bank. She asked my husband, would he allow me to go with her. You
see, I had a young baby at the time. She wanted to draw out this
money on account of the bank the Birkbeck Bank, I think. She was
paid in two bags containing 100 each, and 16 loose gold, and I think
some coppers. She emptied it all out on the counter, and the cashier
passed the remark that it was not necessary because it was just as it had
come from the bank. I never touched the money at all, and I have
never seen that money since. When she came in my husband said
something to her about putting it away, that he did not like to have it all
in gold, and she said she knew what to do with it. I do not think she
spoke to my husband for a week after that.
Up to the time of her illness Miss Barrow used to go out every day.
She used to take the little boy to school and stop out till perhaps 10 or
10.30. and then bring in her dinner with her, and sometimes she would
see the boy start to school, and come back and go out and get her dinner.
She used to say that she met a woman when she was out, but I could not
tell who it was. She told me that her relations were not kind to her.
With regard to her hearing, she could hear my baby crying, and she could
hear quite plainly Ernie's voice or my voice just by putting her hand
to her ear. I had no difficulty in making her hear, she got used to me.
As far as I know, she was out on the morning of 1st September, the
day when she was taken ill, but I cannot say positively, because I did not get
up till about 10.30. When I came down she was sitting in our kitchen.
She complained about being sick, bilious, and I advised her to go upstairs
and have a lie down. I helped her upstairs, and she lay down on the bed
without undressing. I gave her a cup of tea, but she was sick after it.
I had seen her like this before, off and on, with these sick bilious attacks
every month. The next day she had sickness and diarrhoea, and I thought
it better to send for a doctor. She asked me in the morning to tell my
husband that she could sign for her annuity, and he went up to her, and
she signed two receipts in my presence. After dinner she gradually seemed
to have the diarrhoea and sickness, and we thought it safer best to call
in a doctor, and I went for Dr. Paul, to whom I had previously taken her,
but he could not come. We sent for him a second tirr.e, and he said
finally he could not come, but to get the nearest doctor in the neighbour-
hood. My daughter telephoned for Dr. Sworn, who was our own family
doctor. I saw Dr. Sworn when he came, and he told me that Miss Barrow
was to have no solid food, that everything she ate was to be light. He
sent her some medicine, but she would not take it, because it was a
chalky, thick medicine. The doctor called again on Sunday, the 3rd, and
gave her a dose himself, and said that she would have to take it. There
was no mention made of her going to the hospital till Monday or Tuesday.
Evidence for Defence.
Margaret A. Seddon
She had been ill a few days then before the doctor suggested her going to
the hospital. I complained about her not taking the fizzy medicine, and
when the doctor said that she would have to go to the hospital, she said
she would not go. I asked her myself in the doctor's presence, would she
go to the hospital, and she said, " No," and she refused to have a nurse.
I remember Miss Barrow soon after the commencement of her illness
leaving her own room and going into the boy's bedroom. I remonstrated
with her for it, and told her that the doctor would blame me if anything
happened to her. She complained of the flies in her bedroom ; it was very
hot, and we had to have all the windows open, and we were fanning her
to keep the flies from coming on to her. The doctor said there were a
great many flies he had never seen so many. It was the smell that
caused that. Miss Barrow asked me if I would get her some fly-papers;
she said she did not want the sticky ones, she wanted those that you wet,
and I got her some. I think this was either on Monday, the 4th, or
Tuesday, the 5th, but I cannot swear to dates. I got these fly-papers at
Meacher's, the chemist, in Stroud Green Road, just round the corner from
our house. An old gentleman served me. I think I ordered at the same
time a 9s. 6d. bottle of the baby's food, Horlick's malted milk, but they
had not got it, and he said he would send it home when he had it in. I
also bought a pennyworth of white precipitate powder, with which Miss
Barrow used to wash her head. I have also seen her cleaning her teeth
with it. When I bought the fly-papers I did not sign any book or any-
thing. I never bought a packet; I have never seen packets. I asked first
for two fly-papers, and I put down twopence, and then Mr. Meacher, or
whatever his name is, said, "Why not have four? You can have four for
threepence." I said " Very well, then, I might as well have the four." They
were rolled up in a piece of white paper. When Miss Barrow saw the
papers she said they were the ones she wanted. I put them in a plate to
damp them, and wet them all over with water, and then I put them in four
saucers, two of which I put on the mantelpiece and two on the chest of
drawers in between her mirror.
