Frederick Henry Seddon.

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You mean, I suppose, being on a ring like that, you think they are
the keys, because your husband has not got a ring like that? He has
not got a ring like that.

Therefore, you mean they would not be his? Yes.

Did you hear your husband saying anything to Mr. Nodes as to it
being necessary for him to consult somebody before he fixed the funeral?


Trial of the Seddons.

Margaret A. Seddon

Now, tell me about the afternoon -when you had another search,
and when you told us that the three sovereigns were found wrapped in
tissue paper? Yes.

Each coin, as I understand, was separately wrapped in tissue paper 1
Yes, that is right.

Did they look as if they had been wrapped up any time? No, I
couldn't tell you.

And the 2 10s. in the bag; was that wrapped in tissue paper also!

Could you tell whether that had been wrapped up any time? No.

Did you ask any questions in the house on this day as to whether
anybody knew what had become of the money? There was nobody in
the house but the children and the servant.

That means you did not? No.

Are we to understand that until after you were arrested you never
spoke to your husband about having changed these notes? Certainly

What? I am positive I never did.

Didn't you talk together about the disappearance of this money?

What? We have said on several occasions it was funny where it
went to.

Where "it" went to what was the "it"? Where the money
this 216 that she drew out of the bank had gone to.

Didn't you say to your husband, " And besides that there was a
lot of money that I changed for her into gold"? No.

Not a word about it? Not a word.

We have heard from him that you spoke about it after you had both
been arrested? After I was arrested.

You heard what he said? Yes.

Was that right? In the Court? I don't remember what he did

I will tell you what he said ; that you said you had given the false
name and address because you didn't want everybody to know your busi-
ness? No, I do not think that is exactly what I said.

And that you didn't want everybody to know who you were? After
giving my wrong name and address.

Did you say this, that if you went into a shop where you were not known
to buy a small article you didn't want everybody to know who you were?
But, you see, I had already given my wrong name and address.

Did you say that to him? I don't remember: you see, I cannot
remember everything.

Can you give any reason why you should not have told him then?
No, no reason only the reason what I have given you before.

That is the reason you did not give to him ; the reason you give us
is that when you were asked to change a note you had never done it before,
and you gave the first name and address that came into your head? That
is quite right.

That is not the explanation that you gave to him ? No.

According to what he has said? Well, I do not remember.

Evidence for Defence.

Margaret A. Seddon

You cannot give any other explanation? No, no other explanation
than I have already given.

On the night of 14th September, that is, the day of the death,
you went to the music-hall or theatre, did you not? Yes, I did.

Which was it? The Grand, Islington.

What is that? A music-hall.

What time did you go about? About 8 o'clock.

What time did you come back? Midnight.

You were away when the body was removed? Yes.

Did you know the body was going to be removed that night? Yea,
I knew in the morning Mr. Nodes was going to take it away.

About what time was it when your husband came up to you on that
day, and you asked him to lie down to rest? It would be getting on for
3 or 4 o'clock.

Do you remember on loth September, that is, the day after, going
with your husband to the jewellers? Yes, that was the evening.

Did you know that he had gone earlier in the day? No.

Did he tell you he had gone to have the ring enlarged 1 I cannot tell
you that. I cannot remember ; it was a busy day for me that day.

Do you mean in the household? Yes.

Then you went about the watch? Yes, that was coming back after
seeing my sister-in-law off.

Was it your idea to have the name taken out of the back plate?
Yes ; I would never wear it.

You would never wear it? No, I would not wear it with the name in.

Does that mean you had never worn it? No, I had never worn it.
I have never worn it yet.

Nobody would see the name? Oh, well, I did not like Miss Barrow's
name being on it Miss Barrow's mother's name being on it.

What was your objection to wearing it with a name on the back
plate which no one could see? And then it had a cracked dial as well.

Yes, but I am asking you about the name. You said you would
not wear it because it had her mother's name engraved on it? I did not
like to wear it with a name on it.

I want you to explain what difference it made. Nobody could see
that on the back plate? They could have opened it, couldn't they?

People do not take your watch out and open it if you are wearing
it? There is a good many people you come into contact with that would
take it out and open it.

Why should that affect you? It did not belong to me ; it was Miss
Barrow's mother's ; it was not my mother's.

Given to you? Yes, by Miss Barrow.

According to you? Yes, that is quite right.

