dover Road, deposed: I was in the Oak last Sunday. I was not in company with these men. Delaney came in and had his glass of ale. Care spoke something about robbing of money. The man said that he didn't. Then Care struck him a heavy blow. Care went out, and that is all I saw. Care said that he would wait for him and black both his eyes.

Defendant said that complainant called him a liar, and he caught the latter a slap. He asked him if he would come to Mr. Hart's house. They went up together. Delaney ran, so he went after him. Delaney pitched down head first, and he picked him up. He said “What made you run away?” Delaney said “Because I was afraid of you”.

Curtis said that Care left the house first. Delaney was in the house when witness left.

William Spearpoint, who expressed a wish to give evidence, deposed: I live at 31, Great Fenchurch Street, and am a boatman. I saw Mr. Care and Mr. Delaney having this bit of a squall. When I got to the bottom of the street there was a woman holding a hand basin. Mr. Care was bathing the man's face.

Fined 10s. and 11s. costs, or seven days'.

There was a crowded Court during this case.

 

Folkestone Up To Date 9 September 1899.

Saturday, September 2nd: Before J. Holden, J. Pledge, and T.J. Vaughan Esqs.

Frank Care, a boatman, was summoned for assaulting Edward Delaney by breaking his collar bone on Sunday last. He pleaded Not Guilty.

Edward Delaney, a boatman, deposed as follows: I had received money for the hire of a boat, and the defendant wanted a settlement. On Sunday last he accused me of keeping the money, and suddenly jumped up and struck me in the face with his fist. I told him I did not want any row with him on Sunday. He then sat down and remarked “I will give you two b---- eyes, and I will go outside and wait for you”. He went outside. My two friends had gone then. I waited until I thought the coast was clear to go for dinner, but he met me in Fenchurch Street. I tried to get by, but he came after me and knocked me down. I do not remember anything until I found a woman bathing my face with water. The defendant was there also, and said “I am very sorry for what I have done”. I replied “You are sorry, but you have done it”. I went home and laid down until the Monday, when I found I had to go to the hospital. At the hospital I was put under gas, in order that a broken collar bone might be set. There were four boats. Two of them belonged to Mrs. May. I and the defendant and William Hart worked the boats. The arrangement had been in existence for three or four weeks.

George William Kirby said: I am a bricklayer. I was in the Oak last Sunday. I was not in the company of the complainant and defendant. I went into the Oak with another man for a glass of ale. I saw the defendant strike the complainant a heavy blow in the face and use threatening language. The defendant threatened to wait for the complainant and black both his eyes. I did not see the assault in the street.

The defendant told the Magistrates that the complainant fell down while running away. He saw him fall down and picked him up. He said “Why did you run away?” The reply was “Because I was afraid”, and the response in return “You need not have been so”.

William Spearpoint, the next witness, was called on behalf of the defendant. He said: I live in Fenchurch Street. I saw the defendant bathing the complainant's face about 2 p.m. That is all I know about the matter.

The defendant was fined 10s. and 11s. costs, in default seven days'.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 31 August 1901.

Wednesday, August 28th: Before Alderman J. Banks, and Messrs. Wightwick, Herbert, Hamilton, and Swoffer.

Mr. Collar, a late employee of the Folkestone Corporation, was granted temporary authority to retail beer, etc., at the Royal Oak Inn, North Street.

 

Folkestone Express 31 August 1901.

Wednesday, August 28th: before Alderman Banks, Colonel Hamilton, W.G. Herbert, W. Wightwick, and G.I. Swoffer Esqs.

The licence of the Royal Oak, North Street, was temporarily transferred to Mr. Collar.

 

Folkestone Herald 31 August 1901.

Wednesday, August 28th: Before Alderman J. Banks, Messrs. W. Wightwick, W.G. Herbert and G.I. Swoffer, and Lieut. Colonel Hamilton.

Mr. Collard was given temporary authority to carry on business at the Royal Oak Inn until the Adjourned Licensing Sessions.

 

Folkestone Express 14 September 1901.

Wednesday, September 11th: Before T.J. Vaughan, G. Peden, and J. Stainer Esqs., Lieut. Col. Westropp, and Lieut. Col. Hamilton.

Henry Collar was granted a transfer of the licence of the Royal Oak, North Street.

 

Folkestone Herald 14 September 1901.

Wednesday, September 11th: Before Councillors T.J. Vaughan and G. Peden, Mr. J. Stainer, Mr. W. Wightwick, and Lieut. Colonels Westropp and Hamilton.

The licence of the Royal Oak, North Street, was transferred to Henry Collard.

 

Folkestone Daily News 13 February 1913.

Annual Licensing Sessions.

The Licensing Bench on Wednesday, February 12th, was constituted as follows: Messrs. Ward, Boyd, Leggett, Swoffer, Stainer, Herbert, Fynmore, Hamilton, and Linton.

The Chief Constable read his report (for which see Folkestone Express).

The Chairman said the report of the Chief Constable was very satisfactory, but the Bench were still of opinion that there were too many licensed houses in a certain portion of the town. Therefore a number would have their licences withheld until the adjourned sessions on the ground of redundancy. Formal opposition to the renewals would be served so that full enquiries could be made into the trade of these houses, with a view of referring some of them to the Compensation Authority.

The following were the licences which were held over: The Raglan, Dover Street; Oddfellows, Dover Street; Royal Oak, North Street; Isle of Cyprus, Bayle; Lord Nelson, Radnor Street; Lifeboat, North Street; Wellington, Beach Street.

 

Folkestone Express 15 February 1913.

Annual Licensing Sessions.

The Brewster Sessions were held on Wednesday morning. The Justices present were E.T. Ward Esq., Major Leggett, Lieut. Col. Fynmore, Lieut. Col. Hamilton, G. Boyd, G.I. Swoffer, R.J. Linton, and J. Stainer Esqs. Mr. Boyd and Mr. Stainer did not take part in the licensing business, not being on the committee.

The Chief Constable read his report as follows: Gentlemen, I have the honour to report that there are at present within your jurisdiction 119 places licensed for the sale of intoxicating liquor by retail, viz., Full Licences 73, Beer On 7, Beer Off 6, Beer and Spirit Dealers Off 15, Grocers, etc. Off 9, Confectioners' Wine On 3, Chemists Wine Off 5. This gives an average, according to the Census of 1911, of one licence to every 281 persons, or one on licence to every 418 persons. As compared with the return submitted last year this is a decrease of two licences. At the general annual licensing meeting last year a new licence was granted for the sale of beer off the premises at Morehall, and two other off licences were discontinued.

At the last adjourned general annual licensing meeting the renewal of the licence of the Rendezvous Hotel was referred to the Compensation Committee on the ground of redundancy, and at the meeting of that Committee on the 7th August, 1912, the licence was refused, and after payment of compensation the house was closed for the sale of drink on the 28th December last.

During the past year fifteen of the licences have been transferred; one licence was transferred twice.

Six occasional licences have been granted for the sale of drink on premises not ordinarily licensed for such sale, and 34 extensions of the usual time of closing have been granted to licence holders on special occasions.

During the year ended 31st December last 85 persons (62 males and 23 females) were proceeded against for drunkenness; 64 were convicted and 21 discharged.

In the preceding year 54 males and 31 females were proceeded against, of whom 66 were convicted and 19 discharged.

The number convicted of drunkenness last year, viz., 46 males and 18 females, is, I find, the smallest number convicted in any year since 1896.

Of those proceeded against, 31 were residents of the Borough, 34 were persons of no fixed abode, 13 residents of other districts and seven were soldiers.

No conviction has been recorded against any licence holder during the past year. Proceedings were taken against the holder of an off licence for a breach of the closing regulations, but the case was dismissed.

Eleven clubs where intoxicating liquor is sold are registered in accordance with the Act of 1902.

There are 17 places licensed for music and dancing, eight for music only, and two for public billiard playing.

I have no complaint to make as to the conduct of any of the licensed houses, and offer no opposition to the renewal of any of the present licences on the ground of misconduct.

The Chairman said it was a very satisfactory report indeed, but they felt that there were still too many licensed houses, particularly in certain portions of the Borough, and the Justices would direct that a certain number of the applications for renewal should be deferred till the Adjourned Sessions, so that they might have evidence as to the trade those houses were doing, and decide whether any of them ought to be referred to the Compensation Authority.

The houses to be dealt with were seven in number, namely; the Raglan Tavern, the Oddfellows, the Royal Oak, the Isle of Cyprus, the Lord Nelson, the Lifeboat, and the Wellington.

With those exceptions the chronicle existing licences were granted.

 

Folkestone Herald 15 February 1913.

Annual Licensing Sessions.

Wednesday, February 12th: Before Mr. E.T. Ward, Lieut. Col. Fynmore, Lieut. Col. Hamilton, Major Leggett, Mr. W.G. Herbert, Mr. J. Stainer, and Mr. G. Boyd.

The Chief Constable presented his annual report (for which see Folkestone Express).

The Chairman remarked that the report was a very satisfactory one, but, in the opinion of the Bench, there were still too many public houses in certain portions of the town, and they would defer the renewal of certain of the licences to the adjourned sessions, so that they might have evidence as to what trade they were doing, and see if any of them were to be referred to the compensation authority.

The licensees of the Raglan Tavern, the Oddfellows, Dover Street, the Royal Oak, North Street, the Isle of Cyprus, the Lord Nelson, the Lifeboat, and the Wellington were called forward.

The Chairman said the renewal of the licences of those public houses would be deferred until the adjourned licensing sessions, and notice of opposition would be served in the meantime on the ground of redundancy. The Chief Constable would be directed to serve the notices.

The licences of all the other houses were then renewed.

 

Folkestone Daily News 10 March 1913.

Adjourned Licensing Sessions.

Monday, March 10th: Before Messrs. Ward, Hamilton, Stainer, Herbert, Harrison, Morrison, Linton, Boyd, Stace, Jenner, and Giles.

There was again a large crowd in Court on Monday morning, when the fate of 7 licensed houses (referred for redundancy) hung in the balance.

At the commencement of the proceedings the Chief Constable said the Bench had to consider the seven licences adjourned from the annual sessions on the ground of redundancy. He invited the Bench to hear the evidence in regard to such houses separately and give a decision after hearing all the evidence.

The Royal Oak.

In the case of the Royal Oak the Chief put in the same ground of objection as in the last case. Rateable value of the house 20, owners Messrs. Leney and Co., tenant W.F. Collar.

Mr. Drake, for the brewers, pointed out that the present tenant had been in the house 11 years.

Mr. Collar, the tenant, said he was tied for beer but not for spirits. For the last three years the average of spirits worked out at 85 gallons per annum.

Mr. A. Leney said the rent of the house was 15, gross rateable value 25, and nett rateable value 22 15s. For three years the average trade was 5 barrels per week – 275 barrels per annum.

During the period when a witness was speaking as to the licensed accommodation in the Fishmarket area, Mr. J. Stainer, one of the Justices, surprised everyone in court by pointing out that one house of accommodation in the Market had not been mentioned – The Bethel. Seeing that this is a teetotal house, a good many people in court were heard to say “Bias”.

The Bench retired at 4 p.m., and returned at 4.10, the Chairman announcing that the Lord Nelson and the Isle of Cyprus would be referred to Canterbury and the other five licences would be renewed.

 

Folkestone Express 15 March 1913.

Adjourned Licensing Sessions.

At the annual licensing sessions seven licences were deferred to the adjourned sessions, which were held at the Town Hall on Monday. The Magistrates on the Bench were E.T. Ward Esq., Lieut. Col. Hamilton, Alderman Jenner, and W.G. Herbert, J. Stainer, R.J. Linton, G. Boyd, W.J. Harrison, J.J. Giles, E.T. Morrison and A. Stace Esqs.

The Royal Oak.

Mr. Reeve put in a similar notice of objection against the Royal Oak. Mr. B.C. Drake appeared for the owners and the licensee.

The Chief Constable said the tenant was Mr. W.H. Collard, and the registered owners were Messrs. Leney and Co., of Dover. The rateable value of the house was 20. The house had a frontage of 16ft. 10in. to the street. There were two entrances. One was to a small bottle and jug department, which was divided from the public bar by a partition about 6ft. high. He other entrance opened into a passage which led into the front bar. The passage also led to a small taproom, which overlooked the back yard. There was a serving window in the passage from which customers could be supplied from the bar. The room at the back was approached by four steps in the passage, and about 11ft. 9in. further down the passage there was the urinal for the use of the customers. On the first floor, over the taproom, there was the club room. That was approached by eleven stairs from the passage. The stairs were winding, very awkward, rather dark, and required artificial lighting. The kitchen and scullery were in the basement at the back of the house, and the cellar was under the front door. There was no back entrance to the premises, but there was a small enclosed back yard. Fifty five yards from the house was the Lord Nelson, and sixty yards away there was the Lifeboat. There were sixteen other on-licensed premises within a radius of 150 yards. The Wonder Tavern, in Beach Street, had a rateable value of 36, the South Foreland, 72, and the Chequers, 28, being the next nearest houses. The house appeared to do a fair trade, especially on Saturday nights. He considered it was structurally inferior to other houses in the area, and if the licence was taken away he had no doubt there would be ample accommodation left at the other houses. He made no complaint as to the conduct or management of the house.

Cross-examined, Mr. Reeve said he was not objecting to the house on the ground that the house was structurally inferior to the others. The chief reason he considered for it being inferior was the steps. The house was very easy of police supervision.

Mr. W.H. Collard said he had been tenant since August 27th. 1901. He was tied for beer, but not for spirits. In 1910 he did 87 gallons of spirits. The average for the last three years was 85 gallons. The rent was 15.

Mr. A.C. Leney, the managing director of the owners, said there had been no convictions since it had been their property. The gross rateable value was 25, and the net was 25 16s. Taking the last three years the average trade was five barrels of beer a week. The trade was increasing. Last year the trade was 265 barrels. If there were any structural alterations required by the Magistrates he would be willing to give an undertaking that they would be carried out.

The Magistrates retired, and on their return the Chairman announced that the licences of the Lord Nelson and the Isle of Cyprus would be referred to the Quarter Sessions. For those there would be provisional licences. The five other licences would be renewed, but they thought that the owners of the Wellington and the Raglan should consider the question of the urinals.

 

Folkestone Herald 15 March 1913.

Adjourned Licensing Sessions.

The adjourned Annual Folkestone Licensing Sessions were held at the Police Court on Monday, when the licences of the seven houses deferred at the Annual General Sessions came up for hearing. Mr. E.T. Ward was in the chair, and he was supported by Mr. W.G. Herbert, Lieut. Colonel C.J. Hamilton, Mr. J. Stainer, Mr. R.J. Linton, Mr. G. Boyd, Alderman C. Jenner, Captain Chamier, Mr. J.J. Giles, Councillor W.J. Harrison, Mr. E.T. Morrison and Councillor A. Stace.

The Royal Oak.

Mr. B.C. Drake appeared on behalf of the brewers, Messrs. Leney and Co., of Dover.

The Chief Constable stated that this house was situated in North Street, and the present licensee was Mr. Wm. Henry Collar, who had been there since September 11th, 1901. The registered owners were Messrs. Leney and Co., Dover, and the rateable value of the house was 20. The house had a frontage of 16ft. 10ins. to the street, and there were two entrances, one to a small bottle and jug department. This compartment was divided from the public bar by a partition about 6ft. high. The other entrance on the left hand side of the front opened into a passage, which opened into the front bar. This passage led to the back of the house to the tap room, overlooking the back yard. There was a serving window in the bar in the passage, where customers could be supplied whilst in the passage, and about 11ft. 9ins. further down the passage was the urinal for the customers of the house. On the first floor, over the tap room, was a club room. This was approached by eleven stairs from the passage. After ascending the passage four steps, they became dark, and required artificial light. The winding stairs were very awkward. The kitchen and the scullery of the licensee were in the basement at the back of the house, and the cellar was under the front bar. There was no back entrance to the premises, but there was a small enclosed back yard. This house was 55 yards away from the Lord Nelson, and 60 yards from the Lifeboat. There were 16 on licensed houses within a radius of 150 yards. The Wonder Tavern, in Beach Street, had a rateable value of 36, the South Foreland a rateable value of 72, and the Chequers, next door, a rateable value of 28. The house did a very fair trade, especially during the weekend. He considered, however, that the house was structurally inferior to other houses in the area, and if the licence was taken away he had no doubt there would be ample accommodation left. He made no complaint as to the conduct of the house.

Cross-examined by Mr. Drake, witness stated that the present licensee had been in the house 11 years. It was conducted properly. He had no complaint to make on that ground. The house was easy for police supervision. A fairly good trade was done.

Mr. Collar stated that he had been in the house for 11 years. During the lasdt three years his average spirit trade had been 87 gallons of spirits. The rent was 15 per annum.

