Frederick Henry Seddon.

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could stop away.

And you never thought of sending round the next day, or even the
day of the funeral, to know whether they had the letter? I expect they
did not intend to come. I spoke to Smith the next morning about it,
and said the relations had never come.

If you had posted that letter, according to you, you expected them
round that night, and they did not come? They did not come all the
next day. I expected when I posted the letter that they would get the
letter, and they were treating the matter with the same indifference all
the time as they had treated things when Miss Barrow lived there.

You thought they were living at 200 yards distance away ? I thought
they were living at Evershot Road. I could not say the distance, as I
have never been there.


Trial of the Seddons.

Frederick H. Seddon

Do you not know how far it is? I think it is the next street to me.

So although you had expected them to come and they did not

come 1 I did not expect them to come ; I did not know whether they

would come or not.

I thought you said you expected them round that evening? Yes,
certainly, if they were coming if they intended to come to the funeral.
They did not come, and I thought they would come on the Friday, and
they did not come on the Friday.

You found on the Saturday they did not come? Then the arrange-
ment stood good that was made temporarily.

Did it occur to you to send Ernie round before she died to tell them?
Ernie was going to the same school as the two boys. I did not know
whether they were not in the same class. I do not know whether he
told the boys or not.

Ernie on the morning of the 14th, as we know, was sent to Southend
by you Before he knew anything about the death? Yes.

He was sent off there with your sons? Yes. I only sent the one
boy to look after them Freddie, he was fifteen.

Have you a son seventeen? Yes, but he is with the Daimler Motor

Does he not live in the house with you? Yes, but he is seldom in;
I see very little of him. There is one other point I would like to put
about the Vonderahes coming about it is only that they said in evidence
that they saw the windows wide open. That was only on the three days
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday that our windows were open. Every-
body in the neighbourhood knew about the death ; the shopkeepers all
knew about it ; the undertaker drove up to my home in his trap ; there
was no secret about it. They only lived a few yards away. The windows
were wide open, and the windows were not closed till we came back from
the funeral, and the Yonderahes have said that they have seen the windows
were open. That is why I think they got the letter.

Do you not think that is because they found out these facts and they
came to make inquiries? But they did not come till 23rd September.
The windows would be closed on the 17th.

On 23rd November there was an inquest, and I want to ask you
about this statement that you made on the 4th December to Inspector
Ward. You remember when he arrested you you asked him if he was
going to arrest your wife as well? I was crossing over the Tollington
Park towards my home when two gentlemen I saw talking together came
up behind me. One got hold of each wrist. They said, " We are police
officers; we arrest you." I said, "What for?" "Well," they said,
" Chief Inspector Ward of Scotland Yard will be here in a moment or
two; he will tell you. You know him, do you not?" I said "No."
Just then Dectective-Inspector Ward came up. He said, " Come round
the corner; I will let you know why you are arrested." I said, " I am
only three doors from home; can you not take me home and let my wife
and family know that I am arrested?" He said, "Oh, you need not
worry about that. You will see your wife down at the station." I
said, "Are you going to arrest her, too?" He said, "Yes." All
that time we were round in Fonthill Road, just past the letter box, and

Evidence for Defence,

Frederick H. Sedtion

Dectective-Inspector Ward said, " You are arrested for the murder
for the wilful murder of Eliza Mary Barrow by poison by arsenic," or
"by arsenic poisoning," or something like that. I said, "Wilful
murder 1 Absurd ! Why none of my family has ever been it is the
first of my family that has ever that such a charge has been made
against," or something to that effect, and we started to walk to the

Now, let me put to you what Chief Inspector Ward has said in the
witness-box here. " Absurd! What a terrible charge. Wilful murder?
It is the first of our family that has ever been accused of such a crime "1
That is right, those are the words.

That is what you did say? Yes.

And then it goes on, " Are you going to arrest my wife as well "?
No, not then. I said, " Can you not take me home and let my wife and
family know that I am arrested? " He said, "You need not worry about
that, you will see your wife at the station; I am coming back for her."
I said, "Are you going to arrest her as well?" That I swear before
God is the words that took place, and I have been waiting the oppor-
tunity to get into this box for to relate the true words that were spoken
on this occasion.