And, even after it was altered, you didn't wear it? No, I never
wore it.

This lady had not been buried then ; she was not buried until the next
day ? No.

You went to the jeweller's the day after her death and the day before
her funeral? Yes.

To have this name taken out? Yes.


Trial of the Seddons.

Margaret A. Seddon

You told us a little while ago, very definitely, that there had never
been any fly-papers of any kind in your house before you bought these
four? I made a mistake there; there has been sticky papers.

Oh, how did you know you had made a mistake? I called it to mind
after I went aw r ay.

I asked you a good many questions about it, and you were very
definite? Well, you see, I get mixed up between one thing and another.

Was your attention called to the fact that your husband had said you
had sticky ones in the house? I beg your pardon.

Was your attention called to your husband's statement that you had
used sticky ones in the house? No.

You know he had said so? When?

Here, in Court? That I do not remember.

Don't you? No, I don't remember what he said.

How long had you used the sticky ones? Oh, not very often.

Had you been using them during Miss Barrow's illness? I don't
think so.

Had you been using them during that hot summer? No; I don't
think we used them in that house.

By "that house" you mean 63 Tollington Park? Yes.

What papers did you ask for when you went to the chemist? I never
asked for any particular papers ; I just asked for fly-papers.

Is that all? I asked for two.

Tell us exactly what you said, as near as you can remember? Yea,
I asked for two fly-papers those that you put the water on those that
you wet.

Had you never seen them before? Never.

Had you never seen fly-papers that you wet before? No, no.

Never ? No.

Anywhere ? No.

Do you know whether or not your solicitor has been to this chemist,
Mr. Meacher? I could not tell you. I told Mr. Saint about it.

Would you know the man again, if you saw him, who served you?
Very likely.

Do you mean to say, Mrs. Seddon, that you do not know whether Mr.
Saint has ever been to this chemist or not? No.

That you do not know whether he had tried to get him to make any
statement about them? No, none whatever.

You do not know? No.

He had never reported to you? No.

He has been acting for you and your husband throughout these pro-
ceedings, has he not? Yes.

From the time of the inquest? Yes.

Did you tell your solicitor that you had bought some precipitate
there? Yes.

Did you tell him that very soon after your husband's arrest? Yes.

Was that about the time that your daughter went to Price's to
purchase Mather's fly-papers? Yes, I believe it would be. I will not
say for certain.

Evidence for Defence.

Margaret A. Seddon

That, we know, is 6th December, two days after your husband's
arrest? Yes.

You knew that? Yes.

You knew your daughter was going there for that purpose? Yes.

You know your solicitor's signature, I suppose? No, I do not.

Have you ever seen it? No; I see it, I think, on paper, but I could
not recognise it.

Just look at that. (Document handed.) Look at the fifth line,
and tell me whether you recognise that signature? No, I couldn't tell
you; you see, I have seen it in prison on the paper.

You cannot recognise whether that is his signature or not? Not
that, because it was a larger signature.

Is Mr. Meacher here? (Mr. Meacher stepped forward.) Is that
the gentleman who served you? Yes. (Mr. Meacher took a seat in the
well of the Court.)

Did you sign any book? No.

Were you asked to sign a book when you purchased the papers? No.

Has your daughter ever been to Meacher's? I could not tell you
Yes, I will tell you.

Yes? As regards the baby's food.

Did you change any notes after the 1st September for Miss Barrow ?
I don't think, so.

Is your memory clear about it? Well, if I did it was what I had on
hand ; I will not say for certain.

One you had on hand? Yes.

Do you mean one she had left with you? One I changed for her,
and it was my own money, but I don't think it waa after Miss Barrow's

I am asking you after the time she was ill, from 1st September?
No, I don't remember.

What do you mean by saying, " One you had on hand "? You see
I had some money of my own, and out of this I cashed Miss Barrow's note.

Sometimes you cashed notes for her which you did not take to shops?
No, only this one.

Which one? This last one I had.

When was it? I couldn't tell you the date.

Did you pay it into your bank? I didn't pay her 5 note into the

Just look at your book for a minute and tell me. (Poet Office
Savings Bank book handed.)? Yes, I know the book.

Do you see the entry? Yes.

That is 18th September, is it not? Yes.

" 5 "? Yes, I will account for that.

What was it ? I think Greigs cashed that 5 note ; that was the last
note that I cashed for Miss Barrow.