Mr. Alfred Charles Leney, Managing Director of Messrs. Leney and Co., Dover, said he knew of no conviction since the house had been in their possession. The rent was 15, and the gross rateable value net was 20 16s. The barrelage of the house during the last three years was five barrels per week, or 257 barrels per year. The trade was increasing, and the barrelage last year was 265. Anything that needed to be done structurally would be carried out.

Mr. B.C. Drake briefly suggested to the Magistrates that the house should not be sent to Canterbury Quarter Sessions. It was doing a considerable trade, and the tenants were making a fair living, showing that there was a necessity for the houses in the district.

The Magistrates retired for a period to consider their decisions. On their return the Chairman said that the licence was renewed.

 

Folkestone Express 20 February 1915.

Local News.

On Monday morning a sensational discovery was made by Arthur Arnall, of 68, Dudley Road, a railway employee, as he was going down the railway line between the Junction and the Harbour Stations. When almost opposite Messrs. Tolputt's timber yard he came across the headless and nude body of a small infant lying quite close to the outside rail of the down track. He at once gave information of his tragic and terrible discovery, which pointed to a foul crime having been committed. P.C. Cradduck was quickly on the spot and took charge of the body. He then commenced to search round about for the head, or any clue which might lead to the identity of the child. Close by the body was a broken medicine bottle, and that, as subsequent events turned out, proved to be of considerable importance. The constable conveyed the body to the police station, and later to the mortuary.

Later in the morning Inspector Lawrence assisted P.C. Cradduck in his search for anything which might help to the solution of the mystery, and opposite the spot where the body was found, on the other side of the wall which separates the line from a public footpath leading from North Street to East Cliff, were found several baby articles. The police did not flag in their efforts to find the head of the child, or any other matter which would assist them in unravelling what was apparently a terrible crime. So far the head has not been found, but from the inquiries made a Folkestone woman, giving the name of Hannah O'Neale, was arrested by Inspector Lawrence at a house in Palmerston Street, where she had previously been lodging, on a charge of murdering her eight months old child, Phyllis Annie.

The woman against whom the serious charge is preferred is a married woman, but separated from her husband. During the past few months she had been living in lodgings with a soldier named Williams, who is in the Royal Berkshire Regiment. She has during that time had with her her baby girl, which was described as a delicate child, and small. On Saturday she left her lodging in Palmerston Street, taking the child with her, but when she called at the house again on Monday and Tuesday she had not got her baby with her.

On the face of the evidence as at present given before the Magistrates and the Coroner's jury, the police, and particularly Inspector Lawrence, have done some very good work in trying to elucidate the mystery.

The accused, Margaret Hannah O'Neale, appeared on Wednesday before J. Stainer Esq., Alderman F. Hall, G.I. Swoffer, R.J. Linton, G. Boyd, E.T. Morrison, and A. Stace Esqs.

She is a woman of about 38 years of age, tall, pale and thin. Provided with a seat in the dock, she sat apparently taking notice of the evidence of the witnesses. She did not appear in any way to be excited or to feel her position, but was, to all intents and purposes, quite cool and collected.

The Chief Inspector (Mr. Reeve), at the opening of the proceedings, said the accused was charged with the wilful murder of her eight months old child, Phyllis Annie. The facts briefly were that on Monday morning the nude and headless body of a child was found lying on the railway line on the Tram Road between the Junction and Harbour Stations. As a result of inquiries the prisoner had been arrested and charged with the murder of the child. He was not in a position to complete the case that day, and after calling two or three witnesses he should ask for the prisoner to be remanded in custody, in order that they might complete the case. An inquest on the body would be held that evening by the Borough Coroner (Mr. G.W. Haines).

P.C. Cradduck said on Monday morning at 7.15 a.m. he was on duty at the Harbour Pier. From information received he went to the Harbour branch line between the Junction and Harbour railway stations, to a point some 80 yards below Radnor Bridge. At that point the railway ran to the foot of a meadow, from which it was divided by a brick wall six feet high. Running through the meadow at the foot of the wall there was a public footpath, which connected North Street and East Cliff. When he arrived at the spot indicated he saw the headless body of a female child. It was absolutely naked. It was lying on its right side with its shoulders near the outside rail of the down line. He did not notice any blood about the spot. When he arrived at the spot he saw several South Eastern Company's men there. Later Arthur Arnall, of 68, Dudley Road, made a communication to him with reference to the body. He removed the body to the police station, and later, on the instructions of the Coroner's Officer, he removed it to the mortuary. When he arrived at the spot he found the medicine bottle (produced) within four feet of the body, lying in the four foot way. The bottle was broken, and in the condition in which it was now. Near the bottle he found fragments of broken glass, and the quantity was sufficient to complete the broken bottle. The inscription on the bottle was “Half a teaspoonful to be taken three times a day”. The word “half” had been substituted in ink instead of the printed word “one”. When he first moved the body there were several blades of coarse grass adhering to it underneath the left arm. Later on he made a careful search in the neighbourhood of the spot, but could not find the missing head. He proceeded with Inspector Lawrence about ten o'clock the same morning to the meadow to which he had referred, and made a search. He found by the side of the footpath at the foot of the wall dividing it from the railway line, and about four feet in the direct line from the spot where he had found the body, the articles he now produced. They consisted of a baby's comforter, with the teat and the tape attached, the baby's sock, cut in two pieces, a piece of tape, two safety pins, and a piece of broken earthenware with red marks, which he took to be blood, upon it.

Elizabeth Margaret Kendall, the wife of John Kendall, a painter, of 17, Palmerston Street, said the prisoner came to her house and took a furnished bedroom in her house about the middle of October. She had with her then a little girl baby, which was about five months old. She said it was her own child. She had not known the prisoner previously, and she gave the name of Mrs. Williams, and said her husband was a soldier in the Royal Berks Regiment. Having engaged the room, she said she would return later with her husband. The same evening she returned with a man in soldier's uniform, the baby, and a kit bag with clothes. She said the man was her husband, Mr. Williams, and he paid the 6/-, the first week's rent of the room in advance. They took possession of the room, and they remained there until Saturday, the 13th inst., when they left in consequence of notice she (witness) had given to them. During the whole period the prisoner, with her baby, had slept in the house, and the soldier came home two or three times a week to sleep. Mr. Williams paid the rent. The prisoner never went out to work. The baby was very small and very delicate, and had an awfully old look. About Monday, the 8th, she advised the prisoner to take the baby to the Victoria Hospital and get advice. She said she would do so, and the same day, about a quarter past nine in the morning, she left the house, having the baby, saying she was going to the hospital. She returned about three quarters of an hour later with the baby and said she had been to the hospital, and the doctor had told her the baby was very delicate, and was inclined to be ruptured, and that the medicine had to be taken three times a day. She showed her (witness) the bottle, as small as the broken bottle produced, with white medicine in it. The bottle had a printed label on it, and she read it out to her (witness) to the effect that the medicine had to be taken three times a day. She (witness) had occasionally nursed the baby, and it had a dummy fastened round its waist with a piece of tape, similar to the dummy produced. The baby always wore a pair of brown socks, similar to the one produced, and she wore a pair of white woollen socks over them. She could not say whether they were tied on. Prisoner left the house about half past one on the 13th inst., taking the baby with her. She said she had to be at Cheriton by two o'clock to meet her “Harry”, meaning the soldier Williams, and that she would be down in the early part of the evening for the things which she was leaving behind her. She saw no more of the prisoner until Monday morning, when she came to the house about ten in the morning. She (witness) told her that she had thought she would come for her things on the Saturday as she had arranged to do. She said she had been in Cheriton, where she was staying with somebody. She asked her the name of the person, but she did not reply. She then asked her where Phyllis (meaning the baby) was, and she said her sister had got it, and was taking it out that (Monday) afternoon. When the prisoner mentioned her sister, she understood it to be a person in North Street, but whom she (witness) had never seen, although the prisoner had spoken about her previously. She wrapped up and took away her husband's clothes, saying she was going to St. Martin's Plain on the Camp with them. She next saw the prisoner the previous afternoon (Tuesday), when she came to her house about half past two. She said she had come to fetch her things, and she (witness) told her to take them away. She brought them downstairs, and left them on the kitchen table. She (witness) put them in a kit bag, and whilst she was doing that her (witness's) little nurse girl came to the house with her little baby in the pram, at a quarter to four. She asked the girl, in the prisoner's hearing, to keep the baby out until a quarter past four. Prisoner said “I am going down the town. I will take the baby if you like”. She left the house with the girl and the baby. Before that she had asked her where her baby was, and she replied “I have left it at Cheriton with the landlady's daughter”. Whilst the prisoner aws out, Inspector Lawrence came to the house. The prisoner returned about five o'clock with her (witness's) baby, and she said to her “A gentleman wants to see you, Mrs. Williams. He has been waiting for you in the front room”. She replied “Who is he; is he an officer?” She then said “No”. She then went into the room where the Inspector was, and shortly after the Inspector removed her from the house. When the prisoner asked her if it was an officer, she (witness) understood her to mean a military officer, not a police officer, as she (witness) had sent in a claim, with the prisoner's knowledge, to the military authorities for the damage done to the furniture. Williams last slept at her house on Friday night, the 12th, and she had not seen him since.

The Clerk: How did she seem to treat the child?

Witness said she seemed to treat the child all right, and she meant by that that she was kind to it. The baby was often crying. She did not think at those times the prisoner had much patience with it. The sock (produced) would, she thought, fit the baby.

Annie Dorothy Tuffe, a widow, of 22 North Street, said she had been employed for many years past as attendant at the Folkestone Bathing Establishment. The prisoner was her sister, about 36 years of age, and her name was Margaret Hannah Neale. She was the wife of Ernest John Neale, to whom she was married about 14 or 15 years ago. They had been separated for about nine years. They had three children. She (witness) knew her sister was confined of a daughter, named Phyllis Annie, at the Infirmary, Lyminge, on the 15th or 16th June last. She and her sister had not been on intimate terms since October twelve months. On Saturday night, the 13th, she was in North Street, about a quarter or ten minutes to eight. Her sister was standing outside the Royal Oak public house, with a baby in her arms. She could not say the age of the child, as she did not see it close. They did not speak. She (witness) went in the Royal Oak, and came out at eight o'clock, but she did not then see the prisoner.

Elizabeth Milton, of 3, Bates Alley, the wife of David Smith Milton, a fisherman, said she was in North Street between half past seven and eight on Saturday evening, when she saw the prisoner standing outside the Royal Oak. She had a young baby in her arms. She said to the prisoner, whom she knew, “Hello, Maggie”, and she replied something – she thought “Good evening”. She (witness) went into the Royal Oak, and when she came out at eight o'clock the prisoner had gone. Either that night or the following night, after eight o'clock the prisoner came to her house with a baby in her arms, and asked her if she could put her up, and she told her she could not. When the prisoner came to her house it was a very dirty night, as it was raining and blowing.

Prisoner asked her if it was not half past nine on Saturday night when she called at Mrs. Milton's house. Neither Mrs. Kilton nor her sister had, she said, seen her previously up North Street that night. It was the Saturday previous that she was up North Street with Williams.

Mrs. Milton said when she saw Mrs. Neale outside the Royal Oak, a soldier in khaki brought her out a glass of stout. It was certainly last Saturday that she saw the prisoner, not the previous Saturday.

The Clerk at this stage advised the prisoner not to make statements, in view of the serious charge against her.

The prisoner further said: All I say is that I was not up in North Street outside Collar's (the Royal Oak) last Saturday night at eight o'clock or a quarter to eight.

Bergari Rossi, a confectioner, of 64, Tontine Street, said he let beds. A woman came to his house on Sunday evening between half past eight and a quarter past nine, and asked him if he had a bed for the night. He could not swear that the prisoner was the person, who seemed to be rather taller, because they had only a very short conversation, and she was taken upstairs almost immediately. He did not see her again. He let the woman have a room for 2/-. The woman had no baby with her, but carried a small parcel under her arm. That morning he came to the police station and five or six women were paraded before him. He identified her and pointed out the prisoner as the woman who looked the most of the appearance of the person who had engaged the room at his house on Sunday night. He pointed her out to the police officer by placing his hand on her shoulder. When he did so the prisoner said nothing.

The Chief Constable said that was as far as he could take the case that morning. He, therefore, asked the Magistrates to grant a remand for a week, so that he could make further inquiries into the matter.

The prisoner was then formally remanded for a week, and she left the dock quite unaided.

Inquest.

On Wednesday Mr. G.W. Haines (the Borough Coroner) conducted an inquiry into the circumstances concerning the finding of the headless body of the child, who was described as unknown.

Mrs. O'Neale was present during the proceedings, and her demaenour was similar to that shown in the Police Court proceedings earlier in the day. She was quite unmoved, and calmly sat listening to the evidence.

The Coroner, at the commencement of the proceedings, addressing her, said: This is an inquest on the death of a female infant found on Monday without its head. I understand that you are charged with the murder of it. You will hear the evidence here. The jury will have to say whether you or someone else, if this child has been murdered, did it, and if so, to commit such individual to take their trial on a charge of murder. You are here so that you may, if you think necessary, have an opportunity of asking any questions.

Arthur Frank Arnall, of 68, Dudley Road, Folkestone, said he was an electrician. About 7.15 on Monday morning he was proceeding to the Harbour Station, where he was employed. Half way down the line there was a bridge crossing the railway, known as Radnor Bridge. He was alone. After passing the bridge, the line is skirted on the left hand side by a wooden fence with barbed wire ontop. That fence continued past some houses known as East Cliff Villas, where the fence terminated and a brick wall commenced. On the other side of the brick wall was a pathway, and on the other side of the pathway was a meadow. About a quarter of the way down the brick wall, commencing from the first house in North Street, he saw the body of a child with its head missing. It was perfectly nude, and was lying on the outside of the metals on the down side. It was quite at right angles to the metals, the feet pointing towards the wall, the neck being an inch or two from the railway metal. It was lying on its back. He did not notice the position of its arms. There was no blood near, but there were two or three marks of dried blood on its chest. There was a small medicine bottle, which was broken, lying between the metals of the four foot way on the down side, ywo feet lower down towards the Harbour. He felt the body, but did not move it. He pointed out the body to a guard on a passing engine, and proceeded to his work.

P.C. Cradduck gave similar evidence as that given by him before the Magistrates earlier in the day. Describing the position in which he found the body, he said its left arm was lying across its chest. He did not think the body could have been thrown over. The body was quite clean except underneath, where there were several blades of grass between the left arm and the body. There was no disturbance of the shingle where the body was lying. If it had been thrown over the six-foot wall he should have expected a disturbance of the shingle. On the railway side the wall was about two and a half feet less in height. On Monday morning the weather was fine and frosty, and the ground near the body was quite dry. He had made a search of the whole surrounding district, but had not been able to find the missing head.

Dr. F.J. Lidderdale said on Monday he made a post mortem examination of the headless body of a female child. The weight of the remains was eight lbs. The head had been removed at the level of the inset into the shoulder, at the division between the sixth and seventh cerebral vertebrae. The skin was covered with fine gritty black. Behind the soft parts there were some dents, probably from lying on stone. There was no wound or bruising, and there was only the faintest trace of post mortem state. Rigor mortis was fairly marked. The head had been removed by cutting, the skin edge being quite sharp behind. Above the left shoulder there were four sharp cuts quite close together in the space of a quarter of an inch. The commencement of the cuts pointed back. The cut in front was quite sharp until it had crossed the middle line, and more blunt and a little irregular as it got towards the right shoulder. The trachea and the clotis were clean cut, the upper edge of the former being from half to three quarters of an inch below the remaining vertebrae, the division between the two vertebrae being clean cut and quite smooth. On opening the chest the lungs were blanched to a pale putty colour, and showed no signs of disease. The heart was empty. The abdomen showed no signs of disease except the blanching of the organs. Those conditions all pointed to a death by heamorrhage.

The Coroner: Could you form any idea how the severance of the head was caused?

Dr. Lidderdale: It must have been done by some extremely sharp instrument.

The Coroner: Would any considerable force have to be used?

Dr. Lidderdale: Yes, unless the division was found by a lucky shot.

The witness further said that the only sign of hesitation about the matter was the four cuts on the back. He should say the head was severed by a person who was accustomed to use sharp instruments. He was of that opinion looking at the fact of the cut being so cleanly done. He could not say whether it could have been done by a person not having the knowledge of the use of sharp instruments. The head might not have been severed during life. The child's throat might have been cut first, and the head severed afterwards.

The Coroner inquired if the witness could give them any idea of the age of the child.