All the statements that you are making are statements before God?
Yes, sir, I recognise that. I want to emphasise that, because I do not
look upon it as material it does not make me innocent or guilty, but I
want the truth, and I was very much upset at the North London Police
Court when the evidence was given and the two detective-sergeants that
arrested me were allowed to be in Court to hear it. If they had not
been in Court they could have been cross-examined on this point.

I will read you the statement and you can tell me ? There is

nothing hurt me more than that since my arrest.*

Listen to the question? Do you think a man with five children would
want to see his wife arrested and a baby ill which had been to the doctor
that day?

It is not suggested that you wanted to see your wife arrested? Yes,
it is suggested, "Are you going to arrest my wife, too?" That was
my greatest concern. It has been the greatest trial of my life since she
has been arrested, and we have neglected the five children.

Why did you think that your wife was going to be arrested? Only
by what he said.

Who? Detective-Inspector Ward said he was going back for her. I
said, " Are you going for her now? " He said, " I am not going to
let you know what I am going to do." I said, " I am concerned to

He has been in the witness-box already? Yes, well, I am in the
witness-box, too. I sat up till 2 o'clock in the morning waiting for her
in the cell in the police cell.

Listen to what I am going to read to you, that no suggestion was
ever made to you that your wife was going to be arrested? What I have
just told you now is the exact words that took place ; and at the station,
when I sent for Mr. Saint, the solicitor, I said, " You had better wait,

* Seddon again exhibited strong indignation here. ED.


Trial of the Seddons.

Frederick H. Seddon

because he has gone to arrest my wife, too, and you had better wait to
see her."

Did you go on to say this, " If not, I would like to give her a
message from me"? That was at the station when I asked him, "Are
you going for her now? " He said, " I am not going to tell you what
I am going to do." I said, " I am concerned to know, because I want
a woman to look after my home/' and a sergeant took the name and
address of this woman it was Mrs. Brumswich, in Tavistock Place,
Holloway Road.

Did you say, " Have they found arsenic in her body "? Yes, he said
he had. I said, "Have you found arsenic in her body? " He said yes.

He had not said to you about arsenic in her body ; what he told you
was that you were arrested for arsenic poisoning? Arsenic poisoning, yes
that is where it would be, in the body, would it not?

Did you not put the question, " Have they found arsenic in her
body"? Yes.

And then he said " Yes "? Yes, I knew they had had a post-mortem
it had been taken.

"She has not done this herself?" That was put in the form of
a question? I do not know whether I said that or not.

" It was not carbolic acid, was it, as there was some in her room " ?

" And Sanitas is not poison "? Yes, I said that.

That is mentioning the two things that were in her room? Yes, I
told him that there was carbolic in her room.

Did you say this to Detective-Sergeant Hayman when you were taken
to Hornsey Road Police Station with Sergeant Cooper? Did you say,
"Poisoning by arsenic what a charge"? Yes.

Did you say, " Of course, I have had all her money affairs through
my hands, and this means Police Court proceedings and trial before a
jury, but I think I can prove my innocence "? I did not say it exactly
in those words, but still that is the substance of it.

" I know Miss Barrow had carbolic in her room "? Yes.

"But there is no arsenic in carbolic"? I do not know whether I
said, " But there is no arsenic in carbolic." I said, " I know she had
carbolic in her room." I do not remember saying that there is no
arsenic in carbolic.

You heard Detective-Sergeant Hayman say that at the Police Court,
did you not? Yes. What I considered the most unfair at the Police
Court was that the two detective-sergeants would have been there while
Chief Inspector Ward gave his evidence of arrest. That I consider was
most unfair to me as a prisoner on a grave charge.

Is exhibit 39, a document headed " 10 cash found at Miss Barrow's
death," in your handwriting? Yes.

It is signed by you? Yes.

Does it purport to account for what was done with the amount?

The first item is, " Board for Ernest Grant, two weeks at 10s., 1 "t
That was during her illness ; he boarded with us during the illness
principally that.

Evidence for Defence.

Frederick H. Seddon

" Fourteen days at Is. a day due to Maggie, 14s."? Yes.

" Seven shillings and sixpence, tips to bearers and gravediggers, and
1 funeral, 4 7s. 6d."? Yes.