That was a note of Miss Barrow's? Yes.

Apparently, so far as we have got, you paid 5 in gold on 18th
September into your Post Office Savings Bank account? Yes, that is right.

That 5 in gold was money which you had got for a 5 note? Of
Miss Barrow's.


Trial of the Seddons.

Margaret A. Seddon

And which, if Miss Barrow had lived, would have been paid to her;
is that what you mean? No, that is not correct.

When did you get the 5 note from Miss Barrow? I could not tell
you the date, but I wanted to pay Greigs their grocery bill. Miss Barrow
had already had the note cashed.

When had she had the note cashed? You see this 5 was my own 5.

It is Miss Barrow's note that I want to know about? On this day
that I went to Greigs.

18th September is the day you paid it in? No, I had the money then.

How long had you the money before you paid it in? It was my own
money which I had saved.

How long had you it before you paid it in? Oh, I had this money
on and off money I had saved.

When had you got the 5 note from Miss Barrow? I couldn't tell you.

I must ask you to look at the book for a minute. I see the book
starts from 8th April, 1911, with an entry of " 1 10s.," and then the
total amount paid in previous to this entry is 14s. in three sums of 10s.
in August, 2s. in August, 2s. in August, and then comes this entry of 5
on 18th September? Yes, well, you see I had already paid Miss Barrow
her 5.

You see that is right? (Book handed.)? Yes, I cannot quite catch
what you mean.

By Mr. JUSTICE BUCKNILL Never mind what he means. Try and
answer the question. " I had already paid her her 5." Now, he aska
you to look at the book. Now, look at the book? Yes, that is the 5
I had put in.

Look at the book and wait for the question. You will see swme
entries there. Look at the entries before the 5? Yes, there is 2s., 2..
10s., and 1 10s.

By the ATTORNEY-GENERAL I am very anxious that you should under-
stand what I mean? I will try and understand as far as I can.

So that you may give your explanation of it. On this date, 18th
September, you were paying in 5? Yes.

You had never paid in any such sum before? No, that is quite right.

The book which is there before you shows entries of 2 4s. altogether?

During the whole time from April? Yes.

This appears to be another account, an earlier one. I thought it waa
the same carried on, but it appears to be another one; it appears to be
an account for 1910. (Post Office Savings Bank book handed)? Yes.

There is no such sum as 5 in any of those payments in? No.

There are some payments of a few shillings? Yes.

Ten shillings, I think, is the most I have seen? Yes.

I want you to explain to us how you came to pay that 5 in on 18th
September? You see, I was going away on my holiday for one week, and
when I came back I wanted to buy a fur and fur hat and muff to match,
and this was my money that I had already saved to do it with. I didn't
buy it before I went away; I put it in the bank.

Now, will you tell us what that had to do with that 5 note of Miss

Evidence for Defence.

Margaret A. Seddon

Barrow's this one that you know of? The last note I changed for Misa
Barrow was in October, as far as I remember.

You must be mistaken. She died in September? October. We have
got mixed up a bit now. I cannot follow you back to where I was before.

Just follow. Miss Barrow died on 14th September? Yea.

What I want to know is about this note that you had from Miss
Barrow before her death? Yes.

I want you to tell us what that was when did you get it? Well,
you see, if I have it, and I paid Miss Barrow with the money, that is still
my money that I had; I paid it out of my money, and I had still got my 5.

Then do you mean you did change a 5 note for Miss Barow during
the time that she was ill? Not while she was ill, no.

When had you got it from her? From Mae time previous.

Do you know how long previous? No, I don't know.

Did you ever hold the notes over that you got from Miss Barrow?
One this last one I kept it back and paid Miss Barrow the money.

Let me see if I understand what you mean. She wanted to change a
5 note? Yes.

And you had 5 of your own? That is right.

And you gave her that 5 for the 5 note? Yes.

And then it is your 5 note? Yes, that is right.

And then, when you were going to pay in, you changed the 5 note
into five sovereigns? Not at the Post Office.

Did you pay in the note or the gold? The gold.

Then you had changed the 5 note which you had got into gold before
you paid it in? I had been and paid Greigs their grocery bill, you see.

With that 5 note? Yes.

Then you made up the balance, I suppose, of what you had spent, and
paid in the five sovereigns? Yes, that is right.

Is that right? Yes, that is right.