Dr. Lidderdale said, taking its present weight at eight lbs., they ought to allow two lbs. for the head. Tking the blood in the body as a third of the weight, then the total would come to about twelve lbs. The average weight of a child's body was seven lbs., and the increase was a quarter of a lb. a week. Therefore, if the weight of the child was twelve lbs., taking it on the average he had mentioned, it would give the age of the child as somewhere about twenty weeks old. If the child had started at seven lbs., it might have gained less than a quarter of a lb. a week, which would all depend on how it was fed. If it was well fed it might gain more.. The average weight of a child at twelve months old was 18 lbs., and working out that on an average, the weight of the deceased might lead him to suppose that the child was about eight months. He should describe the child as a fairly nourished baby. The deceased could not be less than two months old, and certainly was not twelve months. He could not say anything other than that, for owing to the head being missing it was impossible to judge its exact age.

At this stage the Coroner intimated to the jury that the proceedings would be of a lengthy nature, as there were many witnesses to be called, therefore it was necessary that there should be an adjournment.

Eventually the inquest was adjourned until the following afternoon at two o'clock.

The adjourned inquest commenced on Thursday at two o'clock.

Mrs. O'Neale was again provided with a seat behind the witness's stand, and was again apparently unconcerned.

Arnall, recalled, said he came up the line on Sunday morning about 11 o'clock from the Harbour to the East Cliff crossing. The line was then absolutely clear. Had the body been there then he was sure he would have noticed it.

Mrs. Elizabeth Margaret Kendall, of 19, Palmerston Street, was next called. She practically gave similar evidence as that before the Police Court. She said further, that on Monday morning, when Mrs. Williams called at her house she had a small brown paper parcel with her. She went upstairs to her room, and remained there about a quarter of an hour. She came downstairs with her husband's washing in her hand, and she (witness) saw her do it up in brown paper. When Mrs. Williams left the house on the Saturday the firegrate in her room was empty, but on the Monday after she had gone she saw the remains of a lot of burnt material. She pointed out that to Inspector Lawrence on Wednesday. She identified the charred and burnt material now produced as that which was in the grate and removed in her presence. The Inspector showed her the bloodstained piece of newspaper (produced) which he had taken from the grate. The woolen sock (produced) was similar to the socks worrn by Mrs. Williams's child. The brown charred piece of material (produced) she recognised as the same material colour as the jacket worn by the baby on Saturday.

At this stage a brown paper parcel was brought into the Court by Inspector Lawrence and placed on the table in front of the witness. Upon it being unwrapped, the head of a child was revealed. Mrs. O'Neale, upon seeing it, appeared likely to faint, and a glass of water had to be obtained for her.

Mrs. Kendall said she identified the head produced by Inspector Lawrence as that of the child Phyllis, of whom Mrs. Williams (O'Neale) was the mother, and whom she took away with her on Saturday. She also identified the dark blue scarf, in which the head was wrapped, as the one which was over the little child's coat on Saturday. The white woollen shawl (produced), which was also in the parcel, was round the child's feet on Saturday. During the time Mrs. Williams was with her, Mrs. Williams never offered to take her (witness's) child out.

Nurse Lillian Roussy Liebert said she was the nurse in the out-patients' department at the Royal Victoria Hospital. She recognised Mrs. O'Neale as a woman who called at the Hospital, she thought, on Monday, the 8th. She brought a baby girl with her. She (witness) asked her what was the matter with the baby, and she said she did not know. She asked her then what she wanted, and she sai she wanted the baby examined by the doctor. After the examination the doctor said there was nothing the matter with the child. The woman seemed very agitated and worried about the child, and she (witness) told her it was a bonny baby. She replied “I do not think so. It is very delicate”. Soon after the house surgeon returned and handed the mother a small bottle, containing petroleum emulsion, which would be a white, thick fluid. The bottle was not quite full, as in filling it the doctor broke the larger bottle from which he was filling it, and they had not enough to fill the small bottle. The broken bottle (produced) was exactly similar in size and shape and label as used at the Hospital. From an inspection of the bottle and the contents on the sides, she should say the contents were most decidedly petroleum emulson. She had seen the head produced by Inspector Lawrence, and as near as she could say she thought she thought it was the head of the child she saw at the Hospital on the Monday, she going by the size and the shape of the features. The baby was very bright, and laughed on the Monday.

Mrs. Tuffe, the sister of the accused woman, repeated the evidence given by her before the Magistrates. She further said she had never taken charge of the baby at any time, neither had her sister asked her to take it for her.

Mrs. Milton was again called, and her evidence was on similar lines as on the previous day at the Police Court hearing.

Miss Lilian May Foad, of 30, North Street, said she lived with her parents. She knew Mrs. O'Neale, whom she had known for several years. She saw her on Saturday evening about ten minutes to seven outside the Royal Oak. She had then a baby in her arms, and was with a soldier. She (witness) again saw her on Sunday morning between ten and half past going up North street. She then had a baby in her arms. The woman went up the road, and she (witness) had not seen her since.

Mrs. Adeline Bush, of 44, High Street, Cheriton, said she identified the woman (Mrs. O'Neale) in Court as the woman who came to her house between two and three o'clock on Monday afternoon. She (witness) had a card up in her window. The woman asked for a bedroom for herself and husband. She showed her a room and she arranged to let it to her at 5/- a week. On the Monday night the woman and the soldier in khaki, whom she (witness) recognised as the man in Court, arrived at the house about eight o'clock. They brought no luggage, except that the woman carried a small paper parcel. They remained indoors. The woman gave her 2/- as a deposit, and was going to pay the rest on Wednesday morning. On Tuesday morning the soldier (Williams) left the house between six and a quarter past, but the woman did not go out until the afternoon at three o'clock. The woman said she was coming back at six o'clock to meet her husband, but she did not return. The soldier called at six o'clock to see if his wife was back, and he told her to send her to the White Lion if she came. About midday today (Thursday) Inspector Lawrence called at her house. She took him up to the bedroom occupied by the man and woman. No-one had occupied it since they left. He searched the room, and between the mattress and the spring mattress he found the parcel (produced), which she saw opened by the Inspector. She also saw it contained the head of a child.

Inspector Frank Lawrence said on Monday at ten o'clock he visited, in company with P.C. Cradduck, the railway line between the Junction and the Harbour Stations, and about 60 yards below the Radnor Bridge the constable pointed out to him where he found the body and the broken bottle. He made a search, but could find no trace of blood. On looking over the brick wall on to the footpath leading from East Cliff to North Street, he saw the dummy teat with tape attached, the portions of the brown sock, and the two safety pins. He went round to the footpath and took possession of the articles. He examined the spot, and there were what he took to be bloodstains on the grass and the soil. He made inquiries on that day, and at 5 p.m. he went to 19, Palmerston Street, where he saw Mrs. Kendall. Eventually the accused woman came in. he said to her “Is your name Mrs. Williams?” She said “No, Sharpe”. He said to her “You have been living here with a man named Williams. You know me?” She replied “Yes”. He asked her to come outside, and he then cautioned her in the usual form, and said “Where is your baby?” She replied “96, Shaftesbury Avenue, Cheriton”. He said “Can I see it?” She hesitated some time, and he then said “Can you show me it? I will go with you”. He accompanied her to Cheriton. On arrival there she was proceeding up High Street, and he said “I thought you said Shaftesbury Avenue. This is quite the opposite direction”. She replied “No, Military Avenue”. He accompanied her there, where she hesitated. He then said “Who has your baby?”, and she replied “Mr. Forman. It is right at the top on the left”. She then went to the door of No. 8 and knocked. A soldier answered the door. She asked the soldier of Mrs. Forman was in, and he replied “No. Mrs. Clarke lives here”. The accused turned to go away, but he stopped her. The accused said “I thought you were Mrs. Forman. Where is my baby?” He said to Mrs. Clarke “Do you know this woman? Have you her baby?”, and Mrs. Clarke said she had not seen the woman before. Mrs. Clarke said a Mrs. Forman lived in Alma Road, and he accompanied the woman Williams, who on arrival there said she did not know the house. From inquiries they made they found a Mrs. Forman lived at No.13. On arrival there the prisoner knocked on the door and walked into the house. They eventually saw Mrs. Forman, whom he asked in the presence of Williams if she knew her (Williams) or anything of her baby. She replied “I do not know her. I have never seen her before, or her baby”. The accused made a reply, and said “Oh, yes, you have”. Mrs. Forman again replied that she had not. He then took her outside, and he again cautioned her. He told her a child had been found on the railway between the Junction and the Harbour Stations on the previous day, and that its head was missing, and from inquiries he had made he had every reason to believe it was her child. He then said he should take her to Folkestone police station and charged her with causing its death while he made a few more inquiries. “Oh, Christ, I have put it out while looking for work. My baby is all right”. He brought her to the police station, and later charged her with wilfully murdering her eight months old child, Phyllis Annie O'Neale, whose headless body was found on the railway on the 15th. She replied “I understand. I put the child out while I was looking for work”. She was detained. About two o'clock on Wednesday he again went to 19, Palmerston Street, and under the fire grate in the room pointed out to him by Mrs. Kendall he found the woollen sock (produced), and a piece of the Daily Sketch, dated February 13th. In the fire grate he found the charred material (produced). At a quarter past twelve that day he went to 44, High Street, Cheriton, and was shown a back bedroom on the first floor by Mrs. Bush. He searched the room, and between the mattress and the wire spring he found a brown paper parcel at the head of the bed on the wall side of the bed. He opened the parcel in the presence of Mrs. Bush. First there came the brown paper, then there was a white woollen shawl, and underneath that a blue knitted scarf with white stripes. Inside the scarf was a white cloth, in which the head of a child was tied up. In the room he also found a pair of soldiers' puttees and two handkerchiefs. The bed was in the corner of the room, and the side of the bed was up against the wall. The parcel was right up in the corner of the bed.

The Coroner called Pte. Williams forward, and pointed out if he was really the woman's husband he could not be compelled to give evidence.

Williams said he was not married to the woman.

The Coroner then asked him if he wished to give evidence, and receiving a reply in the affirmative, he warned him that should anything arise against him (Williams) the evidence might be used in evidence against him.

John Williams said he was a private in the 5th Berkshire Regiment, stationed at St. Martin's Plain, Shorncliffe. He knew the woman's name as Margaret Neale. He had known her since the end of August. He met her first in the Clarendon Hotel. He did not know then that she had a child. Subsequently he met her frequently for the night. Just over three months ago they commenced to pass as man and wife. She was previously working at the Langhorne Hotel in the kitchen. When she left he told her he would get a room for her, and support her. He then knew that she had the baby, which was about three or four months old. Its name was Phyllis. They took a room in Broadmead Road for one week, and subsequently they went to 19, Palmerston Street, where they paid 6/- a week, he giving her the money. She there passed as Mrs. Williams. He was a single man. The baby was not his, and it was born before he met her. They got notice to leave 19, Palmerston Street a week last Saturday. He left her on Saturday at six o'clock in the morning, and he told her to meet him at the Victoria, Cheriton, at two o'clock. She had told him previously that she knew of a room at Cheriton. He met her at two o'clock at the Victoria. She then had the child with her. They walked to the White Lion Hotel. She informed him that the room she had spoken about was let. He left her and promised to meet her at the White Lion again at six o'clock. He, however did not go, because it was raining – in fact it was a very rough night. He did not see her again that night. Before leaving her at two o'clock he gave her sixpence, and he believed she had some other coppers. It bothered him as to what she was going to do, but he got into the Star, at Newington, with some mates, and he stopped there playing darts until eight o'clock. He then went to the barracks. On the next day he thought she would come up to the Camp, as she had done before. She did not come. He did not, however, see her until the Monday dinner time at one o'clock, when she came up to the Camp with his washing. She had another parcel with her, but he did not inquire what it was. She had not the baby. On other occasions when she had been up she had had the baby with her. He asked her where it was, and she said they were minding it down in North Street. He asked her where she had stopped on the Saturday and Sunday night, and she said in Tontine Street. He told her he had to go to the Pavilion Hotel to interview an officer about a letter, and said that he would walk down to Folkestone with her. They got to the Gun Tavern just after two o'clock, and had a drink there. He went to the Pavilion Hotel, the woman leaving him on the way at the Clarendon. They had a drink there and walked back to Cheriton. He asked her if she had any money, and she said she had a shilling. He asked her where she was going that night, and she said she would try to get a room. Whilst in High Street, Cheriton, they saw a card in a widnow of a house, and it stated “Furnished room to let”. She went into the house, and when she came out she said she had arranged for the room, which was 5/- a week, and she had paid the 2/- down. They walked to the White Lion, where they remained until between six and seven o'clock. He then said he must get back to the Camp, and she said “Can't you stop with me tonight. You don't want to go back to Camp tonight”. He had not a pass, but they went to the room together. They went to bed just after eight o'clock. He knew that she had a parcel with her, and he asked her what was in it, and she replied “It is the baby's clothes”. The woman told him that the people in North Street were going to look after the baby for a couple of months until she could pull herself together. He thought that she referred to her sister. He got up on Tuesday morning just after a quarter past six, and told her he would be home just after six o'clock at night. He went there at night and inquired of the landlady if she had been there, and she said she had not. He went back to Camp with a mate, and slept in barracks. On Wednesday morning he was seen by a police officer and came over to Folkestone.

The Coroner: You say on the Saturday night you were at Newington?

Witness: Yes, and I have witnesses to prove it, and on Sunday. Proceeding, he said when he left the woman on Saturday she was sober enough, and again on Monday when he saw her she was also sober. She always seemed fond of the child, and was worried about it. The last week or so she was more worried, because he had told her they were going away. He told her to see some of the visiting ladies, and tell them that he had supported her, and so she would be able to get an allowance from the authorities while he was away. His visit to the Pavilion Hotel was in connection with that matter. On the Monday the woman seemed to be quite her usual self, and he saw no difference in her manner.

The inquest was adjourned until today (Friday) at four o'clock.

 

Folkestone Herald 20 February 1915.

Local News.

A painful sensation has been created in the town this week by the discovery of the remains of a female infant.

On Monday morning the nude, headless body of a child was found on the Harbour branch of the railway, and near the spot were a broken medicine bottle and various baby things. With these as clues the police made inquiries, and on Tuesday afternoon a married woman named Margaret Hannah O'Neale, recently lodging at 19, Palmerston Street, Folkestone, was arrested by Inspector Lawrence. She was brought before the Magistrates on the following day on a charge of wilfully murdering her eight months old child, Phyllis Annie, and was remanded.

On Thursday morning the head of an infant was discovered by Inspector Lawrence hidden under the mattress in a bedroom at 44, High Street, Cheriton, occupied by the woman on Monday night. This gruesome object was produced at the inquest on Thursday afternoon, when it was identified by witnesses as that of prisoner's child. Mrs. O'Neale was in court, and she almost fainted.

Margaret Hannah O'Neale, a plainly dressed, middle aged woman, rather thin and fairly tall, was brought up at the Police Court on Wednesday morning and charged with the wilful murder of the child, on February 14th.

The Magistrates present were Mr. J. Stainer, Mr. G.I. Swoffer, Councillor G. Boyd, Alderman F. Hall, Councillor A. Stace, and Mr. E.T. Morrison.

P.C. Cradduck said that on Monday, at 7.45 a.m., he was on duty at the Harbour Pier. From information received he went to the Harbour branch of the railway, between the Junction and the Harbour Railway Station, to a point some eighty yards below Radnor Bridge. At that point the railway ran at the foot of a meadow, from which it was divided by a brick wall about six feet high. Running through the meadow at the foot of the wall was a public footpath, which connected North Street with East Cliff. On arriving he saw the headless body of a female child, absolutely naked, which was lying on its right side, with the shoulders near the outside rail of the down line. He did not notice any blood about the spot. When he arrived he found several of the South Eastern Railway Company's employees near the spot, and Arthur Arnall, of 68, Dudley Road, made a communication with him with reference to the body. Witness removed the body to the police station, and later removed it to the mortuary. On his arrival at the spot where he saw the body he found the broken medicine bottle produced lying about four feet from the body in the four-foot way. Near the bottle he found fragments of broken glass, which were sufficient to make the bottle complete. On the bottle were the words “Half a teaspoonful to be taken three times a day”. The word “half” was written over the word “one”, which had been struck out. When he removed the body, he found adhering to it, under the left arm, several blades of coarse grass. Later he made a careful search of the spot, but could find no trace of the missing head. About ten o'clock the same morning he went with Inspector Lawrence to the meadow and made a search. By the side of the footpath at the side of the wall dividing it from the railway line, about four feet in a direct line from the spot where he found the body, they found the articles produced, consisting of a baby's comforter, with the teat and tape attached, a baby's sock cut in two pieces, two safety pins, and a piece of broken earthenware with some red marks on it, which were apparently blood.

