Frederick Henry Seddon.

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" all my personal belongings, furniture, clothing, and jewellery," " all
my personal belongings comprising jewellery and furniture and cloth-
ing," " and articles of furniture and clothing," " any article of jewellery,"
and so forth. There is no reference to anything else but that. In your
letter of 14th September, 1911 (the copy letter which is in question),
you write to Mr. Vonderahe this " I must also inform you that she
made a will on the llth instant leaving all she died possessed of to Hilda
and Ernest Grant"? At that time I knew what she had died possessed
of. That is a later date after I had gone through her trunk and cash-
box, and knew what she was possessed of.

This is written three days after the will on 14th September?
Yes. Well, I was in the same position at this date. I had gone through
the trunk then; that is what I say.

In the letter of 21st September you said " As executor to the will
of Miss Barrow, dated llth September, 1911, I hereby certify that Miss
Barrow has left all she died possessed of to Hilda and Ernest Grant"?

That is the same expression which is used in the copy letter on the
mourning paper on 14th September? Yes.

Did you mean Mr. Vonderahe to understand by that expression that
she died possessed of ? All that I knew she was possessed of.

Including cash? Anything, yes.

When you made that will on llth September, did you think she had
any cash at all? I never gave it any thought. If I had known that
will would be required shortly, perhaps I would have exercised more
care in the drafting up of it, or if I had thought that she was going to
die shortly I should have absolutely insisted upon a solicitor being
called in. I never anticipated this.

Let me read the whole of the language of the will to you " This is
the last will and testament of me, Eliza Mary Barrow, of 63 Tollington
Park, Finsbury Park, London North. I hereby revoke all former wills
and codicils, and in the event of my decease I give and bequeath all my
household furniture, jewellery, and other personal effects to Hilda Grant
and Ernest Grant, and appoint Frederick Henry Seddon, of 63 Tolling-
ton Park, London North, my sole executor of this my will " " sole
executor of this my will ' ' ? That is no benefit to me ; the will is not in
my favour. The will is for the boy and girl.

" To hold all my personal belongings, furniture, clothing, and
jewellery, in trust until the aforesaid Hilda Grant and Ernest Grant
become of age, as they are at this date minors. Then for him to dispose
as equally as possible all my personal belongings, comprising jewellery,
furniture, and clothing to them, or to sell for cash any article of furni-


Trial of the Seddons.

Frederick H. Seddon

ture or clothing either of them do not desire, and equally distribute the
cash so realised, and no article of jewellery must be sold. Signed this
llth day of September, 1911." That is -witnessed by your wife and
signed by Miss Barrow, and witnessed by your father. That is the docu-
ment? Yes.

How long did it take you to write out that document? A very few

Do you mean you wrote it off just as it is here, out of your head?

Without looking into any book? Yes.

Without looking at any form? Otherwise I should have had the
attestation clause in.

Using the language that is there merely from memory? Yes.

Memory of what you have read in other forms? Yes.

Had you studied them at all? No; but I had often seen them. You
read them in the Encyclopaedia and Post Office books.

What? I have seen them in a book.

What book? I could not say what kind of book.

I heard you say something about an Encyclopaedia? Something like
that some kind of a book like that.

Like the Encyclopaedia ? Yes how to draw up a will.

Have you looked into the Encyclopaedia at all? I think I have in
days gone by.

Do you possess one? I do not know whether I did or not. I forget.
I think I have got something like that in the office.

Let me come back to the letter which I am putting to you, dated
14th September, 1911. "I must inform you that she made a will on
the llth instant leaving what she died posesssed of to Hilda and Ernest
Grant." As I understand from the answer you have given, what you meant
was that you knew then what money there was, and when you said, " What
she died possessed of," you meant to include everything? I used terms
that I had not given sufficient thought to.

You see, you are writing to her relatives. It is rather important,
is it not, to tell the relatives how she left her property? Yes, but I
gave them an exact copy.

That is not an answer? I am not perfect; I could not make a perfect
will; I could not make a perfect document.

