Frederick Henry Seddon.

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Miss Barrow, and my wife said " No " ; that was all.

Was she treated rather discourteously? No.

Did you rather resent Miss Barrow having left you? No.

Was there a funeral at your house at one time in March, 191 It No,
no funeral at my house.

Was there a funeral to which Miss Barrow went at any time? No.

Do you know whether Miss Barrow lost a friend early in that year 1911 f
No. There was a death at my house and an inquest, and the burial
took place at Devonshire Road.

Miss Barrow knew of it, did she not? Yes.

Re-examined by the ATTORNEY-GENERAL You mentioned Dr. Martin
and Dr. Francis who had attended her. When was it that Dr. Francis
attended her? When she was living at Lady Somerset Road, Kentish

As we know, she came to live with you some time early in 1909, and
stopped fifteen months. It was some time before that? Yes.

You told me that you had had some information, in consequence of
which you went to the house and inquired. Now I want you to tell us what
the information was, and, as near as you can say, when it was that you got
it. What was it led you to go to the house to make the inquiry? It
was my little boy going to the same school as Ernie Grant. Ernie Grant
was away from school. The Board school sent round a boy to inquire the
reason why, and the boy brought back a message, and he said Ernie Grant
was not well, as far as I can understand now or remember. Two or three
days after that the school sent round again to inquire about his absence,
and they then said that his aunt was ill. On two nights previous to calling

Evidence for Prosecution.

Frank Ernest Vonderahe

on the Seddons my wife and I were passing Seddon's house, and we saw
all the windows of her apartments wide open.

By Mr. JUSTICE BUCKNILL Was that unusual? It was unusual.

You passed the place before? Yes.

And it was unusual to see all the windows open? Yes.

By the ATTORNEY-GENERAL Now I want to know was it after that that
you went to make an inquiry? Yes.

You cannot fix it nearer than a night or two nights before you actually
went? About two nights previous.

I am the wife of the last witness, Frank Ernest Vonderahe. After Miss
Barrow left our house I used to meet her sometimes. I saw her in the
street at various places Tollington Park or Stroud Green Road. I was
on friendly terms with her. The last time I saw her alive was in the street
towards the end of August. I first heard of her death from my husband,
and I went with him that same night to 63 Tollington Park. I did not see
either Mr. or Mrs. Seddon at that time. I went again next morning along
with my sister-in-law, Mrs. Albert Edward Vonderahe. On that occasion
Miss Seddon, the daughter, opened the door. We were shown into a sitting
room, where we waited some time, and then Mr. and Mrs. Seddon came in.
Mr. Seddon asked who we were.

Mr. JUSTICE BUCKNILL Gentlemen, let me warn you for a moment.
As the Attorney-General said just now, it is well that you should under-
stand how the evidence applies. Anything that Mrs. Seddon said would
not be evidence against her husband. You must try and remember that
as we go on, so that you will be able to divide the evidence up properly.

The ATTORNEY- GENERAL Your lordship means, of course, unless she
said it in his presence.

Mr. JUSTICE BUCKNILL Of course, I am speaking of this particular
occasion ; but not always in his presence if not in his hearing, I am speak-
ing as we go along. Gentlemen, not even in his presence if he did not
hear it.

Examination continued Mr. and Mrs. Seddon came into the room
together. Mr. Seddon spoke first; he asked who we were. He turned to
my sister-in-law and asked whether she was Mrs. Frank Vonderahe, and I
said, " No, I am." He then handed me the letter, exhibit 1 (letter dated
14th September, 1911, from F. H. Seddon to Frank E. Vonderahe). I
read that letter. He asked me why we did not come, and I said we had
had no letter, or we should have come, and I added that I must go to
the post office and see why I did not receive the letter. I never received
any letter like that on 14th September. Shown letter and envelope marked
No. 127 That is a business letter which I had redirected to me on
Saturday, 16th September from 31 Evershot Road to my then house,
160 Corbyn Street.

Mr. JUSTICE BUCKNILL We would like to see how it is re-addressed.
(The letter and the envelope were handed to the learned judge.) This
has been addressed to " Mrs. Vonderahe, 31 Evershot Road, Tollington
Park," and across it is written in ink, " Not known," and at the top of
it is written "160 Corbyn Street." The postal date I cannot see.


Trial of the Seddons.

Mrs. Julia Hannah Vonderabe

Mr. MARSHALL HALL It has gone, but the words " Not known " are
written on the envelope.

Mr. JUSTICE BUCKKILL I just wanted to see whether it was unduly
delayed or anything of that sort. The post mark is off.

Examination continued Besides the black-edged letter, exhibit 1, Mr.
Seddon gave me the letter addressed " To the Relatives," exhibit 3, in
an envelope. He also showed me a copy of a will, exhibit 4 ; he gave
it to me to read. Besides that he gave me a memorial card, exhibit 5
" In loving memory of Eliza Mary Barrow, who departed this life
14th September, 1911, aged forty-nine years. Interred in Islington Ceme-
tery, East Finchley, Grave Xo. 19453," and then there are some verses.
He put all these documents in an envelope which he gave me.