Mrs. Elizabeth Margaret Kendall, the wife of John Kendall, a painter, of 19, Palmerston Street, said prisoner engaged a furnished bedroom at her house about the middle of October. She had a little girl with her, about five months old, which, she said, was her own child. She was a stranger to witness. She gave her name as Mrs. Williams, and said her husband was a soldier in the Royal Berkshire Regiment. She said she would return later with her husband. That same evening she returned with a man in soldier's uniform, and the baby and a kitbag of clothes. Prisoner said the man was her husband, Mr. Williams. She paid the first week's rent for her room, 6s., in advance. The couple took possession of the room that evening. They remained there until Saturday last, February 13th, and then left in consequence of notice witness had given them. During the whole of the period prisoner had slept in the room every night with the baby. The soldier came home to sleep two or three times a week. He paid the rent. Prisoner did not go out to work. The baby was very small and delicate. It was a pretty child. About Monday, the 8th, witness advised prisoner to take the baby to the Royal Victoria Hospital to get advice about it. Prisoner said she would do so. The same day, about 9.15 a.m., she left the house with the baby, saying she was going to the hospital. She returned in about three quarters of an hour with the baby, and said she had been to the Hospital, and the doctor had told her that the baby was very delicate, and inclined to be ruptured. She also said the doctor had given her a bottle of medicine to be taken by the baby three times a day. She showed witness the bottle, which was as small as the bottle produced, with white medicine in it. The bottle had a printed label which prisoner read to witness, the words being “To be taken three times a day”. Witness had occasionally nursed the baby. It had a comforter tied round it with a piece of tape similar to the one produced. The baby always wore a pair of brown socks similar to those produced. The baby also wore a pair of white woollen socks over the brown ones. It was about one o'clock on Saturday, the 13th inst., that prisoner left, taking the baby with her. She said she had to be at Cheriton by two o'clock to meet Harry, meaning the soldier she lived with, and would be down in the early part of the evening for her things, which she had left behind her. Witness saw no more of her until Monday morning, the 15th, when she came to the house about 10 o'clock alone, and without the baby. Witness told her she thought she would come for her things on the Saturday night, as she had arranged. Prisoner said she had been in Cheriton, staying with somebody. Witness asked her the name of the person, and prisoner did not reply. Witness asked her where little Phyllis was, meaning the baby, and she said her sister had got it, and was taking it out that Monday afternoon. When prisoner told her that, witness understood that accused meant a person who was not really her sister, who lived in North Street, and whom witness had never seen, but of whom prisoner had spoken to witness previously. Prisoner wrapped up and took away her husband's washing and clothes, saying she was going to St. Martin's Plain, on the Camp, with them. Witness next saw prisoner on Tuesday afternoon, the 16th inst., when she came to the house about 2.30. She said she had come to fetch her things, and witness told her to take them away. Prisoner brought the things downstairs into the kitchen and left them on the table, and witness put them in the kitbag. Whilst she was doing that witness's nurse girl came to the house with witness's baby in the perambulator. This was at quarter to four, and witness asked the girl to keep the baby out until four o'clock. Prisoner said “I am going down the town. I'll take the baby if you like”. Witness agreed, and told the nurse girl to go with her, and they left. She had previously asked prisoner where her baby was, and she said she had left it at Cheriton with her landlord's daughter. Witness did not hear the name of the landlady. While prisoner was out with witness's baby Inspector Lawrence called. About five o'clock prisoner returned with witness's baby, and witness said to her “A gentleman wants to see you, Mrs. Williams. He has been waiting for you in the front room”. Prisoner said “Who is it? Is it an officer?”, and witness said “No”. Prisoner then went into the room where the Inspector was, and shortly afterwards Inspector Lawrence removed her from the house. When prisoner said “Is it an officer?”, witness understood a military officer and not a police officer. Witness thought the Inspector had called about the room, as she had sent in a claim to the military authorities for damage done to the room prisoner and the soldier occupied. The last time that Williams slept in the house was on the night of the 12th inst. Witness had not seen him since. During the whole time prisoner lodged with her she seemed to treat the baby kindly, but it was often crying. Witness thought the prisoner did not have much patience with the baby when it was crying. She thought the sock produced would fit prisoner's baby.

Mrs. Annie Dorothy Tuff, a widow, of 22, North Street, Folkestone, said she had been employed for many years past as an attendant at the Folkestone Bathing Establishment. The prisoner was her sister. Accused was about 36 years of age, and her name was Margaret Hannah. Prisoner was a married woman, being the wife of Ernest John O'Neale. She was married to him about 14 or 15 years ago. They had been separated for about nine years. They had three children. Witness knew that prisoner had a child some months ago. She knew the child was named Phyllis Annie. The child was born on the 15th or 16th June. Witness had always spoken to prisoner when she met her, but they had not been on intimate terms for the last 18 months. On Saturday evening she was in North Street about 7.45. Witness there met her sister, who was standing outside the Royal Oak. She had a baby in her arms. She did not see the child. They did not speak to each other. Witness went in the Royal Oak, and came out about eight o'clock. She did not notice whether prisoner was there or not.

Mrs. Milton, of 3, Bates Alley, the wife of a fisherman, said she was in North Street on Saturday evening about 7.30, when she saw the prisoner standing outside the Royal Oak. She had a young baby in her arms. Witness said to accused, whom she knew, “Hello, Maggie”, and prisoner made a reply which sounded like “Good evening”. Witness went into the Royal Oak, and on coming out prisoner had gone. Either that night or the following night (Sunday) after eight o'clock, prisoner came to her house with a baby in her arms. She asked witness if she could put her up, but she said she could not. Saturday night was a very bad night, and when prisoner came to witness's house it was raining and blowing. She still, however, could not recollect which night it was when prisoner called.

Prisoner said that when she went to North Street it was 9.30 on Saturday evening, and that was the first time she had been in North Street that day. Neither Mrs. Milton nor Mrs. Tuff had seen her in North Street previously. It was a week last Saturday night when she was there with Williams.

Witness said that when she saw prisoner outside the Royal Oak a soldier in khaki brought out to prisoner a glass of stout. It was on last Saturday, the 13th, and not the previous Saturday.

Prisoner, who was cautioned by the Magistrates' Clerk, further said she was not outside the Royal Oak in North Street on Saturday night at a quarter to eight or eight o'clock.

Bergara Rossi, a confectioner, of 64, Tontine Street, said he let out beds. On Sunday evening, 14th February, a woman came to his house between half past eight and quarter past nine. He was very busy. She asked witness if he had a bed to let for the night. Witness could not swear that prisoner was the same person; she booked the room and went upstairs so quickly. He did not see her again. The woman who booked the room appeared to be taller than prisoner. He let the woman a room for 2s. The woman had no baby with her, only a small parcel. He did not see her again. That morning at the police station a number of women were put before him, about five or six. He then identified the prisoner as the woman who engaged the bed at his house on Saturday night. He pointed out the prisoner who looked most like the appearance of the woman who had engaged the bed at his house on the Saturday night. He pointed prisoner out to the police officer. He did not say anything; he simply placed his hand on her shoulder. Prisoner did not say anything.

The Chief Constable (Mr. H. Reeve) said that was as far as he could take the case that day. He asked for a remand for a week to enable further inquiries to be made.

Prisoner was accordingly remanded until Wednesday next.

Inquest.

The Borough Coroner (Mr. G.W. Haines) opened the inquest on the body on Wednesday evening. The accused woman was present in custody.

The Coroner told her the nature of the proceedings, and said he understood that she was charged with the murder of the child. She was brought there so that she might have an opportunity of hearing the evidence there, because the jury would have to say, aye or no, whether the child had been murdered, and if so, who had done it, and to commit such individual to take their trial. If she would like him to ask the witnesses any question for her, she would have the opportunity.

Arthur Frank Arnall, of 68, Dudley Road, Folkestone, an electrician, employed by the S.E. and C.R. Company, said that on Monday morning, about 7.15, he was walking down the line to the Harbour Station on his way to work. Halfway down the line was a bridge crossing the railway known as Radnor Bridge. Witness was alone. After passing the bridge, the railway was skirted on the left side by a wooden fence with barbed wire on top, hich continued past some houses known as East Cliff Villas, where the fence terminated and a brick wall began. On the other side of the wall was a pathway, with a meadow beyond it. About a quarter of the way down the brick wall he saw the body of a hild with its head missing. The body had no clothes on whatever. It was lying on the outside of the metals on the down side. It was a little at an angle from the metals. The feet were pointing towards the wall, the neck being an inch or two from the railway metals. The body was on its back. Witness did not notice the position of the arms. There was no blood near, but there were one or two marks of dried blood on the chest. He noticed a small medicine bottle, which was broken, lying in the four-foot way. The bottle was about two feet further down towards the Harbour than the body. Witness felt the body, but did not move it. He pointed out the body to a guard on a passing engine, and proceeded to his work.

P.C. Cradduck gave similar evidence to that which he had given at the Police Court hearing in the morning. He further said the left arm was lying across the chest. He said the space between the wall and the outside down rail was about 4ft. 6ins. wide, so that a man could stand there and allow a train to pass him. He did not think the body had been thrown over the wall, as there were no marks of the shingle having been disturbed where the body was lying. If it had been thrown over the six feet wall from the meadow, he would have expected to see the shingle disturbed. On the railway side the wall was about two and a half feet less in height than on the meadow side. On the Monday morning, when he found the body, the weather was fine and frosty, and the ground was quite dry near the body. He had made a careful search of the ground and district, but he had not been able to find the missing head.

Dr. F.J. Lidderdale said that on Monday last he made a post mortem examination of the headless body of a female child. The weight of the remains was eight pounds. The head had been removed at the level of the inset into the shoulder, representing the division between the sixth and seventh cerebral vertebrae. He body was fairly nourished. Behind, on the soft parts, there were some dents, probably from lying on the stones. There was no wound or bruising, and only faintest trace of the commencing post mortem state. Rigor mortis was fairly marked. The head had been removed by cutting, and the skin edge was quite sharp behind. About the left shoulder there were four cuts quite close together in a pace of a quarter of an inch, the commencing of the cuts pointing back. The cut in front was quite sharp until it had crossed the middle line, and more blunt and a little irregular as it got towards the right shoulder. The trachea and glottis were clean cut, and the upper edge of the trachea was about half to threequarters of an inch below the level of the remaining vertebrae. The division between two vertebrae was clean cut and smooth. On opening the chest he found the lungs were blanched to a pale putty colour, but showed no signs of disease. The heart was empty. The abdomen showed no signs of disease, only the marked bleaching or blanching of the organs. The conditions all pointed to death from haemorrhage. The severance of the head must have been done with some extremely sharp instrument.

The Coroner: Would it be possible for any person who knew nothing about anatomy to make such a severance?

Witness: I should think not, because the cuts were so exceedingly clean. The doctor added that the only evidence of hesitation was the four cuts. The severance had been done by someone who was evidently accustomed to using sharp instruments.

The Coroner: Then this was done by someone who was used to using sharp instruments. Is that what it comes to?

Witness: Yes. He added that he could not say whether it could have been done by a person not having knowledge of sharp instruments.

In reply to further questions by the Coroner, Dr. Lidderdale said the head might not have been severed from the body during life. The child's throat might have been cut and the head severed afterwards. The child was not less than two months old and certainly not more than a year. The head being missing it was impossible to judge its exact age, to which the teeth would have been a guide.

The medical evidence having been completed, the inquest was adjourned until the following day.

The inquest was resumed on Thursday afternoon at two o'clock, when Mrs. O'Neale was again in Court.

The witness Arnall, re-called, said he came up the line on Sunday morning about 11 o'clock from the Harbour Station as far as the East Cliff Crossing. The line was then absolutely clear. Had the body been there then he was sure he would have noticed it.

Mrs. Kendall, of 19, Palmerston Street, gave similar evidence to that given by her at the police Court hearing the previous day. In fresh evidence she said that when prisoner called on Monday she brought a brown paper parcel. She went upstairs to the room she had occupied and remained there for a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes. Witness made her a cup of tea and called out to her that it was getting cold, when prisoner came down with her husband's washing. After drinking the tea she went upstairs again for a few minutes. Witness gave her paper and string, and she tied up the washing in a parcel on the table in front of witness. When prisoner went on Saturday the fire grate in her room was quite empty, but on looking at it on Monday witness saw the remains of a lot of burnt material, which she pointed out to Inspector Lawrence on Wednesday. She identified the charred and burnt material produced as that which was in her grate and removed in her presence. The bloodstained piece of newspaper produced was amongst the material taken from the grate. The white woollen sock produced was similar to those worn by prisoner's child. The brown charred piece of material produced she recognised as being of the same material and colour as the jacket worn by the baby on Saturday when prisoner left.

A gruesome sensation was created at this stage by the bringing of a brown paper parcel into Court, which on being unwrapped by Inspector Lawrence disclosed the head of an infant.

Mrs. O'Neale on seeing the head showed signs of emotion, and as she appeared likely to faint, a glass of water was fetched for her. Previously thoughout the Magisterial and inquest proceedings she had maintained an entirely unconcerned demeanour.

Mrs. Kendall said the head was that of little Phyllis, prisoner's child. The dark blue scarf and the white woollen shawl wrapped round the head were worn by the baby on Saturday when prisoner left. During the time accused had been with her she had never previously offered to take out witness's baby, as she had on Tuesday.

After being identified, the head was removed from the Court in the parcel.

Nurse Lillian Roussy Liebert, of the out-patients' department at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Folkestone, said the woman O'Neal in Court she recognised as having called at the Hospital on Monday, the 8th instant. She brought a baby girl with her. Witness asked her what was wrong with the baby and the woman said she did not know. She said she wanted the baby examined by a doctor. Witness put her in one of the side rooms and the doctor came and examined the child. The doctor said there was nothing the matter with the baby; it was perfectly all right. At this the woman seemed quite agitated and worried. She said she was quite sure something was the matter with it. Witness said “I don't think so; it is a bonny baby”. The woman said “I don't think so; it is very delicate”. Just then the house surgeon came back with a small bottle of petroleum emulsion and gave it to the woman. The medicine was white and of a thick consistency. The bottle was not quite full. The broken medicine bottle produced she identified by the size, shape and label as one of the hospital bottles. The contents on the sides were most decidedly like petroleum emulsion. Witness had seen the head produced by Inspector Lawrence and recognised it as that of the child prisoner brought to the hospital. The size and shape of the head and the features were the same. The baby was very bright and laughed when prisoner brought it.

Mrs. Tuff, prisoner's sister, repeated her evidence given at the Police Court on Wednesday. She further stated that she had never had charge of her sister's baby at any time, nor had her sister asked her to take it for her.

Mrs. Milton, of Bates Alley, also gave evidence of a similar nature to that given before the Magistrates.

Miss Lillian May Foad, of 30, North Street, said she lived with her parents. She had known Mrs. O'Neale for several years. On Saturday evening, about 6.50, witness saw Mrs O'Neale outside the Royal Oak with a soldier. Mrs. O'Neale had a baby in her arms. Witness again saw Mrs. O'Neale on Sunday morning, between 10 and 10.30, going up North Street. She then had a baby in her arms. She went right up the road. Witness had not seen her since.

Mrs. Adeline Bush, a widow, of 44, High Street, Cheriton, said the prisoner came to her house on Monday, the 15th inst., between two and three o'clock. Witness had a card in her window. The woman said she wanted a bedroom for herself and her husband. Witness showed her the room, which was upstairs, and arranged to let it at 5s. a week. About eight o'clock in the evening prisoner came again, accompanied by a soldier whom witness recognised as the man in Court. They had no luggage, but the woman had a small parcel. They remained indoors for the rest of the evening. The woman gave her 2s. as a deposit, and promised to pay the rest on Wednesday. On Tuesday morning, between six and quarter past, the soldier left. The woman did not leave the house until the afternoon at three o'clock. She said she was coming back at six o'clock, but did not return, and witness had not seen her since. The soldier called at six o'clock to see if his wife was back. He told witness to send her to the White Lion if she came. About midday that day (Thursday) Inspector Lawrence called, and witness took him up into the bedroom occupied by the couple, which no-one had occupied since they left. The Inspector searched the room, and found the parcel produced between the mattress and the spring mattress of the bed. She saw that it contained the head of a child.