I am not criticising the language of the document? If we could
then we would not want solicitors to draw up a will. It is a home-made
will. It was never intended to have been acted upon, not that one.

What do you mean by repeating that? It was my intention to have
taken it down to Mr. Keeble and to have a proper will drafted up.

This was on the llth? Yes ; I did not know she was going to die
in a day or two after.

And you did not think she was in danger? I did not. There is
always danger where there is illness, certainly.

Was that present to your mind?^ It was not present at the time;
no, I did not give sufficient consideration to it.

Evidence for Defence.

Frederick H. Seddon

Did you think that this patient was in danger at all during any time
of her illness? The doctor never gave me any idea.

That is not an answer to the question? Well, I had no idea she was
likely to die.

That is not an answer to the question I am putting to you. Any
time during that illness did you think she was in any danger? I
did not think she would die ; I thought she had exaggerated her ailment.

Then do you mean that you never thought there was any danger in her
illness? I have said there is always a danger in illness.

Any danger of that illness terminating fatally? I did not consider
it would.

You never gave a thought to it ; is that what you mean ? No, I am
a busy man when I am out; I had other things to occupy my attention.

You told us what went on during the time from 2nd September to
the night of the 13th, which I will come to directly. During all that
time this patient had been rather trying, as I understood you? To the
wife. She always preferred the wife to attend to her instead of Maggie.

Except for one day during this period the doctor had been coming
every day? Yes.

You were finding her so troublesome that you were talking of having
her sent to a hospital? I wanted her to go to the hospital, or I wanted
her to have a nurse. I suggested calling a relative in, Mrs. Cognoni, who
had written to her.

At the time you saw Mrs. Vonderahe, on 21st September, when you
gave her the letter, exhibit 3, in which you said, " She has simply left
furniture, jewellery, and clothing," you knew she had drawn out 216 on
19th June, 1911? Yes.

That is not three months before her death? No.

What has become of that? I do not know.

Your wife was with her when it was drawn out? Yes.

It was drawn out in gold? My wife said so.

It wits 'Brought " to" your nouseT^Yes'," and she said she knew what
to do with it. She never spoke to me for nearly a week after, because
I said she had no right to bring so much gold to put into her trunk.

So did you offer to take care of it for her and lock it into your safe ?
No, I said there were plenty of good banks if she was not satisfied with
that small one up in Upper Street.

Why should you not offer to lock it up in your safe for her ? Because
I did not want to have anything at all to do with it.

Why not? There was no necessity.

Why should you not take charge of her money, and lock it up in
your safe for her? I did not want the responsibility, I did not want
such a responsibility.

You had offered to do that long before? Only temporarily, while
Hook was in the house. I said if she would count it out in my presence
she could hold the key, and I would give her a receipt for the amount in
the box.

Mr. JUSTICE BUCKNILL In that connection would you ask him whether
he expected on 14th September to find the money?



Trial of the Seddons.

Frederick H. Seddon

By the ATTORNEY-GENERAL When you went to look on 14th Septem-
ber, after her death, did you expect to find that 200 odd? I did not

Did you expect, was the question I put to you? Well, I thought it
might be there, but I had no idea as to what she had done with it.
She said she knew what to do with it. I did not mention the money
to her again, because she did not speak to me for over a week because
I spoke to her about bringing it into the house, because it was only a
frail trunk, and she had workmen there doing repairs, and the window
cleaners, and it was not safe with people going in and out of her rooms
like that.

Did you ever say one word to either Mrs. Vonderahe or Mr. Von-
derahe, when you saw him, about this 216 having been withdrawn?
No, I did not.

So far as they were concerned, until it was given in evidence that
this had been drawn out from the bank after it was traced by the police,
they knew nothing whatever of it? Not from me. I knew nothing of
it myself.

Had not your wife told you on the very day it was drawn out? Yes,
I am referring to what had become of it.

During the whole time of that illness did you think that money was
in existence? I did not give it any consideration; my mind was occupied
with other things.

Just think? My business

Just think what you say. Your mind, according to what you have
told us, was much agitated by her putting this money into the trunk in
her room? That was months before.