" Doctor's bill, 1 5s." That, I suppose, is Dr. Sworn? Yes.

" Ernie's holiday, Southend-on-Sea, 1 2s. 6d. ; pocket money, 2s. ;
fare, Is. 9d. ; death probate certificate, 3s. 7d."? That was for the

What? I took that to Somerset House for the probate.

Did you get probate ? No ; this was the certificate for the applying
for probate.

That means a death certificate, I suppose? Well, it says, "Death
probate certificate " here.

" Inventory, 1 Is." that is the inventory for 16 14s. 6d. ? Yes.

" Woman for laying out and cleaning room, 5s."; is that Mrs. Rutt?

"Suit of clothes and pants extra for Ernie, 13s."? The total is
11 Is. 10d., and the amount found was 10.

That included, as I have just pointed out, Ernie's holiday at Southend
and a suit of clothes for him? Yes.

When did you make that up? I think it was about the time of the
inquest, for Mr. Saint.

Had you made up no account till then ? I had a note ; 1 had not
drafted it out in this form.

Now, I want to ask you about the statement you made as to the
cash you had. The whole of your statement accounting for the money
that you had paid out on 15th September depends upon your statement
that you had 220 in gold, does it not? Yes.

Have you any document of any kind to show that you had 220 in
gold? No, but I think there is ample evidence.

How long was the wardrobe business carried on? Just on twelve

Is it from February, 1909, until the beginning of 1910? Yes, I
suppose it would be.

When Mr. Naylor and Mr. Wilson were present did you ever make
any statement to them about how much gold there was in the bag? I do
not think I told them how much there was. I told him that if he came
across any wardrobe stocks for sale Mrs. Seddon was prepared to purchase
up to any amount.

From whom? From Mr. Naylor; he is an auctioneer and gets about
a bit. I said that if he knew of anybody that had any ladies' wardrobes
to dispose of she was prepared to buy for cash, and I showed him that we
kept plenty of ready cash on hand for the purpose. It was necessary,
because business people came into the shop to sell their wardrobes.

The amount you have told us was 100 or 130, or it might be
150? I could not say for certain at that date. I know what I came
out with, but I do not know exactly what there was at any particular
date ; it was accumulating.

It was not as much as Mr. Naylor said in the witness-box, about
200? There was not that much.

Then, according to you, he must have been mistaken when he said

Trial of the Seddons.

Frederick H. Seddon

you told him it was about 200? I may have done so, I could not say
for sure.

Your own statement about it on Saturday was that it might be 100
to 130, or perhaps 150, but not so much as they, that is Naylor and
Wilson, said. That is your own statement? It certainly was not 200.
Even if I told him it was 200, it would not be true. I would not have
so much as that; I may have said, in a jocular way, " There is a couple
of hundred here at any time to buy stock," or something like that.

You sold the whole of the stock at the beginning of 1910? Yes.

And gave up business? That is it.

And you got 30 for it? Yes.

Did you place that 30 in the Post Office Savings Bank on deposit?

To carry interest? Yes.

Why did you not put all the money you had into the Post Office
Savings Bank to carry interest? Because I wanted to keep it on hand
for the purpose of paying off the mortgage when desired. Also Mr.
Wainwright, the estate agent, who had acted in the sale of that property,
had suggested to me the possibility of some more bargains coming along,
as owing to the papers that Lloyd George had been sending out, I think,
or something like that something about land returns property was down ;
it was cheap at the time.

There was no difficulty in drawing money out of the bank if you
wanted it at any time, was there? But my wife could not have the
same facility if anything happened to me. She would have to wait to
take out letters of administration, or wait for probate.

Had you made a will at the time? No, it was not in existence then.
I had made a will a long time before that, but I tore it up when my
wife went away. You understand the business was one which a
gentleman could not very well manage, it being a wardrobe
business, but I used to keep the books for the wife at the week-end ;
on the Sunday I made them up for her. I also used to label the stock
for her in lot numbers, so I could at any time go through the stock and
see how the business stood. I had had differences with my wife regarding
the lot numbers getting off the stock, so I could not recognise what had
been paid for it. These differences in business caused a family quarrel
between us, and I was going to throw the books behind the fire. As
a matter of fact, I did mutilate them in consequence, and I never kept
the books after.