Police Inspector Lawrence said that at 10 o'clock on Monday morning, the 15th inst., he visited in company with P.C. Cradduck the railway line between the Junction and the Harbour Station. About sixty yards below Radnor Bridge P.C. Cradduck pointed out the spot where he had found the body and the broken bottle. Witness made a search of the metals and on the track, but could find no traces of any blood. On looking over the brick wall close to where the body was found, he saw lying on the footpath there the dummy teat with tape attached, the portions of brown sock and two safety pins. He went over onto the footpath, took possession of the articles and examined the spot. There were what he took to be bloodstains on the grass and the soil by the side of the footpath. He made inquiries during the day, and at five p.m. on Tuesday, the 16th instant, he went to 19, Palmerston Street, where he saw the witness Mrs. Kendall. From what she said he waited a few minutes until the prisoner came in. He then said to her “Is your name Mrs. Williams?”, and she said “No, Sharp”. He said “You have been living here with a man named Williams. You know me?” She said “Yes”. He took her outside and cautioned her in the usual form, and said “Where is your baby?” She said “96, Shaftesbury Avenue, Cheriton”. He said “Can I see it?” She hesitated for some time, and he said “I want to see it. I'll go with you”. He proceeded to Cheriton with her. When at Cheriton she walked up the High Street, and he said “I thought you said Shaftesbury Avenue?” She said “No, Military Avenue”. He accompanied her to Military Avenue, where she hesitated, and he said “Who has your baby?”, and she said “Mrs. Forman. It's right up the top on the left”. She then went to the door of No. 8, Military Avenue and knocked, and a soldier answered the door. She said to the soldier “Is Mrs. Forman in?” He replied “No, Mrs. Clark lives here”. Prisoner turned to go away, and witness stopped her. Mrs. Clark came to the door, and prisoner said to her “I thought you were Mrs. Forman. You had my baby”. He asked Mrs. Clark “Do you know the prisoner? Have you her baby?” Mrs. Clark replied “No, I have never seen her before”. Prisoner said she thought it was Mrs. Forman who had the baby. Mrs. Clark said a Mrs. Forman lived in Alma Road, and he accompanied the prisoner to that road, but prisoner could not find the house. He asked a boy, who said Mrs. Forman lived at No. 13. Prisoner knocked at the door of No. 13 and walked in. She went through into the kitchen and he followed her. Mrs. Forman came, and he asked her, in the presence of the prisoner, if she knew anything about her baby. Mrs. Forman's reply was “I don't know her. I have never seen her before or her baby”. Prisoner said “Yes, you have”, but Mrs. Forman again replied that she had not. He then took the prisoner outside and again cautioned her, and told her that a child's body with the head missing had been found on the railway between Folkestone Junction and Folkestone Harbour the previous morning (Monday) and from inquiries he had made he had every reason to believe it was her child. He said he would take her to Folkestone police station and detain her on suspicion of having caused its death while he completed his inquiries. She replied “Oh, Christ. I put it out while I have been looking for work. My baby is all right”. He then brought her to the police station, and later charged her with wilfully murdering her eight months old child, Phyllis Annie O'Neale, whose headless body was found on the railway on the 15th inst. She replied “I understand. I put the child out while I was looking for work”. She was detained. About two o'clock on Wednesday he again went to 19, Palmerston Street, and under the fire grate in a bedroom pointed out to him by Mrs. Kendall he found the white woollen sock produced and the piece of the newspaper, Daily Sketch, dated February 13th, with blood marks on it. In the fire grate he found the charred material produced. At 12.15 that day (Thursday) he went to 44, High Street, Cheriton, where he was shown a back bedroom on the first floor by Mrs. Bush. He searched the room, and between the mattress and the wire spring, at the head of the bed, he found a brown paper parcel on the wall side of the bed. He opened the brown paper and found a white woollen shawl, and underneath it a blue knitted scarf with a white stripe. Inside that was a child's head, tied up in a white cloth. He also found in the room a pair of soldier's puttees and two small handkerchiefs. The bed was in a corner of the room with the side and head against the wall. The parcel was right up in the corner.

After an interval at five o'clock for tea, the proceedings were continued.

The soldier Williams was next called, and the Coroner said “This woman has been living with you as your wife. Are you married to her?”

Williams: No.

The Coroner said the evidence showed that on the night Williams slept at 44, High Street, Cheriton, with the woman, the head of the child was under the mattress on which they were sleeping.

Williams said he knew she had a parcel, but what was in that he did not know.

The Coroner asked Williams if he desired to give evidence. He was not bound to do so, but if he did it would be taken down, and if there was anything against him in what he said it might be given in evidence against him.

Williams said he wished to give evidence. He gave his name as John Williams, and said he was a private in the 5th Royal Berkshire Regiment, stationed at St. Martin's Plain, Shorncliffe. He knew the prisoner's name as Margaret Neale. He had known her since the end of August or the beginning of September. He met her first at the Clarendon Hotel, Folkestone. He did not know she had a child then, but he found it out afterwards. He subsequently met her frequently of a night. Just over three months ago they commenced to liive together. She had previously been working at the Langhorne Hotel in the kitchen, but she had left. She said she was out of work, and he told her he would get a room for her and support her. He knew then that she had a baby, three or four months old. He took a room in Broadmead Road for one week, and subsequently they went to 19, Palmerston Street. He paid six shillings a week for the room, giving the woman the money to hand to Mrs. Kendall. The woman passed as Mrs. Williams, but she was not married to him. He was a single man. They lived there with the baby, which was not his; it was born before he met her. He used to go home three or four times a week. On Saturday week they had notice to leave on the 13th inst. He left the prisoner on Saturday morning last at six o'clock, and told her to meet him at the Victoria at two o'clock.

She had previously told him she knew a place to go to at Cheriton for lodgings, but did not give the address. He met her at two o'clock at the Victoria and she had the child with her then. She told him that the room she had spoken about was let. He walked down as far as the White Lion with her, and left her, promising to meet her there at six. He did not go to the White Lion then because it was raining, and a very rough night. He did not see her that night again.

The Coroner: How did you think she was going to get on for shelter for herself and the little one?

Witness: I could not say, sir. He added that he left her to do the best she could. She had a few coppers, and he had given her sixpence.

The Coroner: Didn't it bother you at all as to what she was going to do?

Witness: It did bother me, sir. He proceeded to say that after he left her he walked across St. Martin's Plain, and went to the Star Inn at Newington with some other soldiers, mates of his. They played darts at the public house and stopped there for the evening. He remained at the Star until eight p.m. and then went hack to barracks. He had to be in by ten, as he had not got a pass. He thought the woman would come up to the Camp the next morning (Sunday), as she had done before. She did not come, and he did not see her until Monday at one o'clock, when she came to the Camp with his washing. She had another parcel with her. He did not inquire what it was. She had not got the baby with her. At other times when she had been to the Camp she had always brought the baby with her. He asked her where it was, and she said they were minding it down at North Street. He asked her where she had stopped on the Saturday night and Sunday, and she said in Tontine Street. He told her he had to go to the Pavilion Hotel to interview an officer about a letter. He walked down to Folkestone with her and they had a drink in the Gun Tavern at two o'clock. He then walked to the Pavilion Hotel, leaving her on the way at the Clarendon Hotel. He met her again at four o'clock at the Clarendon. They had a drink there, and then walked back to Cheriton. He asked her if she had any money, and she said she had a shilling. He gave her another shilling, and she went and got the room at 44, High Street, Cheriton. He asked her where she was going that night, and she said she would try and get a room. As they were walking through Cheriton High Street, she noticed a card “Furnished Bedroom to Let” in the window of a house. She went into the house, and on coming out told him she had taken the room at 5s.a week and had paid 2s. down. They did not go in then, but walked to the White Lion and stopped in there until nearly seven o'clock. He then said he must get back to the Camp, and she said "Can’t you stop with me? You don't want to go back to the Camp tonight”. They went to the room together and went to bed just after eight o'clock. He had noticed she was carrying the brown paper parcel and had asked her what was in it, and she replied “The baby's clothes”. She told him that they were going to look after the baby down in North Street for a couple of months until she could pull herself together and get settled. He thought she referred to her sister when she said “they”. He did not see what she did with the parcel when they were going to bed. He got up on Tuesday morning about a quarter past six and said he would be back again at six in the evening. He returned then and inquired of the landlady if she had been there, and found she had not. He slept in barracks that night. On Wednesday morning he was seen by a police officer, and came over to Folkestone. He had witnesses to prove where he was on Saturday night and Sunday. When he left the woman at two o'clock on Saturday she was sober, and she was sober when he saw her again on Monday, when she had not got the baby with her. She had seemed fond of the child, and seemed to worry about it. When he told her that the regiment was going to move next week she seemed still more worried. He had been expecting to move for two or three weeks lately. He told her to communicate with the proper authorities to see if she could be made a separation allowance, as he had been supporting her. His visit to the Pavilion Hotel on Monday was about the matter. She seemed quite her usual self when he saw her on Monday, and he saw no difference in her manner.

The inquiry was adjourned shortly before seven o'clock until the following day.

Dramatic and affecting scenes marked the end of the inquest yesterday afternoon.

Asked by the Coroner if she desired to say anything, Mrs. O'Neale tottered forward and, stamping her foot, exclaimed in remorseful tones “I did do it. I am sorry. I did do it”. She then broke down, and wept bitterly. Her sister, Mrs. Tuff, on hearing accused's admission, called “Oh, Hannah!”, and also began to cry. The scene made a most painful impression.

Mrs. O'Neale recovered her composure after a short time, but there was again an affecting scene after the jury had brought in a verdict of “Wilful Murder” against her.

She was being led quietly from the Court after having been committed for trial at the Assizes, and when passing the soldier, Private John Williams, who was seated in the Court, she turned to him, and, tearfully taking his hand, said “Goodbye”. She bent down to kiss him and utterly broke down. Crying distressingly, she was carried from the Court. The sister, who again burst out crying, went up to her as she was being taken out, and said “Oh, Hannah! Why did you do it?”

There was a considerable increase in the attendance of the public, there being many women present yesterday afternoon when the inquest was resumed at four o'clock.

Dr. Lidderdale, re-called, said that on Thursday Inspector Lawrence handed to him the head of a child. He examined the head together with the trunk, which he had previously examined, and found that the cut on the lowest vertebra remaining on the head corresponded with the cut on the highest vertabra remaining on the body. The skin incisions also corresponded. There was one point he wished to correct in the evidence he had previously given. The head had been severed from the body, not between the sixth and seventh vertebra, but between the second and third. In his opinion the head belonged to the trunk. The face of the child gave one a little more clue as to the age. It was that of a child quite six months old. There were no teeth through at all. There were no other marks of violence on the head. He had discovered three very faint vaccination marks on the left arm, which had lost their colour completely, showing that they were at least six months old.

The Coroner, in summing up, reviewed the evidence, and pointed out how it identified the accused woman, Mrs. O'Neale, as the mother of the child whose body and head had been found. He remarked that there was no evidence as to the movements of the woman after she was seen with the baby in her arms in North Street on Sunday morning until its headless body was found on the railway at 7.45 on Monday morning, and she was seen the same day without the child. There was no evidence as to where and how the head had been severed, except that the doctor said it had been done with a sharp instrument. It certainly was not run over by a train, or otherwise near the spot where the body was found there would have been a sufficient flow of blood to remain afterwards and leave some trace on the ground. The spot had been carefully searched, and no blood had been found. Therefore it was to be presumed that the body was placed there. Subsequently the head of the infant was found under the mattress of the very bed that the accused woman had slept in on Monday night. She had been seen with a brown paper parcel, and the parcel found under the mattress contained the child's scarf and shawl and the head of the baby. They also had the fact that she had made statements about people having the baby which were lies. Circumstantial evidence was necessary very often to bring home crimes to people; one could not always see those things done. The Coroner also referred to the evidence as to Mrs. O'Neale having burnt some of the baby's clothes. All the circumstances, he went on, suggested that the child's death was due to it having its head severed from its body. It was for the jury to say whether that was done by anyone with malice, intending to take away the child's life. The man Williams, with whom the woman had been living, did not seem to have been paying her very much, but he seemed to have been paying something towards her support. It was for the jury to say upon the facts whether she should take her trial for murder.

The Coroner then requested Mrs. O'Neale to stand up and said to her: You have heard all the evidence which has been given here, and what I have said.

Accused (in a faint voice): Yes, sir.

The Coroner: You see, a very serious question arises as to the position in which you stand. Now, you are not bound to say anything at all, in fact I advise you not to, but yet this Court is open, and everyone concerned is entitled to give evidence if they desire to do so. If anything is said by you it has to be taken down by me, and it will be used in evidence against you. In the circumstances I do not advise you to say anything. You are not being tried here; this is only to decide a bona fide case. You can say something if you want to, but if you take my advice, you won't say anything.

As the Coroner concluded, the woman uttered the words quoted above, and the scene described occurred.

After the woman had become clam again, the Coroner, addressing the jury, said she was very wrought at the moment, and he would prefer them to ignore what she had said and deal with the evidence.

The jury retired to consider their evidence and were absent for over twenty minutes. On their return into Court, the foreman said the jury were unanimously of opinion that the child, Phyllis O'Neale, had been wilfully murdered, and according to the evidence given Margaret Hannah O'Neale was responsible for causing her death. He added that the jury wished to give great credit to the police for the way in which they had conducted the inquiry.

The Coroner: Yes, they have had a lot of work.

Calling upon Mrs. O'Neale to stand up, the Coroner said she would be committed to take her trial for murder at the next Assizes at Maidstone.

Accused appeared calm, and faintly said “Yes, sir”, but as she was being conducted from the Court the second distressing scene described above took place.

 

Folkestone Express 27 February 1915.

Inquest.

The adjourned inquest on the headless body of the infant found on the railway between the Junction and the Harbour station last week was conducted by Mr. G.W. Haines(the Borough Coroner) on Friday afternoon. There were several sensational incidents, the chief of which was when the mother of the child, Hannah Margaret Neale, practically admitted that she had killed her child, a painful scene following her disclosure. There was a fairly large attendance at the inquiry.

Mrs. Neale was again provided with a seat in Court, and to all outward appearances practically throughout she was calm and collected. It was only when she made her admission and at the close of the proceedings when she was committed for trial when she showed any emotion. She was so affected at the close that she had to be carried out of the Court.

Dr. Lidderdale, re-called, said on the previous day Inspector Lawrence handed to him the head of a child. He examined the head together with the trunk which he had previously examined, and he found that the cut of the lowest vertebra remaining on the head corresponded with the cut on the highest vertebra remaining on the body. The skin incisions also corresponded. There was one point he would like to correct in his previous evidence, and that was with regard to the divisions of the vertebra of the neck. Instead of the head being severed between the sixth and seventh, it would be between the second and third. In his opinion the head belonged to the trunk. The face of the child gave on a little clue to its age. It was a child quite six months old. There were no teeth through at all. There were no other marks of violence on the face. He had discovered three very faint vaccination marks on the left arm. The scars had completely lost their colour, which showed they were at least six months old.

The Coroner then summed up. He said the duty of the jury was to find out how, and by what means, the child came to her death, and whether by such means anyone was criminally liable. He retraced the evidence of the finding of the headless trunk on the railway, and that there were no bloodstains on the shingle; the finding of the broken bottle, the child's dummy teat and brown sock, which had been identified by Mrs. Kendall, with whom Mrs. Neale had lodged in the name of Williams with a soldier, and her baby, as belonging to the baby. The broken bottle, he said, had contained a liquid of a thickish white consistency, and the nurse at the Hospital stated that it was similar to what was supplied to the woman at the Hospital for her child. He did not know whether the particulars would be sufficient for them to identify the child, but since the inquiry commenced the head had been found, and the doctor had told them that it was the exact counterpart of the missing head by the skin and the vertebra. There was, he thought, no doubt now that the head had been found, that it and the trunk was that of the child of Hannah Margaret Neale. The woman was last seen with the baby on Sunday morning by Miss Foad, and from then there was no evidence as to the movements of the woman until after Monday morning, when the child's headless body was found on the railway. The woman was seen about on the same day without the child. There was no evidence before them, except that of the doctor, who stated that the head had been severed by a sharp instrument, as to where and how the head had been severed. It certainly was not run over by a train, or otherwise near the spot where the body was found there would have been a sufficient flow of blood to have left some trace on the ground. The spot had been carefully searched, and no blood had been found. Therefore, it was to be presumed, that the body was placed there. Subsequently the head of the infant was found under the mattress of the very bed that the accused woman and Pte. Williams had slept in on Monday night. She had been seen with a brown paper parcel even by Williams on Monday, and the parcel found under the mattress contained the child's scarf and shawl and the head of the baby. They had heard when she was asked who had the baby she replied that her sister had it. They also had the fact that she had made statements about people having the baby, which were lies. Circumstantial evidence was necessary very often to bring home crimes to people; they could not always see those things done. In addition to the finding of the body and other things they had heard that Mrs. Neal went back to her old lodgings, and later a quantity of the charred remains of the child's clothes was found in the fire grate of the room she had occupied. All the circumstances pointed to the fact that the child's death was due to its having its head severed from its body. It was for the jury to say whether that was done by anyone with malice, intending to take away the child's life. The man Williams, with whom the woman had been living, did not seem to have been paying her very much, but he seemed to have been paying something towards her support. He had, however, told her that the regiment was likely to be going away shortly, and she was worrying over it. What reason she could have for taking the life of her child it was difficult to understand, but if she did not take the life of the child, who did? Who was going to take the head of her baby and put it where it was found, under the mattress on which she had slept? It was open to the accused to offer any evidence, but they had none before them. It was for the jury to say upon the facts whether she should take her trial for murder.

The Coroner then asked Mrs. Neale to stand up, and addressing her, he said: You have heard all the evidence which has been given here, and what I have said.