That was on 19th June, 1911? Yes.

And you have told us that it disturbed you? At the time, yes, but
then she told me she knew what to do with it.

Did you make any further inquiry from her about it? No, she said
she knew what to do with it, and she walked out of the room, and she
treated me with indifference for about a week after.

But so far as you were concerned? I treated it like that. (The
witness snapped his fingers.) I did not bother anything further about it.

You treated the 200 like that. (Snapping his fingers.) Is that
your explanation? Yes.

So far as you were concerned, then, you had no reason to doubt that
she had taken the money up and done what she said she was going to do
with it? I did not know what she was going to do with it.

Do you mean that you did not know whether she had put the money
into the box or not? Yes, I believe she did that day.

And with this anxiety of yours as to what was to happen to the
money in her trunk did you never inquire from her as to whether it was
still there? She did not give me any satisfaction on the occasion when
I put it to her, and when she said she would know what to do with it.
well, then I left it to her. You must remember she was a peculiar person
to deal with.

As far as you were concerned, when you made this will this 200
odd might have been in her trunk? I did not know; I never considered
1 86

Evidence for Defence.

Frederick H. Seddon

it ; it never entered into my mind. I told you I did the thing hurriedly.
I did not give sufficient consideration to it.

When you were making her will, and taking her instructions, as I
understand you, it never occurred to you what had happened to that
money that she had drawn from the bank ? Her instructions only amounted
to that she wanted the boy and girl to have the things belonging to their
parents ; that was all ; that was the whole sum and substance of the
instructions. That was drafted up, and she read it for herself.

Did you not give some sort of thought of what was to happen in
case she died and this will had to take effect? I did not take that into

Did you hear the evidence of the boy Ernie Grant? Yes.

Did you hear what he said about her counting out the money from
the cash box? About Miss Barrow?

On the bed? Yes, I heard it. She would count out the 10 I gave
her, you know, would she not? Whenever I paid her 10 she would
count that.

By Mr. JUSTICE BUCKNILL If you thought that what she intended to
do with the will was only that she wanted the children, and not the Hooks,
to have the things she was possessed of the jewellery, furniture, and so
forth and if you had thought about the money which had been taken
out of the savings bank, you must have known, must you not, that that
would go to her nearest relations? Yes, if I had given that amount of
consideration I should certainly.

And so you might have said to the Vonderahes, " Look here, she has
only left the children these particular things, but there was a time in
June when she had over 200 in a box, and it is not there now. That
would have come to you"? Yes.

So you were not surprised perhaps at not finding it there? I did not
mention that sum of money, because I had no way of accounting for that
sum of money ; I did not know what had become of it, you see.

Have I got this down right, and is this a fair way of putting it,
" I did not mention the savings bank money to the Vonderahes after her
death because I did not know what had become of it " ? That is not
exactly the reason why I did not mention it; it never came to my mind
at that time.

Would it be fair, then, to add, " And it did not enter my mind "?
That is an honest statement; it never entered my mind during the inter-
view with the Vonderahes.

By the ATTORNEY-GENERAL You had had a good deal of time to think
about what had happened before you saw Mr. Vonderahe? I had a lot of
things to think of. My mind is occupied at all times.

I want to give you this opportunity. Do you mean to tell my
lord and the jury that from the time you made that will until after the
death, on 9th October, when you saw Mr. Vonderahe, you never thought
about that savings bank money or what had become of it? It had puzzled
me as to what had become of it, certainly.

Why did you not tell the relatives? Because I was puzzled to know
what had become of it.


Trial of the Seddons.

Frederick H. Seddon

Was not that a very good reason why you should tell the relatives?
At the time 4 of the interview it never entered my head.