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL There is an observation I want to make to
your lordship, and that is that that note is not one of the thirty-three.

Mr. JUSTICE BUCKNILL I assumed that all the way through, because
otherwise you would have told us so, I am sure.

Re-examined by Mr. MARSHALL HALL My learned friend has asked
you about changing some notes for Miss Barrow. Do you know in the
least what Miss Barrow did with the money you gave her in change for
those notes? No, I couldn't tell you.

Or did you ever see Miss Barrow take the note which you changed
for her from any particular place? No.

Then as regards this 216 which she brought back in gold from
the savings bank, you were with her? Yes, I was with her.

You went to the bank with her? Yes.

And came back with her? Yes.

And, as you have told us, your husband objected to her having so
much money in the house? Yes.

What did she say? My husband objected, and she was disagreeable
over it; she fell out with him over it; she did not talk to him for a week.
She said " She knew what to do with it " ; these were her words.

When you were asked about the fly-papers you said that you had


Trial of the Seddons.

Margaret A. Seddon

never bought any fly-papers until you bought them on 4th September.
How did you come to buy the fly-papers that had to be -wetted on 4th
September? Because Miss Barrow asked me; she said, "Don't get the
sticky ones; they are too dirty."

There are reels of sticky paper? Yes, the other ones.

With things that hang? Yes.

As a matter of fact, have you had any of these fly-papers that catch
them alive at Tollington Park? Not to my knowledge, I have not.

My learned friend asked you whether you had ever sent Maggie to buy
any fly-papers? Never.

You did know that Maggie went to a shop on 6th December to try
and buy some, and that she did not get some; that was through Mr.
Saint? That was Mr. Saint's instructions.

It is suggested that Maggie had bought fly-papers from Thorley on
26th August. When did you first know that? Not until I heard it in

You heard it in Court before the magistrate? Yes, before the

Has Maggie ever brought any fly-papers to the house? Never.

When I say " fly-papers " I mean Mather's fly-papers ? Never.

I just want to ask you one or two questions about this night that
Miss Barrow died. If I understood your answer to the learned Attorney-
General aright, you say that when you went upstairs and found her sitting
on the floor in great pain, and the little boy trying to hold her up, your
husband went out of the room for a few minutes ? I asked him to go outside
the room.

Was that because you found that Miss Barrow wanted to use the
c ommode ? Yes .

For decency's sake, he was outside the door while you helped her to
use the commode? Yes.

You sat down in the chair at the foot of the bed? Yes.

Have you any idea how long it was, when you sat down in the chair at
the foot of the bed, before the final end came? I never took notice.

I think you said you were " sleeping tired "? Yes.

That ia a north country expression, which means that you were dog-
tired? Yes.

You were "sleeping tired, and you dozed and woke up? Yes.

You cannot give us any idea of the exact time? No, I cannot.

Did you notice any difference between the ordinary snoring you hear
and any sound which took place immediately before your husband called
out to you? No, as I said before, it seemed a snoring that came from
her throat.

Did she complain of asthma? Before she took to bed?

Yes? Yes.

Did she ever have bronchitis while she was in your house? She wa*
troubled on and off.

The bronchial tubes gave her trouble there was trouble with her
chest? She couldn't get her breath.

Will you tell me if it was an ordinary habit of hers to snore? I do
not know.

Evidence for Defence.

Margaret A. Seddon

You would not be able to hear her from your room? No.

My learned friend suggests that there was no reason why your husband
should not have gone downstairs that last night? He did not like to leave
me alone.

You were up there all alone with Miss Barrow, and if you had gone
down, instead of staying in the room, what would you expect? I do not

Do you think you would have got a nice rest? No, I could not sleep
when I knew my husband was up.

Supposing both of you had gone away, would you have been left in
peace? No, Miss Barrow might have called out again.

You had been up several times before twelve? Yes.

And you went up four times after twelve o'clock? Yes.

In what sort of a glass was it that you gave her the Valentine's
beef juice? In a cup.

Do you remember how much beef juice you gave her? I gave her
two or three teaspoonfuls.

How much water did you put to it? Nearly full.

That would be a white cup, would it not, or what? Yes, an ordinary
china cup.

What colour would two or three teaspoonfuls added to a cup of water
be; would it be pale or dark when it was mixed up? It was a browny

Who ordered the Valentine's beef juice for her? Dr. Sworn.