Mrs. Neale (faintly): Yes, sir.

The Coroner: You see a very serious question arises as to the position in which you stand. You are not bound to say anything at all; in fact, I advise you not to. This Court is, however, open, and everyone concerned is entitled to give evidence if they desire to do so. If anything is said by you it has to be taken down by me, and it will be used in evidence against you. You have nothing to hope or fear from anything you might say. Under the circumstances I do not advise you to say anything. You are not being tried here; this is only to decide a prima facie case. You can say something if you want to, but if you take my advice you won't say anything.

Mrs. Neale, starting forward with her hands tightly clenched, tearfully said “Yes, I did it. I am sorry, I did do it”. This admission caused a great sensation in the Court. The accused would have tottered to the floor but for being caught by the female attendant. She appeared almost to be on the point of fainting. Mrs. Tuffe, her sister, cried out “Oh, Hannah!”, and had to be led from the Court weeping bitterly.

The Coroner once more addressed the jury. He said the woman was apparently very wrought and distressed, and he advised them to ignore what she had said and only consider the evidence before them.

The jury retired to consider their verdict, and were absent for twenty minutes. On their return to the Court the foreman said the jury were of opinion that the child, Phyllis Neale, had been wilfully murdered, and, according to the evidence, Margaret Hannah Neale was responsible for the cause of her death. The jury wished to give great credit to the police for the way in which they had conducted the inquiry.

The Coroner: Yes, they have had a lot of work.

Mrs. Neale was then requested to stand up, and upon her doing so the Coroner addressed her as follows: Margaret Hannah Neale, you have heard the jury's verdict. You are now committed to take your trial for murder at the next assizes at Maidstone.

The accuse replied “Yes, sir”, and then proceeded to leave the Court. As she passed Pte. Williams she rushed towards him. She took hold of his hand, cried out “Goodbye”, and then bent down and passionately kissed him. She then commenced to cry bitterly, and eventually had to be carried out of the Court by P.C. Cradduck. Mrs. Tuffe also wept bitterly, and kept crying out “Oh, Hannah, why did you do it?” She also had to be led out of the Court.

On Wednesday the prisoner was again brought before the Court.

The Chief Constable said he wished to apply for a further remand. Since the last remand a Coroner's Inquest had been held, and the jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against the prisoner. The matter had been taken in hand by the Public Prosecutor, and he therefore asked for a remand.

Prisoner was remanded for a week.

 

Folkestone Herald 27 February 1915

Local News.

At the Folkestone Police Court on Wednesday, Margaret Hannah Neale was brought up on remand charged with the wilful murder of her child, Phyllis Annie, aged eight months.

The Magistrates present were Mr. J. Stainer, Mr. G.I. Swoffer, Mr. R.J. Linton, Councillor G. Boyd, Alderman F. Hall, Councillor W.J. Harrison, Mr. E.T. Morrison, and Councillor A. Stace.

The Chief Constable (Mr. H. Reeve) said that since the last hearing an inquest had been held and the matter was being laid before the Public Prosecutor. He asked for another week's remand.

Prisoner was accordingly remanded until Wednesday next.

 

Folkestone Express 6 March 1915.

Local News.

On Wednesday Margaret Hannah Neale again appeared before the Magistrates on a charge of murdering her eight months old child, Phyllis, on February 14th. It will be remembered that the evidence was fully gone into at the inquest, when the whole story, from the finding of the headless and nude trunk on the Tram Road railway lines to the discovery of the head between the mattress and the spring mattress of the bed on which the woman slept at Cheriton with Pte. Williams, with whom she lived as his wife, the night before her arrest, was told. A sensational moment characterised the proceedings on Wednesday, when the accused, notwithstanding a warning from the Magistrates' Clerk, made a full confession of what occurred on the last day she was seen with the child. All through the hearing of the evidence she maintained a cool composure, and her statement was given in a clear manner. She was provided with a seat in the dock, and followed the evidence generally with downcast face. Her sister, Mrs. Tuffe, was overcome when she heard the accused woman's statement, and burst out crying.

The Magistrates were J. Stainer, G.I. Swoffer, R.J. Linton, G. Boyd and J.J. Giles Esqs., Lieut. Col. Fynmore, Alderman Hall, and Colonel Owen.

Mr. H. Harker appeared to prosecute on behalf of the Public Prosecutor. He said that since the last appearance of prisoner there was fresh evidence to hand, which would be given at that hearing. Mrs. Kendall, they would remember, said that prisoner had come to her house on the 15th in order to fetch some washing, and she remained in the room for fifteen or twenty minutes. When Mrs. Kendall went to the prisoner's room she found charred material in the fire grate, and which she identified as the clothing of the child. Mrs. Bush, 44, High Street, Cheriton, had let a room to prisoner and a soldier named Williams, and on the 18th Inspector Lawrence had made a search and found a parcel, which contained the head of the child, under the bed which prisoner had occupied. He was sure the Magistrates did not want to go into the old evidence, but they had a little fresh evidence to give. If the Magistrates were satisfied that a prima facie case was made out against prisoner after hearing the evidence, they would doubtless commit her to take her trial at the next Assizes for the County for the murder of her child.

Mrs. Kendall, with whom the prisoner lodged in Palmerston Street, Arthur Frank Arnall, who found the body on the railway, Mrs. Bush, of Cheriton, and Miss Foad gave similar evidence to that adduced at the inquest.

John Williams, of the 5th Royal Berkshire Regiment, also repeated his evidence. He further said when prisoner brought his washing to the Camp she was carrying another brown paper parcel. She had that when he left her at the Clarendon Hotel the same afternoon. When he asked her what it was, she said “Some of baby's clothes”. When he left her at the Clarendon Hotel he went to the Royal Pavilion Hotel to see an officer. When they walked to Cheriton he could not remember whether the prisoner still had the parcel then. The bed at 44, High Street was in the corner up against the wall, and was the only bed in the room. They slept there, and he slept on the outside of the bed, and prisoner against the wall. When the prisoner saw him on the Monday she seemed in her usual spirits. He had told her a week before that his regiment were under orders and she seemed worried about it. Prisoner had always been kind and affectionate towards the child.

Mr. Harker: Did you have a razor at 44, High Street?

Williams: No, sir, nor at 19, Palmerston Street. He added that he had taken some things to Palmerston Street, and when he left there on the Saturday morning he left them there. Amongst them he had left a table knife and a pen-knife, and he had not seen them since.

Inspector F. Lawrence repeated the evidence given at the inquest, and said when he found the head he went at 9 o'clock that night to the mortuary with Dr. Lidderdale. He there saw the trunk of the child, and handed the doctor the head.

Miss Lilian Lucy Liebart, a nurse in the out-patients' department at the Royal Victoria Hospital gave similar evidence as that given at the inquest.

Dr. Lidderdale, in the course of his evidence, which was on practically the same lines as given before the Coroner, said death could only have taken place within twenty four hours of when he saw the body on Monday. There was no doubt in his mind that the head found in the house at Cheriton belonged to the trunk found on the railway.

P.C. Cradduck said he was present at the inquest on Friday, February 19th. He heard the Coroner tell the prisoner she could give evidence if she wished, and she was cautioned. She was not sworn as a witness. He heard her make a statement. She then said “I did do it. I am sorry. I did do it”. She was then in a very agitated state of mind.

This completed the evidence for the prosecution.

The usual caution was read by the Chairman, and the Clerk said the accused could make a statement if she wished. He told her that whatever she said would be used in evidence against her, but he advised her not to say anything at all.

Prisoner said “All I wish to say is I'm Guilty. I was driven to do what I did do. On the Saturday I was out with that child in the wind, and I went over to Cheriton to see Williams. I partly had got a room at 37, Church Road, and I had to call later in the evening. I met Williams at 2.30 outside the Victoria. He asked me where I was going to stay, and I told him I didn't know. He went in the White Lion, and I had a glass of stout outside. He asked me if I had got any money, and I said “No”, so he gave me a sixpence. I took the motor and I came over to Folkestone, which would be about four o'clock. I went to Mrs. Boorn, at 9, North Street, and stopped with her two hours. I took the child's socks off, and she dried them for me. She filled the child's bottle with milk, as the child hadn't had any all day. I then took the motor and went back to Cheriton, and I waited about where Williams had promised to meet me at six o'clock, thinking I should see him. I went round to 37, Church Road, and the woman told me the room was let. She asked me in her front room. I tidied myself up. It was raining hard and blowing, and the baby was crying. I came back to the White Lion again, still thinking I should see Williams, and I walked back into Folkestone. That would be about twenty minutes to eight. I came along Tontine Street, and walked back again, still thinking I should see Williams in the town. My baby was wet through and so was I. About 9.30 I went up to Mrs. Milton's, and she said she couldn't take the likes of me or the kiddie in, and she turned round and swore at me. I told her it was for the baby's sake, if she could just take her in and dry her clothes. She told me to go somewhere else. I walked about till about a quarter to eleven, and going through Tontine Street again I met Mr. Harris, who lives in North Street. He asked me what I was doing at that time and in that weather, and I told him I hadn't got anywhere to go. He said he was sorry. I went up North Street to put the baby in the passage of my step-father's house, but it would be no use, as the baby was crying. I knocked at Mrs. Harris's door, and she opened it to me. She made me take all the baby's clothes off in the kitchen, and she dried them for me. I kept down in the kitchen all that night. On the Sunday morning, about half past ten, I left her house and went up North Street. It was raining then, and all that Sunday I was over in the Warren till evening passed. Twice I made attempts to throw myself over the cliff with the child, and I was stopped by two soldiers. I don't know who they were, and I have never seen them since. They gave me all the money they had, which amounted to two shillings, and a separate threepence to get the child some food. One held the baby while I wiped the mud off the boots on the grass. They came with me as far as St. Peter's Church, where I sat down on a seat.The baby was absolutely exhausted with the cold, and I didn't know what to do, and I did what I did do on that seat. I picked her up and I took her to the back of those houses. There was a train coming down. I waited till that passed and climbed on to the line, and I gathered what clothes there were and I put them in the shawl. I went up to the Junction Station, and I was going down into Dover, and I determined to do away with myself. The guard wouldn't let me through, and told me to go home. I went into Tontine Street, and there I got a bed at ross's. I didn't sleep, and I didn't take my clothes off, and I don't know any more.

The Chairman said the prisoner would be committed to take her trial at the next Assizes.

On hearing the Magistrates' decision, she left the dock and quietly walked out of the Court to the cells.

 

Folkestone Herald 6 March 1915.

Local News.

At the Folkestone Police Court on Wednesday morning Margaret Hannah Neale was brought up on remand charged with the wilful murder of her eight months old infant, Phyllis Annie.

The Magistrates present were Mr. J. Stainer, Lieut. Col. R.J. Fynmore, Mr. G.I. Swoffer, Mr. R.J. Linton, Councillor G. Boyd, Alderman F. Hall, and Mr. E.T. Morrison.

Throughout the hearing prisoner remained very calm, and at the close made a full confession.

Mr. Harold Harker, who prosecuted on behalf of the Crown, said he did not think the Bench wished him to say anything. Since the last hearing further evidence had been obtained. They would remember Mrs. Kendall, with whom the prisoner lodged. On the 13th February, prisoner left Mrs. Kendall's; on the Monday after, the 15th, went back to the house and fetched away some washing. After she had gone Mrs. Kendall noticed a piece of a sock and other charred material which had been burnt in the grate. Mrs. Kendall identified some of the remains found as belonging to prisoner's child. On the 17th Mrs. Kendall pointed out these things to Inspector Lawrence. On the 18th Inspector Lawrence went to a Mrs. Bush, of High Street, Cheriton, and he found there, in the bed, under the mattress, a brown paper parcel, which had in it the head of a child. He thought that the evidence would show that the head belonged to the body of the child which was found on the railway. If the Bench thought there was a proma facie case, they would send accused to take her trial at the County Assizes.

Mrs. Kendall, of 19, Palmerston Street, then gave evidence similar to that which she gave at the inquest on Thursday, February 18th.

Miss Lillian May Foad, of 30, North Street, also repeated her evidence given at the inquest.

Mrs. Adeline Bush, a widow, of 44, High Street, Cheriton, said prisoner came to her house on Monday, 15th February, at 11 o'clock, and asked if she wanted to let a room. Witness replied “Yes”. Prisoner had a very small parcel with her.

Private John Williams, of the 5th Royal Berkshire Regiment, said that when prisoner came with his washing to the Camp on Monday, February 15th, she brought in addition a small brown paper parcel. He asked what she had in the parcel, and she said “Some of the baby's clothes”. When they went down to Folkestone in the afternoon, prisoner still had the brown paper parcel. He went to the Pavilion Hotel, and was there for about one hour. He did not remember if the prisoner still had the parcel when they walked home to Cheriton. They slept at 44, High Street, Cheriton, that night, he being on the outside, away from the wall. When prisoner came and saw him on Monday he did not notice anything unusual about her. There was nothing to attract his notice that she was unusual. Accused always seemed kind and affectionate to the child. Witness said he had not got a knife. He did not have a razor at 19, Palmerston Street. He did have some belongings there. They were knives and forks and spoons and some soap. He left them there on the 13th, when he left 19, Palmerston Street. He also left at 19, Palmerston Street on the 13th February a table knife. He had not seen it since.

Inspector Lawrence repeated the evidence he gave at the inquest. He stated that he found under the mattress of the bed, in the room taken at 44, High Street, Cheriton, the head of a child, wrapped up in a parcel.

Nurse Lillian Roussy Liebert, of the out-patients' department of the Royal Victoria Hospital, also repeated her evidence.

Dr. F.J. Lidderdale gave similar evidence to which he gave at the inquest. He stated that when he saw the body on Monday, February 15th, he thought it had not been dead longer than 24 hours.

P.C. Cradduck deposed that on Friday, February 19th, he was present at the inquest on Phyllis Annie Neale. Prisoner was present, and she was informed by the Coroner that she could give evidence if she so wished. She was also cautioned in the ordinary way. He heard her make a statement. It was this: “I did do it. I am sorry. I did do it”. She was in a very hysterical and agitated state of mind at the time, and not sworn.

The Magistrates' Clerk (Mr. J. Andrew) asked if accused wished to make any statement. He advised her to reserve anything she had to say for the Assizes.

Prisoner then calmly and slowly made the following statement: All I have got to say is that I am Guilty. I was driven to do what I did do. I was desperate. All that Saturday I was in the rain and wind with that child. I went over to Cheriton to see Williams, and I had partly got a room at 37, Church Road. I had to call later in the evening. At 2.30 I met Williams outside the Victoria. He asked me where I was going to stay. I told him I dod not know. I went in the White Lion and had a glass of stout outside. He asked me if I had any money, and I said “No”, and he gave me sixpence. I took the motor and came over to Folkestone. I should think then it would be about four o'clock. I came up to Mrs. Boorman's, of 9, North Street. I was at her place about two hours. I took the child's socks off, and she dried them for me. She also filled the child's bottle with milk. She had not had any all day. I then took the motor and went back to Cheriton. I waited about out there thinking I should see Williams when he promised to meet me at six o'clock. I went round to 37, Church Road, and she said the room was let. She asked me into her front room. I tidied myself up. It was raining hard and blowing hard and the baby was crying. I came back and stood outside the White Lion again, thinking I should see Williams. I walked into Folkestone. That was about twenty to eight. About ten to eight I came along Tontine Street. I walked backwards and forwards in Tontine Street, thinking I should see Williams in Folkestone. My baby was wet through, and so was I myself. About 9.30 I went up to Mrs. Milton's and she said she could not take the likes of me or the kiddie. She turned round and swore at me. I told her it was only for the baby's sake; she could take her in and just dry her clothes. She told me to go somewhere else. I walked about till quarter to eleven, and going through Tontine Street again I met Mr. Harris. He lives in North Street, but I could not tell you the number. It is opposite to where my sister lives. He asked me what I was doing at that time and weather. I told him I had not got anywhere to go. He said he was sorry. I went up North Street, and I knew it would be no use putting the baby in the passage of my stepfather's house, as she was crying, as I was going to do. So I went and knocked at Mrs. Harris's door, and she opened it to me. We went down into the kitchen, where she took all the baby's clothes off, and dried them for me. I kept down in her kitchen all that night. On the Sunday morning it was 10.30 when I went out of her house. I went up North Street. It was raining then. All that Sunday I was over in the Warren till the evening passed. Twice I made attempts to throw myself over the cliff with the child.

At this juncture prisoner's sister (Mrs. Tuff) began to cry.