I do not think you are doing yourself justice by that answer. Just
let me recall to you what you have said. You make the will on llth
September; she dies on the morning of the 14th; you have inquiries made
by the Vonderahes on 20th September and 21st September. You have
an appointment with Mr. Vonderahe, the male relative, the husband, to
whom you are going to give an account, on 9th October. I have asked
you whether it had occurred to you during the whole of this time as to
what had become of this money which had been drawn on the 19th June?
It had certainly occurred to me as to what had become of it, but, as I
have already given in evidence, I did not consider that the Vonderahe*
were entitled to the full details without he showed that he was the legal
next-of-kin. Even now he proves he is not.

Let me point out the position to you. This woman dies in your
house very suddenly, according to your view, on the morning of 14th
September ? Yes .

You were very surprised at her death? Yes.

You were shocked? Yes.

You thought she was sleeping peacefully? Yes.

She had been snoring an hour and a half or two hours before, accord-
ing to you? Yes.

And with your experience as a life insurance superintendent, you
thought she was asleep? I have no experience of deathbeds.

You thought she was sleeping? Certainly, yes; she is only the second
person I have ever seen die.

You know, I suppose, that a patient may collapse, and it is not
always possible for a layman to tell whether a patient is dead or not? I
did not think so; she was snoring.

She was snoring according to you she was sleeping? Yes.

And you had no reason ? And my wife was asleep in the chair by

the bedstead.

And you were smoking your pipe? I was at the door.

You stood by the door for some time? I was standing at the door;
it is only a step to the door.

This was the only night you stood at the door? Certainly.

That night, from the 13th to the 14th, was the only night on which
you had stood at the door of Miss Barrow's room? That I had stood at
the door?

I mean watched at the door; it was the only night on which you
waited at the door smoking your pipe? I never smoked my pipe at her
door before.

That is what I am putting to you? Yes.

And suddenly, according to your view, instead of sleeping peacefully,
you think she is dead? I raised her eyelid.

You and your wife were the only persons in the room with her that
night? Yes, my wife was dozing at the bedside in a basket chair.

You knew you were her executor and trustee? I had not given that

Evidence for Defence.

Frederick H. Seddon

You had made the will only three days before? Yes, but these things
were not going through my mind all the time. I was not thinking of
all that kind of thing.

You knew she had relatives living close by? Yes, such as they were,
according to her statement.

You knew that in ordinary prudence you ought to take care to have
some relatives there before you got the keys and looked in her cash box?
I did not think so. She had already spoken about what she thought of
her relatives. I was sure she would not have it. I do not see why 1
should if she did not want her relatives. It was not my business to call

I will tell you why you do not think you should. You are an experi-
enced man of business? No, that is not the reason. They treated my
daughter with indifference and slammed the door in her face.

Listen to what I am going to put to you. I said you are an experi-
enced man of business? In one direction, yes.

If you had nothing to conceal, what I suggest to you is that the first
thing you would do would be to get some independent person into that
house before you proceeded either to open her cash-box and before you
had carried her out of the house to be buried? There was an independent
person in the room.

Who was that? Mrs. Rutt, the charwoman, who laid the body out.

She dies on the morning of the 1 4th, at a quarter past six in the
morning? Or twenty minutes past.

Now, I understand from what you have told us you had not sent for
any doctor during the whole of the night of the 13th? I did not see the
necessity of calling a doctor up.

During the whole of the night of the 13th? During the whole of
that night, because I understood it was only a repetition of what had been
going on.

By Mr. JUSTICE BUCKNILL Forgive me for saying so, but when the
boy called out and you went upstairs, she was sitting on the floor and the
boy was supporting her body? Yes, but she got out of bed for something.

But it was not the same ; she had not done that before ? No, she
had never done that before.

I only want to remind you? I considered that was due to weakness.

" Getting out of bed I consider was due to weakness "1 Yes, natur-
ally a person who had suffered so long from diarrhoea would be weak.

By the ATTORNEY-GENERAL And when you had come home that night
your wife had told you that Miss Barrow said she was dying? Yes.

Had she said that before? She often had said she would not live
long, and she often said she wished she was dead.

Those are two very different things to the question I am putting to
you? Well, she never said "I am dying" before; no, not to my know-

Here was a woman who was very ill? Yes. I quite realised that,
but I did not realise that she was as bad as she proved to be.