By Mr. JUSTICE BUCKNILL When I put the damp papers in the
saucers I also put water in the saucers.
Examination continued Up to the time that Miss Barrow took ill
Maggie did her cooking ; but after that, when she was ill in bed, I did the
cooking down in my kitchen. There was really no cooking to do, unless
the Valentine's meat juice, which had to be prepared with cold water; the
other things, of course, wanted boiling, such as barley water. Before she
was taken ill the cooking was done in her own kitchen, except once or
twice, when she asked me to cook her a pudding or sometimes some fish.
She used to have a cup of tea in the morning; Mary always made that,
but I did not see it made, as I was in bed. Maggie, I think, used to take
it into the bedroom both before and after Miss Barrow was ill. At first
I used to get up at six o'clock when I heard the milkman and get her a glass
of cold milk. After that, when my boys were called up about seven o'clock,
she used to have this cup of tea that the servant made. She continued to
have the tea until four days before she died, when the doctor said she was
to have no more, because she never kept it in her stomach.
During her illness no one waited upon her besides myself, except, if
Trial of the Seddons.
Margaret A. Seddon
I happened to be out of the road, when perhaps Maggie would go up, or
any one who was knocking about. My husband gave Miss Barrow her
medicine only on one occasion that was when I complained to him that
she would not take her medicine while it was fizzing, and the doctor had
said that if she did not do so it would never do her any good.
On the Sunday or Monday Miss Barrow wanted to see my husband with
reference to the will, but he did not go up at once. I think he went up
on the Monday morning, or afternoon, but I could not say for certain. I
was present when lie went up, and I heard Miss Barrow say that she
wanted to make it out for the boy and girl, what furniture and jewellery
she had belonging to her for Hilda and Ernie. She did not want Mr.
Hook or any of the other relations to have what belonged to the boy's
mother and father; she only wanted the boy and girl to have it. My
husband suggested a solicitor to her, but she dicl not want a solicitor; she
did not want the expense, and she asked him if he could not do it himself.
Did she say anything else? I cannot remember. I think my husband
went down into the office after that. The next thing I remember with
regard to the will is going up to sign it. We had my sister-in-lavr with
us at the time, and between six and seven o'clock, after we had all had
dinner and everything, my husband called me and my father-in-law to come
up and witness this will of Miss Barrow's. We propped her up in bed
with pillows in a sitting position to get her to sign it, and then I signed it
on a little table, and my father-in-law signed it. My husband read the will
to Miss Barrow, and then she asked for her glasses to read it herself, which
she did, and then she signed it. This was the day on which my sister-
in-law came on a visit. I think her husband had written to Mr. Seddon
asking whether she could come for a few days, and he answered back that
she could take pot-luck. <- We had an old lady ill in the house, but if she
cared to come she could take pot-luck." The doctor came again on the
Tuesday, and I saw him. On that day, I think it was, I had an accident
with one of the saucers I knocked one off the mantelpiece. I then went
down and got a soup plate, and lifted the fly-paper up that had come out
from the saucer that was broken and put the others together the whole
four into the one soup plate, and put it on the little table between the
two windows. I had to put fresh water into the soup plate. It remained
there until the morning Miss Barrow died.
Eighth Day Tuesday, I2th March, 1912.
The Court met at 10.15 a.m.
MARGARET ANN SEDDON (prisoner), recalled, examination continued by
Mr. RENTOUL During Miss Barrow's illness she used to get out of bed.
Dr. Sworn saw her on the morning of Wednesday, 13th September. My
husband went to the theatre that evening. About twelve o'clock, while
standing at the gate waiting for my husband with my sister-in-law I
Evidence for Defence.
Margaret A. Seddon
think it was my sister-in-law or my daughter I heard Miss Barrow calling
out, " I'm dying." I said to my sister-in-law, Mrs. Longley, " Did you
hear what Miss Barrow says?" So with that I rushed upstairs. I also
asked my sister-in-law to come up with me. She did not like at first,
but then she followed up afterwards. I asked Miss Barrow what was the
matter with her, and she said she had violent pains in her stomach, and
that her feet felt cold. I asked my sister-in-law what should I do, as I had
no hot water bottles in the house. She replied, " Wrap a flannel petticoat
round her feet," which I did. Then I done the same what I generally done
with her stomach put the hot flannels on and tried to make her as com-
fortable as I possibly could. I turned the gas down and went downstairs.