I was stopped by two soldiers. I do not know who they were, and I have not seen them since. They gave me all the money they had (2s.). They also gave me threepence to get the child some food. They held the baby while I wiped the mud off my boots on the grass. They came with me as far as St. Peter's Church, and then I sat down on the seat. The child was absolutely exhausted with the cold. I did not know what to do. I did what I did do on that seat. I picked her up. I took her to the back of those houses. There was a train coming down. I waited till that passed, and then climbed up on to the line. I gathered what clothes there was, rolled them up in a shawl, and went up to the Junction Station, and I was going down into Dover, and I determined to do away with myself. The Guard would not let me go through; he told me to go home. I went down into Tontine Street, and then I got that bed at Rossi's. I did not sleep. I did not take my clothes off. I just threw myself on the bed, and I do not know any more.

The Chairman said the accused would have to take her trial at the next Kent Assizes.

The prisoner was then removed.

 

Folkestone Express 19 June 1915.

Local News.

The Kent Assizes opened on Wednesday at Maidstone, when included in the calendar was the case of Margaret Neale, a Folkestone woman, charged with the murder of her infant child at Folkestone on February 14th. A true bill was returned by the Grand Jury against her, and the trial has been fixed for today (Saturday). Mr. T. Matthew is appearing on behalf of the prosecution.

 

Folkestone Express 26 June 1915.

Kent Assizes.

On Saturday at the Kent Assizes, held at Maidstone, Margaret Hannah Neale, aged 37, was charged before Justice Darling with murdering her child, Phyllis Annie, aged eight months, at Folkestone, on February 14th, and was sentenced to death. The demeanour of the prisoner all through the hearing was similar to that shown by her at the Coroner's Inquest and the Magisterial hearings, and she betrayed no emotion or apparent grief at her foul deed. The prosecution was conducted by Mr. Theo Matthew, who was assisted by Mr. Wakeley, and the prisoner was defended by Mr. Thesiger.

In opening the case, Mr. Matthew said the headless body of the child was found on the railway line at Folkestone, while its head was discovered at a house where prisoner was lodging. The jury would have no doubt that the head was cut off before the body was deposited on the line. The prisoner's explanation was that at the time she was suffering from great stress of mind, the man (a soldier) with whom she was living being about to leave her, and, being desperate, she did that horrible thing. If she was insane when she committed that crime she would not be responsible in law; only insanity could be an excuse for such an act. Proceeding, Mr. Matthew said at the time of the affair prisoner was cohabiting with a soldier named Williams, who was stationed at Shorncliffe, and in October last she took a room at the house of a Mrs. Kendall at Folkestone. At that time she had the child, which was then about five months old. She told Mrs. Kendall that her name was Williams, and that her husband was a soldier. Williams used to stay two or three times a week. Sometime in February Mrs. Kendall gave prisoner notice to leave her house, and she left on February 13th. The same evening she was seen outside the Royal Oak public house with the baby, and asked someone to take her in for the night, saying she wanted shelter. The woman, however, could not accommodate her, and prisoner eventually stayed the night at another house. The next morning, February 14th, she was seen with the baby in North Street, and there was no doubt that she killed the child that evening. That night she spent at another house in Folkestone, and on the morning of the 15th she went to the house of Mrs. Kendall and told her that her sister had got the baby. Later in the day she went to Cheriton and hired a room at the house of a Mrs. Bush, and the same night the man Williams returned with prisoner to the house. A few days after the police discovered the head of the child in the room occupied by the accused; in fact, between the spring mattress and the bed on which the prisoner and Williams slept. The woman might have taken the head away to make it difficult to identify the child.

Elizabeth Margaret Kendall, the wife of John Kendall, a painter, of 17, Palmerston Street, gave evidence as to the prisoner engaging a furnished bedroom in her house in October last, and coming to the house with her baby (the murdered child) and Pte. Williams, of the Royal Berkshire Regiment. She further said that she thought the accused was the wife of Williams. They remained at her house until February 13th, when they left owing to them having been given notice. The baby was taken to the hospital on February 8th, and Mrs. Williams was given a bottle containing white medicine. The baby's dummy, piece of tale, and brown sock (produced) were similar to those the baby had. On the following Monday Mrs. Neale came to the house without the baby, which she said was being taken care of by her sister. After she had gone she found a lot of burnt material in the fire grate in the bedroom which had been occupied by Williams and the woman, and she pointed it out to Inspector Lawrence when he called on Thursday. The charred remains of material were similar to some of the material worn by the baby. On the Tuesday the accused came to the house again, and she was arrested there by Inspector Lawrnce.

Cross-examined by Mr. Thesiger, Mrs. Kendall said that prisoner seemed to be an affectionate mother while she was living with her. Williams used to pay her 6/- a week for the room. Accused was a little anxious about the child's health, and took it to the hospital. She did not hear prisoner say that Williams was about to go to the front. At that time she did not know that they were not married.

Evidence was given by Arthur Frank Arnall, an electrician, of 68, Dudley Road, as to the finding of the headless and naked body of the child on the railway on the Tram Road. He also spoke to finding a small medicine bottle, which was broken, lying between the metals on the down side.

Annie Dorothy Tuff, a widow, of 22, North Street, said she was the sister of the accused, who was the wife of Ernest John Neale, to whom she was married 14 or 15 years ago. They had been separated for about nine years. There were three children of the marriage. The child Phyllis was not one of them, and she was only born on June 15th or 16th at the Lyminge Infirmary. Williams was not the father of the child. On Saturday night, the 13th February, she saw her sister with the baby outside the Royal Oak. The prisoner was 37 years of age.

In cross-examination, witness said the prisoner's father died when she was quite young. Her sister in childhood suffered from St. Vitus Dance. She was married and had three children, but after a time her husband left her, and was subsequently convicted of bigamy. After her husband left her she lived with her stepfather, but her intemperate habits led to some unpleasantness with her stepfather, whom she subsequently left. She then went to Chatham with her children, to whom she was kind and good. Later, however, she was charged with stealing something from her employers, and witness was also involved in the charge because some of the goods were found at her house. Witness, however, was acquitted, and prisoner was bound over. That verdict caused her stepfather never to speak to her again, and it would have been quite hopeless for prisoner to ask him for lodgings. The result of that conviction was that her two boys were sent to homes, and witness looked after the girl. After that prisoner's life was not very satisfactory. She had an illegitimate child, and soon after she left the infirmary she made the acquaintance of the soldier Williams. Prisoner had suffered from headaches sufficiently severe to keep her in bed quite ill.

Mrs. Eilxabeth Milton, of 3, Bates Alley, gave evidence of seeing the prisoner in North Street on Saturday evening, February 13th, when she also came to her house.

Mr. Rossi, a confectioner, spoke to letting a bedroom to a woman, who had no baby with her, on Sunday evening, February 14th. She had a small brown paper parcel with her when she arrived.

Nurse L.R. Liebart, of the out-patient department of the Royal Victoria Hospital, recounted the details of a visit paid by the accused with the baby to the hospital, when a small bottle, similar in size and shape to the one produced, was given to the accused for the child. It contained petroleum emulsion.

Miss L.M. Foad, of 30, North Street, said she saw Mrs. Neal with a baby in her arms on Sunday morning, February 15th, in North Street.

Mrs. Bush, of 44, High Street, Cheriton, spoke to the prisoner hiring a room off her on February 15th, to her bringing a parcel with her, and to a soldier, whom she represented as her husband, staying with her for the night. On the morning of the 18th February, Inspector Lawrence came to the house, and witness showed him the room occupied by prisoner. The Inspector afterwards came downstairs with a parcel, which contained the head of a child.

Cross-examined: Prisoner did not seem to be agitated, but rather calm.

Dr. F.J. Lidderdale gave evidence as to his examination of the child's body. He said the head had been severed by something extremely sharp. It would have been difficult, but not impossible, to do it with one cut, but he should think there was more than one cut.

Questioned by His Lordship, Dr. Lidderdale said he thought it was probable that the first attempt to cut off the head was made at the front, where there were four small cuts, and then the stoke which severed the body had come from the back.

Cross-examined, he said the deed might have been done in extreme desperation. There were signs of desperation and considerable persistence. He did not think an ordinary woman would have been able to do it.

His Lordship: In a moment of insanity or anything of that kind do people possess more force than at normal times?

Witness: They seem to be able to exert it more.

In reply to further questions by Mr. Thesiger, witness said the child had a fairly well-nourished body, and had a happy face. When before the Magistrates or at the inquest he did not think the prisoner seemed to realise the seriousness of her position.

Mr. Thesiger: Could you form any opinion as to the state of her mind? – There was nothing to show that she was insane at the time she made the statement.

Re-examined: Does the deed appear to have been done with deliberation and force? – The four cuts do not suggest much deliberation.

Do the four cuts show some degree of deliberation? – I think if the prisoner had made up her mind she would have employed sufficient force in the first stroke to do what she wanted.

His Lordship: You cannot tell whether the first, or second, or third, or fourth cut caused death? – No.

Or whether it was the result of all four? – No.

P.C. Cradduck, in the course of his evidence, stated that at the inquest, when asked if she wished to say anything, prisoner replied “I did do it. I am sorry. I did do it”.

Inspector Lawrence gave evidence of going to the spot where the body was found and finding close by, over the wall which separated the line from a footpath, the dummy teat with tape attached, the portions of brown sock, and the two safety pins. He saw Mrs. Neale on the Tuesday at Mrs. Kendall's house, and proceeded to Cheriton with her to various addresses where she said the baby was being taken care of. When he charged her with killing the child she said she had put it out to nurse while she went looking for work. He described his visit to Mrs, Kendall's house when he found the charred remains of some of the child's clothing. Referring to his visit to the house of Mrs. Bush, of Cheriton, he said he went into the bedroom occupied by the accused and the soldier Williams. After searching the room he found between the mattress and the wire spring at the head of the bed, a brown paper parcel, which he opened in the presence of Mrs. Bush. In it he found the head of the child tied up in a white cloth, which was wrapped up in a white woollen shawl.

Mr. Matthew mentioned that the soldier Williams was not able to be present to give evidence as he had gone to the front.

The statement made by the prisoner before the Magistrates was then put in. It was to the effect that she was driven to do what she did. Twice on the Sunday she tried to throw herself over the cliff in the Warren, but two soldiers topped her. They gave her all the money they had, which amounted to 2/3, and brought her down as far as St. Peter's Church, where she sat on a seat. The baby was exhausted with the cold and wet. She then did what she did, as she did not know what to do. She picked the baby up and put it on to the line. She went to the Junction Station in order to go to Dover, as she was determined to do away with herself, but the guard would not let her go through, and advised her to go home. She spent that night at Ross's house, where she got a bed.

Mr. Thesiger, in an able address, which lasted for close upon an hour, for the defence, made an eloquent appeal to the jury. He touched upon the wretched life led by the prisoner, and her fear that when the soldier left her she would have no friend in the world. He urged that the unfortunate woman was insane at the time she committed the crime, and was therefore not responsible for her actions. He pointed out the significant facts of the prisoner carrying about with her the head, the undressing of the baby, and her extraordinary calmness throughout the whole of the inquest and Magisterial inquiry suggested that she was insane. Her insanity might, he said, be one of a temporary nature, which gradually diminished. And when she realised practically at the close of the inquiry before the Magistrates what had happened, she made the statement admitting the crime. In conclusion, he asked the jury if they could not return a verdict that the prisoner was not responsible for her actions at the time of the murder. They might, in returning their verdict, strongly recommend her to mercy.

His Lordship, in his summing up, explained that insanity meant such a disease of the mind that it would lack power to judge. If the jury came to the conclusion that the accused did the act, they had to be convinced, if they wished to say that she was insane, that she was by reason of a disease of the mind incapable of distinguishing the nature and quality of what she did, or, if she was capable of judging, then that she was incapable of knowing the difference between right and wrong.

The jury, after ten minutes' deliberation, returned a verdict of Guilty. The foreman added that they strongly recommended the prisoner to mercy.

His Lordship assumed the black cap, and, addressing the prisoner, said: The jury have found you Guilty upon the evidence which permitted no kind of doubt of the murder of your little child. In fact you confessed before the Magistrates what you had done, and gave details which must have satisfied anyone that you were speaking the truth. No-one can doubt that you knew perfectly well what you were doing, and there is no reason to suppose that you were not in your senses. Although you did a very wicked and cruel thing you were miserable, and you were in a manner desperate, and the jury have therefore strongly recommended you to mercy. I shall at once send that recommendation to those who have the power to remit the sentence which the law compels me to pass upon you.

The judge then pronounced the sentence of death in the usual way, concluding with the words “And may the Lord have mercy on your soul”. The Chaplain solemnly added “Amen”.

The Clerk then, addressing the prisoner, said: Have you anything to urge in stay of execution of this, your sentence?

Prisoner: No, sir.

Mrs. Neale portrayed no emotion whatever on hearing the decision of the jury and the sentence of death. She, however, walked wearily out of the dock to the cells below.

 

Folkestone Herald 26 June 1915.

Assizes.

The Folkestone child murder case came on for hearing at the Kent Assizes at Maidstone on Saturday last.

The mother of the child, Mrs. Margaret Hannah Neale, aged 37, of no occupation, who was dressed plainly in mourning, was indicted before Mr. Justice Darling for “feloniously, wilfully, and of her malice aforethought, killing and murdering Phyllis Annie Neale at Folkestone on 14th February, 1915”. She pleaded Not Guilty in a quiet, clear tone, and during the trial sat in the dock with very downcast demeanour. She was very ably defended by Mr. Thesiger, who drew a touching picture of the prisoner’s pitiful and desperate circumstances on the stormy Sunday evening when she ended the baby’s life by cutting off its head, and pleaded that her mind must have been unhinged at the time.

The Judge, in summing up, did not support that view, and after an absence of barely ten minutes the jury brought in a verdict of guilty, with a strong recommendation to mercy. His lordship, assuming the black cap, pronounced sentence of death, but told the prisoner that he would at once dispatch the jury's recommendation to the proper quarter. The accused received the verdict and sentence with the same apparent calm that she had displayed throughout the trial, and having nothing to say in stay of execution of the sentence, was quietly conducted below.

Mr. Theobald Mathew prosecuted for the Crown, and Mr. Thesiger defended prisoner at the request of his lordship.

Mr. Mathew, in outlining the case said the headless body of the child was found naked on the railway line between Folkestone Junction and the Harbour Station on February 15th. Prisoner had admitted that she had cut the child's head off, but her explanation was that she was suffering from great distress of mind at the time, as she had reason to think that the man with whom she was living was about to leave her. Being in such distress of mind, being, as she described it “desperate”, she did that horrible thing. If she was insane at the time she did that act she would not be responsible in law for the act. But only insanity could excuse that act, and if it could only be said that she was in distress of mind and desperate, that would not in any way excuse her or condone her act. It might be that the circumstances would justify the jury in making some recommendation accompanying their verdict, but unless they thought she was insane at the time, there could be no other verdict than guilty. Prisoner was living at the time with a man named Williams, a soldier stationed at Shorncliffe, and in October he and she took a room in the house of Mrs. Kendall in Folkestone. Prisoner had the child with her, it being then about five months old. She told Mrs. Kendall that her name was Mrs. Williams, and apparently the soldier was in the habit of staying there two or three nights a week. Some time in February Mrs. Kendall gave them notice to leave, and on February 13th, about one o'clock, prisoner left the house with the baby, saying she was going to Cheriton, and would call again for her things. Later the same evening she asked a Mrs. Milton to take her in for the night. It was a rough, wet night, and she said she wanted shelter. Mrs. Milton said she could not take her in, and from prisoner's own statement it appeared she spent the night at the house of a Mrs. Harris. The following morning, Sunday, February 14th, she was seen with the baby in North Street. She was not seen again that day by any of the witnesses, but that evening, according to her statement, she killed the baby on a seat in front of St. Peter's Church, and left the body on the line. That evening, about nine o'clock, she took a room at the house of a Mr. Rossi for the night. She had not got the baby with her then, but was carrying a small parcel. The next morning the headless body was found on the railway. There was no sign of the head, but near the spot were a broken medicine bottle, and some baby's things. That morning she went back to the house of Mrs. Kendall and told her that her sister was keeping the baby. She went up to the room she had occupied and burned some clothes, which had been proved to be the rest of the baby's clothes. The same day she went to the house of a Mrs. Bush, at Cheriton, and took a room. She brought a parcel with her and stayed the night there with Williams. The next morning she went back to Mrs. Kendall's house, and while she was there Inspector Lawrence came. To him she gave various explanations as to where her child was, and took him to more than one house in Cheriton where she said he could see the child, but it could not be found of course. She insisted that the child was in safety somewhere. On the Thursday, February 18th, the head of the child was found in the bed that the prisoner had occupied at the house of Mrs. Bush. It was wrapped up in a parcel, and placed between the mattress and the springs in one of the top corners of the bed. In connection with the removal of the head, it was a point for consideration whether she did that with the idea of making identification of the body difficult or impossible.

The first witness was Mrs. Elizabeth Kendall, the wife of John Kendall, a painter, of 19. Palmerston Street, Folkestone, who spoke to prisoner's stay at her house.