Do you remember how many bottles you bought of it? Two.

At about 2s. 10d., or something like that? 2s. lOd. a bottle.

Now, I will go to another point. Whereabouts in the room did this
big trunk stand? Under the window.

The jury have seen that. It is right under the window. You do not
know which is the key of the trunk? No, I could not tell you.

There are two here which, to my unobservant eye, are like duplicates.
Anyhow, I should like the jury to see these keys. I will tie this piece of
red ribbon on to the key which I am told is the trunk key. (Bunch of
keys handed to the jury.) This trunk was underneath the window in the
bedroom ? Yes .

Have you any knowledge whatever as to what Miss Barrow used to do
when she went out? No, I could not tell you.

Now, about this music hall. How came you to go to the music hall
on the Thursday night? Well, when my eldest son came home from work
he said he had booked four seats at the Empire. I said I felt too tired,
and I would rather stay at home, but, anyway, my husband thought it would
do me good, and he advised me to go, and I went.

All I want to get is that the seats had been taken. Mrs. Longley was
staying with you? Yes.

Who -went you, Mrs. Longley, your son, and ? And a girl friend

that came in.

The seats had been got without your being consulted? Yes.

You did not want to go, but you did go? Yes.

Mr. MARSHALL HALL I think that is all I have to ask.

Mr. JUSTICE BUCKNILL The jury have handed me this paper contain-


Trial of the Seddons.

Margaret A. Seddon

ing some questions. The questions have not been put, so will you
attend. " The jury would like Mrs. Seddon's evidence read over as to
when she went to Meacher's the chemist, for fly-papers, and how much
money was expended." Now, gentlemen, I will read my note, and it
will be checked by others. The first reference to it is this. Yesterday
afternoon the witness said " She " (that is Miss Barrow) " complained
of the flies in her bedroom, we had to fan her to keep the flies from her.
She asked me to get fly-papers the wet ones, not the sticky ones. That
was on the Monday or the Tuesday, the 4th or the 5th." (To witness)
If I am not putting it right, just tell me? That is right.

" I got them at Mr. Meacher's, the chemist, just round the corner
close to us. An old gentleman served me. I may have bought the
baby's food at the same time, Horlick's malted milk." I understand it
was a bottle. " I believe I bought for Miss Barrow white precipitate
powder, also to wash her head. Once I saw her clean her teeth with
it. I signed no book when I bought the fly-papers. I never had a
packet of them. I asked for two papers. I bought four for 3d. I
showed them to Miss Barrow, and she said they were the sort she wanted.
I put them on plates first"? No, that is wrong. I put them on one
plate first to moisten them.

I see you say that now I look at it. "I put them on a plate first
to damp them all over"? Yes, that is right.

"And then I put them in four saucers"? Yes.
' Two on the mantelpiece and two on the chest of drawers. I put
water in the saucers." That is all there is about that. I don't know
that I have got anything else until I come to (to-day). " At the chemist's I
asked for two fly-papers those that you wet. I have never seen those
before. I told Mr. Saint about it. I don't know if he had been to the
chemist's about them," and so on.

The FOREMAN OF THE JURY There is something left out, my lord.


The FOREMAN OF THE JURY There is a part where Mrs. Seddon said
she remembered it because she took four fly-papers.

Mr. JUSTICE BUCKNILL That is what I have already read.

The FOREMAN OF THE JURY And it was brought back to her memory
because she got them cheaper that way.

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL I have the shorthand note. I know the
exact words are not in your lordship's note, although the substance is.
"Mr. Meacher, or whatever his name is, said, 'Why not have four?
You can have four for 3d.' I said, 'Very well, then, I might as well
have the four.' '

Mr. JUSTICE BUCKNILL That is at length; my note in the abbreviated
form is, "I asked for two papers, and I bought four for 3d."

The FOREMAN OF THE JURY At the same time, my lord, she bought
the white precipitate and Horlick's malted milk, so she must have paid
more than 3d.

By Mr. JUSTICE BUCKNILL What did you pay for the precipitate? Id.

The next thing the jury want to know is thjs " To ask Mrs. Seddon
did her husband allow her any money weekly? " Well, you see, when-

Evidence for Defence.

Margaret A. Seddon

sver I wanted anything my husband would give it me; if I wanted to buy

Online LibraryFrederick Henry SeddonTrial of the Seddons → online text (page 35 of 57)