My husband came in about 12.30, and I told him what had happened.
He did not go up immediately; he was talking to my sister-in-law about
a man doing him out of sixpence or something at the theatre. I think in
the meantime the boy came down, but I am not certain. My husband, my
sister-in-law, and I went up I think it was after the boy had been down,
but I will not say for certain. My husband introduced Mrs. Longley to
Miss Barrow, but Miss Barrow just looked at her, and I think my sister-
in-law went downstairs I am not quite sure. She said the boy had no
right to be in bed with Miss Barrow ; it was unhealthy, and then she went
half-way down the stairs. I remained and attended to what Miss Barrow
wanted. I do not know whether my husband gave Miss Barrow a drop of
brandy at that time or not, but he told her that she must go to sleep and
rest, that I would be knocked up, and she said she could not help it. We
then went downstairs to bed my husband leaving the room first, you must
remember and I attended to Miss Barrow while they went downstairs.
I then went down and got into bed. We were not in bed long before the
boy came downstairs again and said that "Chickie" wanted me. I went
up and put hot flannels on her and attended to her properly she was
suffering from diarrhoea then.
Did you think she was dying"? No, I have never seen anybody
dying. I went downstairs, and I had just got the baby on my arm when I
was called upstairs again by the boy saying, " Chickie wants you." He
knocked at our door and called from the bottom of the stairs. I went up
again and attended to her just the same as I had done before. She did
not seem sick she was only once or twice sick during that night; she
seemed to be retching, not proper vomiting, but a nasty froth came up.
She had the diarrhoea bad. My husband did not go up with me on that
occasion, but he did the next time when the boy called out that Miss Barrow
was out of bed. My husband told me to stop in bed and he would go up
and attend to her. I said, " It is no good of you going up," because I
thought she wanted me the same as before, but my husband would go up,
and so I followed after him.
By Mr. JUSTICE BTJCKNILL How long after? Just at the same time.
We were both on the staircase at the same time.
Examination continued When we got up Miss Barrow was in a sitting
position on the floor and the boy was holding her up; we lifted her into
bed again. This must have been between three and four in the morning
I could not tell the time. I made her the same as I had done before, hot
flannels, and made her comfortable.
Trial of the Seddons.
Margaret A. Seddon
By Mr. JUSTICE BUCKNILL Where did the hot water come from that
you put on the flannels? From her kitchen.
Was there plenty of hot water there? No, there was not. I had
to put a pan on the gas stove, put the flannel between two plates, and
wait till they got hot, and then put it on.
Examination continued Miss Barrow was not complaining then of
anything to my knowledge, but generally she was always complaining.
She asked me to stay with her, and my husband said to her, " If Mrs.
Seddon sits up with you all night she will be knocked up. You must
remember Mrs. Seddon has got a young baby, and she wants a rest."
The little boy was in and out of her bed all this time. My husband told
him to go to his bed every time that we went up and down stairs. The
fourth time was the last time that I went up, and I stayed with her after
that ; I sat in a basket chair near the end of the bed. I put on more hot
flannels. She seemed to go to sleep, and my husband, who was standing
at the bedroom door smoking his pipe and reading, said to me, " Why
don't you go down and go to bed? " I said, " What's the good of going
to bed? She will only call me up again." So I made up my mind to
sit in the chair. Then Miss Barrow seemed to be sleeping, and I was
dozing in the chair. I was sleeping tired.
Was Miss Barrow snoring? Yes.
By Mr. JUSTICE BUCKNILL She seemed to be sleeping peacefully for
some time, then after a while she seemed to be snoring. It was getting
on towards daylight then, and my husband drew attention that the snoring
had stopped and her breathing had stopped. Then he lifted up her
eyelid, and said I can't say it I don't like to say it.
Never mind, say it low? He said, "Good God, she's dead!" So
with that he hurried out and went for Dr. Sworn. This would be between
6 and 6.30, as far as I can reckon the time.