Answering Mr. Thesiger, Mrs. Kendall said prisoner was always a perfectly kind and affectionate mother during the time she lodged with her. She did not think that either the prisoner or the baby went short of food. When prisoner called again on the Monday there was nothing in her manner to suggest what she had done. She was quite normal and unconfused when asked where the baby was. Witness had never seen prisoner use violence to anybody. Accused never went out much, but stayed in and looked after the child.

Mrs. Annie Tuff, of North Street, Folkestone, the sister of the accused, said the prisoner separated from her husband about nine years ago. The child, Phyllis Annie, was born on 15th or 16th, 1914. It was not Williams's child.

In cross-examination, witness said prisoner's father died when she was quite young. In childhood accused suffered from St. Vitus Dance. Her mother married again, and the prisoner lived at home and looked after her. Subsequently she married and had three children. After a time her husband left her, and he ultimately committed bigamy, for which he was convicted. When her husband left her, prisoner again lived with her step-father, her mother having died. Accused was not of temperate habits. Her intemperance began after her marriage. She later left her step-father because she thought she was going to better herself, and lived at Chatham with the children and had various employments. All through that time she was a perfectly good and kind mother to the three children. Subsequently prisoner was charged with stealing from one of her employers, witness herself also being involved in the charge as the goods were found in her house. She was acquitted, prisoner was convicted, but bound over. It would have been quite hopeless for prisoner to go to her step-father and ask for assistance or lodging there. After the conviction, prisoner's two sons were sent to homes, and witness took the girl to look after her. Prisoner's life after that was not very satisfactory. She had an illegitimate child, for the birth of which she went into the Workhouse. Prisoner left the Workhouse with the child last July, and soon after that she met Williams. As far as witness knew, prisoner's husband was still alive. She had no means of her own, and could only have had what Williams gave her to live on. She had never complained to witness of being short of food. Prisoner had very often suffered from headaches, which made her quite ill.

Mrs. Elizabeth Milton, the wife of William David Smith Milton, a fisherman, of 3, Bates Alley, Folkestone, spoke to prisoner coming to her for shelter. Witness told her she could not put her up. It was a very wet evening.
Answering Mr. Thesiger, witness said she did not know that prisoner was quite without a home.

B. Rossi, a confectioner, of Tontine Street, Folkestone, spoke to prisoner taking a room on Sunday night, February 14th, and Arthur Frank Arnall, of 68, Dudley Road, an electrician employed by the S.E. and C.R., spoke to finding the body.

Answering Mr. Justice Darling, witness said he thought that anybody to put the body where it was lying must have had to go on the line.

Evidence was also given by Lillian May Foad, of 13, North Street, Folkestone, and Mrs. Adeline Bush, of 44, High Street, Cheriton.

Mr. Mathew said the soldier Williams had been ordered to the front and could not give evidence.

His Lordship: I don't see how he is necessary in any way.

Nurse Lillian Liebert, of the out-patients' department of the Royal Victoria Hospital, Folkestone, spoke to prisoner bringing the child for examination and receiving a bottle of medicine.

Dr. F.J. Lidderdale gave the results of his examination of the remains, and said death was due to haemorrhage. The head had been severed by some extremely sharp instrument. He thought one cut was made from the left shoulder, and the severance was completed from the back.

In cross-examination, witness said the body was fairly well nourished and there were no signs of neglect. The child had quite a happy face. The fatal act must have been done in extreme desperation. There were signs of desperation and considerable persistence. Considerable force had been used, and he would not have thought that the ordinary woman would have been able to do such a thing. The child had no teeth, which at its age was a sign of malnutrition. The wall at the spot where the body was found was unclimbable, but it would be easy for a woman to have thrown the body over on to the line. As to the manner in which prisoner made her statement before the Magistrates, the doctor said it was a perfectly passionless statement, given in a detached manner, as though it really concerned a third party and not herself. She did not seem to realise the seriousness of her position. She showed no grief. There was nothing to show that she was insane at the time she made the statement.

Re-examined, witness said the four cuts to be seen on the neck of the child suggested that there was not much deliberation about the act, but that it was done rather on the spur of the moment. If a person had made up her mind, she would have employed sufficient force with the first cut to do what was wanted.

P.C. Cradduck gave evidence as to his visit to the place where the body was found, and also spoke to prisoner's admission in the Coroner's Court, when she said “I did do it. I am sorry. I did do it”.

Inspector Lawrence was the final witness for the prosecution.

In cross-examination he said he examined the seat on which prisoner said she killed the child, but could find no trace of blood or anything there. He had searched for the weapon, but had been unable to find it. If anyone had wanted to do it, it would have been quite easy to have thrown the body over the cliff, and it might never have been found among the rocks. He had known prisoner for some years, and he confirmed what her sister had said. Her conduct was such that probably her friends and relations would not have anything to do with her.

In reply to further questions by Mr. Thesiger, Inspector Lawrence said Saturday and Sunday, February 13th and 14th, were very rough and wet days. That Saturday was about as bad a day as he could remember in Folkestone.

The long statement made by the prisoner at the Police Court was read over, and Mr. Mathew briefly addressed the jury in closing the case for the prosecution.

Mr. Thesiger, in his address on behalf of the prisoner, said he was sure it was a story that they must approach with sympathy and with feelings of deep pity for the woman who stood in that terrible position on trial for her life for the murder of her own baby, and he was sure that it would be a comfort and a source of gratification to the jury if they could return the verdict which he asked of them. The facts, he suggested, pointed almost all the way through to insanity on the part of the prisoner. It might have been very temporary, lasting for only an hour or two, perhaps not terminating suddenly but by degrees, as she gradually began to realise the awful thing that had happened. But he did suggest that at the moment she cut that poor little child's throat she was not responsible for her actions. The murder of a child by its mother seemed almost incredible. It was still more difficult to believe that it was a deliberate act, planned deliberately. All the evidence pointed to the fact that prisoner was a kind mother. Could they imagine anything more desperate than the act of completely severing the head of that child? He asked them to accept the doctor's evidence that the woman was not in her normal, sane state of mind when she did that. If she deliberately murdered the child and intended to conceal the body, she could easily have put it in a place where it might never have been discovered.

Counsel went on to further urge strongly that prisoner's mind gave way under the stress of her circumstances, and appealed to the jury to spare her the ordeal of being sentenced to death.

At the conclusion of Mr. Thesiger's address the court adjourned for lunch.

On the resumption of the proceedings, the learned Judge summed up. He said the jury and he were greatly indebted to counsel for the defence for having put forward every possible consideration which could induce them to take the view that prisoner was insane at the time she committed that act. But it had happened before over and over again that women had killed their children in despair and yet were not mad when they did it. If juries were to say that people who killed a child were insane, where was it to stop? The young and the defenceless needed protection more than those who were able to take care of themselves, and nothing stood between them and people who were inclined to do them wrong but the law. Insanity did not mean being very much troubled in mind, upset, unable to decide for the best. If prisoner did not know right from wrong owing to a disease of the mind, it might be expected that she would mention what she had done to anyone she met, as one might mention anything. Did not the prisoners acts after killing the child show that she knew she had done wrong, and therefore it was expedient to take means to prevent recognition of the body and the bringing home to her of the crime? At the worst, prisoner could have taken the child back to where it was born, to the Workhouse. It might be said that she killed the child out of mercy to it, but no-one had the right to kill another out of mercy. If a person was at the last gasp from a painful disease no-one had the right to say to that person that he or she would be better off in the next world. There might be extenuating circumstances in the present case to which the jury could call attention.

After retiring for barely ten minutes the jury found the prisoner guilty, with a strong recommendation to mercy.

His Lordship, having assumed the black cap, addressing the prisoner, said the jury had found her guilty upon evidence which permitted no kind of doubt of the murder of her little child – in fact, she had confessed before the Magistrates what she had done, and gave details which must have satisfied anyone that she was speaking the truth. No-one could doubt that she knew perfectly well what she was doing. There was no reason to suppose that she was not in her senses, although she did a very brutal and wicked thing. But she was miserable, she was in a manner desperate, and the jury had therefore recommended her to mercy. He would at once send that recommendation to those who had power to remit the sentence which the law compelled him to pass upon her. His Lordship then passed sentence of death in the usual way.

Asked by the Clerk of Assize (Mr. A Denman) whether she had anything to urge in stay of execution of her sentence, prisoner, after a little hesitation, faintly said “No”. She was then removed.

Mr. Thesiger obtained permission from the judge for prisoner's sister to see her in the cells.

 

Folkestone Express 3 July 1915.

Local News.

The Home Secretary on Friday announced that Mrs. Neale, who was sentenced to death at the Kent Assizes for the murder of her child, has been granted a reprieve.

 

Folkestone Express 10 February 1917.

Annual Licensing Sessions.

Wednesday, February 7th: Before E.T. Ward, G.I. Swoffer, R.J. Linton, G. Boyd, H. Kirke, and J.J. Giles Esqs., and the Rev. Epworth Thompson.

The licence of the Royal Oak was transferred to Mr. H.W. Baldock.

 

Folkestone Herald 10 February 1917.

Annual Licensing Sessions.

Wednesday, February 6th: Before Mr. E.T. Ward, Mr. G.I. Swoffer, Mr. R.J. Linton, Mr. G. Boyd, Mr. J.J. Giles, Mr. H. Kirke, and the Rev. H. Epworth Thompson.

Mr. H.W. Baldock (pending application for licence) was granted temporary authority to serve at the Royal Oak.

 

Folkestone Express 3 March 1917.

Local News.

The Magistrates on Wednesday transferred the Royal Oak, North Street, from Mr. Collar to Mr. Baldock.

 

Folkestone Herald 10 March 1917.

Adjourned Licensing Sessions.

Wednesday, March 6th: Before Mr. E.T. Ward, Lieut. Col. R.J. Fynmore, Mr. G.I. Swoffer, and Mr. H. Kirke.

The licences of the Chequers Inn, Seagate Street, the Red Cow, Foord, and Royal Oak, North Street, were respectively transferred Mr. Bert Nash, Mr. W. Collard, and Mr. H.W. Baldock.

The Chairman, addressing the licensees, impressed upon them the great necessity of taking the greatest care in the conduct of their businesses, whilst at the same time acknowledging their difficulties.

 

Folkestone Herald 11 November 1933.

Local News.

The Folkestone Magistrates yesterday granted a protection order in connection with the transfer of the licence of the Royal Oak, North Street from Mr. Baldock to Mr. H. Wilson, formerly steward at the Radnor Club.

 

Folkestone Express 18 November 1933.

Local News.

The Folkestone Magistrates on Friday granted a protection order in connection with the transfer of the licence of the Royal Oak Inn, North Street, from Mr. H.W. Baldock to Mr. Wilson, who has for a considerable number of years been the steward at the Radnor Club, Folkestone.

 

Folkestone Express 25 November 1933.

Wednesday, November 22nd: Before Mr. J.H. Blamey, Alderman T.S. Franks, Councillor Mrs. E. Gore, Mr. F. Seager, Mr. W. Smith, Eng. Rear Admiral L.J. Stephens, and Alderman J.W. Stainer.

The licence of the Royal Oak public house, North Street, was transferred to Mr. Harry Wilson, formerly steward at the Radnor Club. A protection order had been previously made in this application.

 

Folkestone Herald 31 March 1934.

Obituary.

We regret to announce the death recently of Mr. William Herbert Baldock, of 2, Sunnyside Villas, Tram Road, Folkestone, at the age of 59.

Mr. Baldock was very well known in Folkestone. He had lived in the town for 43 years and was formerly licensee of the Royal Oak in North Street. He was there for 17 years, retiring a few months ago. He was a member of the Folkestone Licensed Victuallers' Association.

Mr. Baldock leaves a widow and three children, a son and two daughters.

The funeral took place at Hawkinge Cemetery on Thursday last week.

 

Folkestone Express 25 November 1939.

Local News.

The Folkestone licensing transfer sessions were held at the Police Court on Wednesday. The Mayor (Alderman G.A. Gurr) was in the chair and also sitting were Councillor R.G. Wood, Dr. F. Wolverson and Alderman Mrs. E. Gore.

Harry Powell applied for the transfer of the licence in respect of the Royal Oak, North Street. The previous licence holder was Mr. Alfred Thomas Chick.

The application was granted.

 

Folkestone Herald 14 December 1940.

Lighting Order.

Harry Powell, of the Royal Oak Inn, North Street, summoned at Folkestone Police Court on Friday last week for a breach of the lighting restriction regulations, told the Magistrates that he had been bombed out of his house and had been given permission by the brewers to put some of his furniture in the Earl Grey Inn, High Street, to prevent it getting wet. He thought he switched all the lights off, but unless someone else had been in and left one on he could not have done so.

P.C. Harman said at 8.15 p.m. on November 30th he was in High Street when he saw a light shining from a first floor window at the Earl Grey, the window being about 2ft. 6ins. wide, and open 12 inches at the bottom.

Defendant was fined 1.

 

Folkestone Herald 16 July 1949.

Local News.

Orders for the special removal of full licences from derelict public houses in the Harbour district to hotels in the centre of the town were approved at the Folkestone Transfer Sessions on Wednesday. All the licences had been in suspense.

The licence of the South Foreland, Seagate Street, was removed to the Clifton Hotel, Clifton Gardens; the licence of the Alexandra Hotel, Harbour Street, to the Carlton Hotel; and the licence of the Royal Oak Inn, North Street, to the Central Hotel, Radnor Park Road.

Mr. W.J. Mason, applying for the removal of the full licence from the Royal Oak to the Central Hotel, said it had been in suspense. Application had been made to the Licensing Planning Committee and subsequently arrangements were made with Messrs. Fremlins for the purchase of the full licence, subject to it being transferred in accordance with the Order made by the Planning Minister under licensing planning removals. Plans for alterations to the Central Hotel had been approved.

The Clerk (Mr. C. Rootes) said the order for the removal had been approved by the Ministry.

Mr. Walter Bateman, manager of the Central Hotel, said it was hoped that the alterations to the building would be completed by the end of the month. It was intended to use the licence in the hotel until the building work had been completed.

 

 

LICENSEE LIST

WOOD Richard 1715-17+ More Tales from the Tap Room by Easdown and Rooney

WOOD William 1727+ More Tales from the Tap Room by Easdown and Rooney

GARDNER William 1741

WOOD James 1747+ More Tales from the Tap Room by Easdown and Rooney

STEVENSON William 1760s-70s

HUNT Jeffrey1782+ More Tales from the Tap Room by Easdown and Rooney

NEW William 1792

SEAL James 1792-99 More Tales from the Tap Room by Easdown and Rooney

HALL Thomas 1799-1802

TAYLOR William 1802-06

RICHARDSON Thomas 1806-10

POTTS John 1810-15

BATEMAN George 1815-22

STONEHAM George 1822-26 (Pigot's Directory 1823No address given)

FRANKS John 1826-37 Next pub licensee had Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34Pigot's Directory 1839

MARSH Henry 1837-49+ Pigot's Directory 1840Bagshaw's Directory 1847

SMITH John 1849-52

SAUNDERS Thomas 1852-55

HILLS Richard 1855

TOOKEY Alfred 1852-June/1856 Folkestone Chronicle

CHESTER Filmer Thomas June/1856-60 Folkestone Chronicle

SAUNDERS Thomas 1858? Melville's 1858

WILLIAMSON Alexander 1860+ Folkestone Chronicle

PREBBLE George 1860-68 (age 29 in 1861Census) Post Office Directory 1862

SINDEN Charles 1868-72 Next pub licensee had

DAVIS Thomas 1872-75 Post Office Directory 1874

HALKE John 1875-89

Last pub licensee had BOORN John 1881+ (age 44 in 1881Census) (Fishmonger in 1891Census)

MERCER Henry John 1889-90 Post Office Directory 1891

KIRBY George 1890-94

HUGHES Thomas 1894-96

SPICER Benjamin James 1896-99+ Kelly's 1899

HANSON Joseph James 1899-1901+

COLLAR William H 1901-17 Next pub licensee had Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903Post Office Directory 1913More Tales from the Tap Room by Easdown and Rooney

BALDOCK Herbert W 1917-33 Post Office Directory 1922Post Office Directory 1930More Tales from the Tap Room by Easdown and Rooney

WILSON Harold 1933-36 Kelly's 1934

CHICK Alfred T 1936-39 Post Office Directory 1938

POWELL Henry 1939-18/Feb/41 Next pub licensee had More Tales from the Tap Room by Easdown and Rooney

Pub closed.

 

Pigot's Directory 1823From the Pigot's Directory 1823

Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-29

Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

Pigot's Directory 1839From the Pigot's Directory 1839

Pigot's Directory 1840From the Pigot's Directory 1840

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Kelly's 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

More Tales from the Tap Room by Easdown and RooneyMore Tales from the Tap Room by Easdown and Rooney

Folkestone ChronicleFrom the Folkestone Chronicle

 

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