What has become of those books? Some of them are in existence.

Have you got them? I believe my solicitor has got them. I believe
Detective-Inspector Ward has seen them at home.

Will these books show in their present condition the amount of takings
in the business? Yes.

And the amounts spent in the stock ? Not all of it.

Will you produce the books, please?

Mr. MARSHALL HALL I produce them just as they came to us. (Four
books were handed to the witness.)

By the ATTORNEY-GENERAL Would those books say what amount
has been expended on the stock which was sold for the 30 at the beginning


Evidence for Defence.

Frederick H. Seddon

of 1910? I do not think there is a summary of the stock sold. There
is an account of the week's takings, week by week, from 6th March,
1909, to 20th November, 1909.

Would it also show the week's expenditure? No; it would have to
be taken on an average from the figures I have got here.

What average do you make the figures you have got there in expendi-
ture ; I do not want it accurately, but about? I have here stock purchased,
total 132 6s. Id.

For how long is that? This shows the date, 8th May, 1909.

Does that show what the sales were also? Yes.

What were the sales up to 8th May, 1909? From April, 1909, to
8th May, 1909, stock that had cost 43 15s. 4d. had sold for 85
18s. 7|d., yielding profit in eight weeks of no, yielding a profit in four
months, of 42 Is. 3Jd. no, not so long as that no, from 20th March.

Is there any account in the books which will show how much money
there was at the end of the business? I give you this here. I have got
it here now. Total, eight weeks, less forfeit, 43 15s. 3d. ; stock sold
yielded 85 18s. 7Jd., showing a profit of 42 Is. 3|d. for the eight

You have given an explanation about the purchase of 63 Tollington
Park and as to your payments. Summarising what you have said, you
paid 15 deposit by cheque to Mr. Wainwright, and you sold 100 Cardiff
stock, as you have said, for about 84f ? 85 odd, I think, according to
my bank book ; that made up the 100 margin.

And you got a mortgage of 220? Yes, and that paid for the

What rate of interest were you paying on the mortgage? 5 per cent.

What rate of interest were you getting on the money deposited in
the Post Office ? 2 per cent.

According to that view you were paying 5 per cent, on the 220
mortgage, whilst you had 220 gold in the house? Yes; I did the same
with the Temperance Permanent Building Society eight years ago.

That 220 was idle money? It was not bringing in any income?
It was very valuable to my wife if anything happened to me.

What was the difficulty about this mortgage? Supposing you had
got your mortgage for 220 on the property, there would be notice
before you had to pay off the mortgage? I don't think they would call
upon you to pay off the mortgage you have got over a term of years
fifteen years.

How many years had you it over? I forget whether it was fifteen
or twenty years.

The mortgage had been given at the beginning of 1910? Yes.

So that you could not be called upon by the society to pay off the
mortgage for some period of fifteen or twenty years ? I could manage to
pay off the mortgage and everything else while I was earning ; but in
the event of my decease my wife would not have the same income coming,
and it was a good big house, and she would let off that is what she
had done in Isledon Road to boarders, and she could make a living that


Trial of the Seddons.

Frederick H. Seddon

Do you not think that would be just as available to her if it had been
in your bank? No, I do not not to her; it would be to me.

What date was it that you and your wife separated? 3rd January,
1910; the time that the shop was disposed of.

How long were you separated? Four weeks ; it might have been five.

I must ask you, what was the cause of the separation? I did not
know it was necessary for to introduce domestic affairs into this charge.

The stock we know was sold for 30. Now, how much money was
there in the business. Is there any account which will show that?
Only up to that date; there is 132 6s. Id. at this date, 8th May, 1909.

1909? Yes.

I am asking when the business was sold? No, I have only got an
account of the takings up to 20th November, week by week.

You told us the books were mutilated? Yes.

Was that at the beginning of 1910? No, it was somewhere between
this date that I stopped keeping the books and the time my wife went

The time your wife went away was the beginning of 1910, you have
told us? Yes, January, but then we had a quarrel over the business for
two or three months.