The doctor had been on the morning of the 13th? Some time during
the day.


Trial of the Seddons.

Frederick H. Seddon

On the morning of the 13th? I was not sure of the time he had been.
I thought it was in the afternoon he had been.

I think you said he came in the morning, and your impression is
that you were in bed at that time? I thought that referred to when my
father and sister went to the White City. Anyway, I did not see the
doctor when he came on the 13th.

We know from the doctor that he did come on the morning of the
13th? I know he had been.

And am I not right in this, that from the time when he came
on the morning of the 13th, no doctor ever saw that woman again before
she was put in her coffin and buried? No, but I understood he was
coming again that morning; he had been coming every day.

According to the story you have told us, death occurred suddenly on
that morning. She stopped breathing suddenly; she died suddenly?
Yes, of course.

Do you wish my lord and the jury to understand that there was no
indication to you that that woman was in danger of dying until you found
she was dead? I do not think so; I do not know the signs of death.

All the more reason, I suggest to you, why you should call in a
doctor immediately you thought she was dead? I did. I went for the
doctor immediately. I was at his house before seven o'clock from
twenty minutes past six.

You went to the doctor and you came back with the certificate?
I did not know he was going to give me a certificate.

Never mind; you came back with a certificate? Yes, certainly.

But the doctor had never seen her? No; but I was not to know he
was not going to see her. I naturally expected he would come and see

Did you ask him to come and see her ? No ; it is not for me to teach
a doctor his duty.

Did you not want, for your own satisfaction, to make sure the woman
was dead? I had no desire. I had no idea at all in the matter.

Or were you not certain in your own mind, although you had no
experience of it, that the woman was dead? She was dead.

You had no reason to doubt it? No, because her mouth dropped.
My wife put a handkerchief round her head, and I lifted her eyelid up
and it did not go down.

How long after she had ceased snoring was that? I had been down
to see how the baby was, and I came up in the room, and she had stopped
breathing. I said to my wife, "Good God, she's dead! " and ! went
for the doctor immediately. The doctor knew when he was there last; he
knew what time she died. I told him what time she died.

Do you not realise the position. Let me put it to you once more in
fairness to yourself. The doctor had been on the morning of the 13th?

He did not consider she was then in a critical condition. That is
what he has told us? How was I to know?

She had been very ill during that night? Yes.

Evidence for Defence.

Frederick H. Seddon

And your wife had told you when you came home after twelve o'clock
that night that she said she was dying? Yes.

You do not send for a doctor during the whole night when, un-
doubtedly, on your story, she is worse than she has been before that is
right, is it not? I had never seen her on the other nights; I had only
heard her calling.

When she is sufficiently ill for you to think it right to remain up
all night? This night?

Yes? That is because my wife is remaining up. My opinion of Miss
Barrow was that she wanted Mrs. Seddon to sit with her, and I thought
these repeated calls were on that account.

You had never had such a night as this before with her? I had not.
My wife had been up two or three times on other nights.

You then remain outside the room smoking? I was not exactly out-
side the room; I was at the door.

The door was open? Yes.

So you could see into the room? I had the door open yes, the door
was open, and I could see into the room the door was wide open.

And you could see what was going on in the room? I am not quite
sure that the door does not open against the bed ; I think it does. I was
standing up against the wall by the side of the door.

Did you hear what was going on in the room ? I heard the snoring.

As I understand, you told us you heard the snoring for something like
one and a half hours before she died? Certainly.

During the whole of that time? I did not time it, you know.

No, but you have told us that she was snoring for something like
an hour and a half to two hours you said that? Yes.

During the whole of that time you were standing outside that door
smoking your pipe, and your wife was inside? During the whole of that
time I was not standing outside the door ; I went out occasionally.

To see the baby? Yes.

And you came back again? And went down for a drink, <fec. I did
not remain absolutely all the time; my wife was sitting beside the

As I understand from what you have said, there was no thought in
your mind of any danger of her dying during all this night? I did not
think she was dying.

Did you think &he was in danger? I did not think so, no ; I did not

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