Examination continued While your husband was gone for Dr. Sworn
what did you do? I came down with my husband the same time, locked
the door so that the boy should not go in, and came downstairs into the
kitchen. Mary was in the kitchen, and I told her Miss Barrow, I thought,
had passed away. Then I had a cup of tea, I think. Then I went up
and woke my daughter, and also the boys, and told them. I do not know
whether my daughter or one of the boys went for Mrs. Rutt, the char-
woman I can't just remember. My husband came in from the doctor's
about the same time, and then we all three went up to the bedroom.
Perhaps Mrs. Rutt and I went up first. We attended to the body. I
asked my husband to help us with the feather bed from under her so that
she could lie flat. After that my husband asked me if I knew where
Miss Barrow kept her keys, and I said I didn't know, and I started looking
for them. I felt in Miss Barrow's bag that hung on the bed, but there
was only the street door key in that. Then it was suggested, " Look in
the chest of drawers," and I lifted out what was in one of the drawers,
and in the first little drawer that I opened I found them hidden under
the paper. I gave them to my husband Mrs. Rutt was there and he
tried two or three keys before the trunk would unlock, and then he opened
it. There were two or three articles of clothing on the top. I think
Evidence for Defence.
Margaret A. Seddon
there was a tray which he lifted out, and the cash box was underneath
this tray. He tried two or three keys before the little box would open,
and then he found 4 10s.
By Mr. JUSTICE BUCKNILL That was in gold in a little brown paper
bag. My husband still went on searching the trunk. I don't know what
he did with the cash box ; I don't know whether he locked it up and put
it back again, as Mrs. Rutt and I were washing Miss Barrow at the time.
My husband continued searching the trunk and found a silver watch and
chain, and another silver watch and chain, and some brooches, and I think
there was a bracelet, and then some articles of clothing.
Examination continued We didn't find any more money then in the
trunk, but later on in the afternoon we found some more.
By Mr. JUSTICE BUCKNILL I was emptying the clothes out of Miss
Barrow's drawers every drawer and in the little drawer where I found
the keys I found three sovereigns wrapped up in tissue paper. They were
in the folds of the paper which lay in the drawer, so that if the drawer
paper was bent like that (indicating) to make it fit they were in the folds.
Examination continued The inside of the handbag that I previously
looked at in the morning was quite empty, but in the side pocket I found
'2 10s. in gold wrapped up in white tissue paper. Between 9 and 10
o'clock on the morning Miss Barrow died the children went off to Southend.
We did not tell the little boy Ernie anything about the death. I remember
Mr. Nodes, the undertaker, coming to the house on the morning of this
same day. My husband and he went upstairs first, and, of course, I
naturally wanted to listen to what they were saying, and I followed up
after them. I don't know whether I noticed Mr. Nodes taking the
measurement of the body or not. He advised the body to be removed out
of the house, and I said, " What a shame, when she died in the house."
He said, " Remember, Mrs. Seddon, you have a young baby, and yotir
health is not very good," and, with the bad smell that was coming from
Miss Barrow, it was better for the body to go to his shop or mortuary. I
don't know what he said exactly. The body was removed that evening,
but I was not in the house then.
On the Friday morning I went out with my sister-in-law to do some
shopping. We went to a florist and I ordered a wreath of my own
design, and then asked them to send it to my address, 63 Tollington Park,
and it was there when I got home. After dinner, about a quarter to two
or two o'clock, my father-in-law, my sister-in-law, and I took the wreath
to Mr. Nodes. As the door was locked I rang the bell. The servant who
came said that Mrs. Nodes was resting, and that she would go and tell
her, and then Mr. Nodes came down, and I said, " I have brought this
wreath to put on Miss Barrow's coffin." My father-in-law asked for the
lid to be opened, so I put the cross (it was a cross wreath) on her body,
and I kissed Miss Barrow. Next day my husband, my father-in-law, and
I went to the funeral. Our blinds were drawn from the moment Miss
Barrow died. My sister-in-law interfered with them first, and pulled
them up. I said, " What a shame. Let us show her a little respect "
you see her body had already gone out of the house then " by keeping
the blinds down until after she is buried," and then I pulled them down
Trial of the Seddons.