Why did you mutilate the books? I did it in a fit of temper. I
have used the books since ; when I have wanted any spare paper I have
torn pages out. Another thing, it is over two years ago, and I did not
think they would ever be further required any more ; I had done with
the business entirely ; I had sold out, and it is over two years ago. I
half thought of putting them behind the fire.

Now, I want you to tell me never mind about the books for the

moment ? I have got over 300 takings here from 6th March to


Now, will you tell me about the 220 that you have spoken of? Did
you represent that it was a mere coincidence that on 15th September and
18th September you were dealing with 155 in gold on your own admission?
Because I was going away on my holidays ; it was not safe for me to go
away for fourteen days on my holiday^ and leave it on hand.

You realise that you dealt on 15th September and 18th September
with 155 in sovereigns? Yes, what I kept on hand for the purpose of
paying off the mortgage should occasion require; I took it down to the
very same building society, and put it there in shares for the very same

And so you could have done at any time during the whole of 1910
or 1911? Yes, I could have done.

But you only dealt with this gold in this way on 15th September and
18th September? Because I was going away. It was perfectly safe in
the house while I was about.

You had been away before? I had only been away for four days, and
there was somebody at home then ; my father was there.

You were away in August of that year? Only for the Bank Holiday,
but all the family were going away on this occasion.

The safest place for it would have been in the bank? I put it in the
bank ; I put some of it in the Post Office, some of it on current account,

Evidence for Defence.

Frederick H. Seddon

and the rest I invested in shares in the building society where I had the
mortgage. I could have paid the mortgage when I got 1600 in my
hands after selling the stock; I had 1519 in my hands after I had sold
the stock ; I could have paid the mortgage then.

Do you represent that this statement of yours about the 220 by a
mere coincidence is so close to the 216 which Miss Barrow had drawn
out? But there is not, there is only 170. I have not got 220 on
hand; I have only got 170.

You had had 220 on hand? Oh, yes, I know I had, for the mort-
gage when I first went into the house.

You had begun to draw on that money although you wanted to keep
it for the mortgage in case anything happened ? I had broken into it, but
still I had got 170 in hand.

Are those receipts torn from a book? Yes.

Have you got the counterfoils ? I believe they are in existence.

Did you fill up the counterfoils? I cannot remember.

Is there any reason why you should not? It is not necessary ; I
might have done ; I am not sure.

These are the only two counterfoil books that have been found
(handed)? These are not them.

Those are the two books of counterfoils that have been found. Do
you suggest there was another? Yes, certainly.

Two others, then, according to you? Yes. These are not the same
size ; these are not the same print.

Do you know what has become of them? Yes, they are in the house ;
they were when I was arrested.

I see there are a number of counterfoils here which are blank with
receipts torn out? Is that the rent book?

No, the cash receipt book. So far as I can see from the book there
are seven? Yes. I have no recollection of doing that.

Just look at the end of the book. Read it out aloud? " Life annuity,
January 2nd, 1911. Received from Frederick Henry Seddon the sum of
10, being 6 monthly allowance as arranged in consideration for the
transfer of 1600 India 3i per cent, stock, and 4 monthly allowance as
arranged in consideration for assignment of leases of properties situated
202 High Street, Camden Town, N., Buck's Head public-house and the
barber's shop adjoining known as No. 1 Buck Street."

Do you know anything about that receipt? I think that was kept
as a copy.

Does it appear to have had a stamp upon it? Yes, it looks as if it
had a stamp on it. I know why this was done.

Tell us? Because it required two separate receipts, and I was making
this all up in one 10. This was the first receipt drafted out, and you
will find for January on that date two separate ones 4 and 6.

That is in that book which contains several counterfoils blank? Yes,
but this is not the book which was continued to be used for it.

Do you know what has become of it? It is in the house. I had
four of these.

It has not been found? I had four of these. This was used for
another purpose.

p 225

Trial of the Seddons.

Frederick H. Seddon

I notice that on that counterfoil the receipt is not filled in? No.

But it appears to have been carried out and stamped? No, it was
not carried out.

It was stamped? I put the stamp on it. Well, then, I decided that
it required two separate receipts for 6 and .4.

When did you decide that? After I had written it out and put the
stamp on it when I was going to pay her the first 10. Very likely the

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