Margaret A. Seddon
myself. The windows remained open until we came back from the
funeral. My husband spoke to me about the letter that he sent to the
By Mr. JUSTICE BUCKNILL On the day of Miss Barrow's death I was
tired and went to bed. I knew my husband was in the office with the
office men. He came upstairs to me and said he was tired, and I asked
him, " Why don't you go to bed and have a rest ? " He said he had one
particular thing to do, and that was to write a letter to the relatives.
So he left me at that; I don't know what happened after that.
Examination continued I remember the two Mrs. Vonderahes calling
on 21st September. I was present at the interview, but I cannot tell
word for word what passed. I remember my husband asked them if they
had not received the letter, and Mrs. Vonderahe seemed to be a little
excited, and she said, " No, what letter do you mean? " So my husband
brought out of his pocket a copy that he kept and gave it to her to read, as
far as I can remember. Then I think they went on talking about Miss
Barrow and about her being buried in a public grave, and she said she
had a family vault. My husband then told them that if they liked they
could take the body out and have it buried in her own grave. Then
Mrs. Vonderahe turned round and said it was quite good enough the
public grave, I mean for Miss Barrow, as she had been a bad, wicked
woman all her life. Then she went on to describe how they fell out, and
that she had spat at them through the window also about the boy's
mother and father throwing bottles and fire-irons at one another. Then
my husband said that she was a woman that only required a little humouring,
and that we had got on all right with her. Then I think they spoke about
the boy ; they wanted to know what was going to happen to him. My
husband said he had quite a good home with us unless any of his relatives
could give him a better one, and he said, " We have no claim upon
him." Then they wanted to know about her public-house and the stock.
I think my husband said she had bought an annuity with it, but I am not
quite certain. One of the Mrs. Vonderahes said something about
" It would have to be a clever person to get over her with her business
transactions." They asked my husband if he could see the two Mr.
Vonderahes that evening or the next evening, but as we were going on our
holidays he said that he would see them when he came home.
We went away to Southend and stayed there nearly a fortnight.
When we got back the little boy was sent round to the Vonderahes to let
them know that my husband was at home. On 9th October Mr. Von-
derahe called with a friend. I was present on that occasion. I think
my husband asked Mr. Vonderahe if this was his brother, and he said,
" No, it is a friend." So I think my husband said he did not like
to go into details, or he would not go into details (I don't remember
which), unless he could prove that he was the legal next-of-kin, or some-
thing of that sort. I think Mr. Vonderahe replied, " How about if he is
dead? " I do not remember what my husband replied. I wasn't suffi-
ciently interested to pay close attention to the conversation.
Have you ever administered or caused to be administered arsenic to Miss
Barrow in any shape or form? None whatever, none whatever.
Cross-examined by the ATTORNEY-GENERAL Did you look after the
Evidence for Defence.
Margaret A. Seddon
house housekeeping of the house? You see I cannot go into all details,
because it brings family matters into it.
I don't want all the details ; I want to know who did the house-
keeping of your part of the house? My husband allowed me he paid the
bills at the end of the week, you see.
Who ordered the things? I did.
They were sent in, and then were there the weekly bills from various
tradespeople, which he paid? Yes.
Did your daughter Maggie help in the house ? She looked after Miss
Did she also at times do errands for you? Yes.
Did she take the baby out in the perambulator? Yes.
Used she to do that when Miss Barrow was ill? I cannot just
remember. I don't think Margaret went out much with the baby when
Miss Barrow was ailing.
How old was the baby at the time Miss Barrow came to you ? I hadn't
a baby when Miss Barrow came to me. It was born on 3rd January,
Were you on friendly terms with Miss Barrow? Yes, very friendly
And did you and your husband get on well with her? I always got
on well with her.
From the time that she came to you until 1st September she waa
never laid up, was she? Not in bed.
She had small ailments, but nothing of any importance? I used to
take her to Dr. Paul.
You took her to Dr. Paul in August. You may have taken her
before? Well, I think, if Dr. Paul will remember, I took Miss Barrow
to him before that date.
But Dr. Paul has told us ? Well, I would like Dr. Paul to look
at his books and see. I took Miss Barrow to Dr. Paul before my baby
Now, about Miss Barrow's cash box ; how often do you say you saw