Did you have any conversation with him about Miss Barrow? I did
not have much. You see whilst I was reading these papers he was talking
to my sister-in-law.

Before you went away, did you have any more conversation? Mr.
Seddon spoke about a letter that well, he sent Miss Seddon about a letter
of Miss Barrow's, and said that I slammed the door in her face, and I
contradicted Miss Seddon, and said I did not do so. That was when we
were parting with Mr. Seddon.

Did you make an appointment before you left, or was anything said
about your husband seeing Mr. Seddon? Yes. I asked him if he would
see my husband and my sister-in-law's husband in the evening, and he
said " No," he could not, as he was going away next day, and he had
wasted enough time, and he could not possibly see them. I said they
would not detain him long, and he said he could not see them as he was
going away for a fortnight.

Did he mention anything about the night Miss Barrow died ? He said
what a trying time they had had with her how she had called them up,
and he went up and said she must not call them any more, as they wanted
their rest, and she must be quiet.

Cross-examined by Mr. MARSHALL HALL Were you at home when
Miss Barrow left your house to go to Tollington Park? Yes.

Do you remember Creek and Hook helping to move the things? I
could not say what name.

A man came with a cart and horse? Yes, there was a cart and horse.

Was anything left behind did anybody come back for anything, do
you remember? No.

Will you tell me what time it was in the day when the moving took
place? As far as I can remember, it was started about mid-day.

They started about 12 o'clock and finished at about 3? Something
like that, as near as I can remember.

Miss Barrow gave a week's notice before she left she had put it on
the table, I think? Yes.

I think you said before the magistrate that you had not exactly had
a quarrel, but she had had one of her eccentric moods not speaking to
anybody ? Yes.

There was no cause for her leaving at all, was there? No.

You saw her at the end of August, 1911, did you not? Yes.

Evidence for Prosecution.

Mrs. Julia Hannah Vonderahe

During that fourteen months or so she was at the Seddons' house you
had seen her pretty frequently out of doors? Yes.

Had she had a bad cold when you saw her at the end of August? Yes.

Otherwise she seemed all right? Oh, yes, in good health otherwise.

The last week in August just before September you saw her again?
Yes, right at the end of August.

Do you remember Margaret Seddon coming round to ask if there were
any letters for Miss Barrow at your house? Yes.

Was the door just opened a little bit what happened? I opened
the door myself, and I answered Miss Seddon, and said there were no
letters, and shut the door.

A little quickly? Not quicker than usual that I can remember.

Anyhow, if she thought it was done a little quickly, might there have
been some justification for her thinking it? Well, I cannot remember
shutting it any quicker, unless there was any wind might have blown it, or
anything like that, but I did not shut it quicker than at any other time.

I think you went several times with Miss Barrow when she went to
change dividend warrants at Jarman's at Crouch Hill? Yes, several times.

You never took any serious notice of her movements. Once she spat
in your face, or something of that kind, but you did not take any notice
of it? No.

She was very excitable and irritable? Yes.

(Exhibit No. 127 handed.) Where did you find this letter? I was
looking in my drawer, and came across it, and, seeing 14th September,
I noticed it. I cannot say exactly the date.

Are you quite sure that letter came in that envelope? Yes.

There is nothing on the envelope to show that you received it on the
Saturday; it is only your recollection? Yes. The stamp is cut off; I
might just say on account of the children ; they tear the stamps off the
envelopes ; they were collecting them ; that was the reason the stamp is

As the document appears now there is no date appearing on the
envelope at all? No, but that is the reason why.

That is the letter dated Thursday, 14th September, and you received
it on Saturday, 16th? Yes.

So there was a delay of two days according to you? Yes.

You notice that the envelope is marked " Not known "1 Yes.

Re-examined by the ATTORNEY-GENERAL As I understand it, you found
this letter since you were examined at the Police Court? I found it since.

You remembered at the Police Court that a business letter was addressed
to Evershot Road, but you did not remember any more details than that?
Yes, it was that letter that I referred to.

You have looked for it, and you found it, and that is the letter now.
Is that right? Yes.

HUMPHREYS I am the wife of Albert Edward Vonderahe, and I live with
him at 82 A Geldeston Road, Clapton. On 21st September I went with my
sister-in-law at 63 Tollington Park, and I saw Mr. and Mrs. Seddon there.
I saw Mr. Seddon give my sister-in-law several documents in an envelope.

Trial of the Seddons.

Mrs. Amelia Blanche Vonderahe

Besides those documents there was another document which he read to us.
It was a document in the terms of exhibit 7, which is a letter dated 27th
March, addressed by Miss Barrow to F. H. Seddon, speaking of her
relatives. I noticed a copy of the will, which Mr. Seddon produced, and
I said to him that I noticed that the will was signed with lead pencil.
Mr. Seddon said that that was only a copy, that he would not give us the
original, and I said, " Well, of course, the original will would be taken
to Somerset House for probate." He replied that he had been to
Somerset House, but there was no probate required on a will of that
description. He said he had the original will in his bank for safety. I
asked him if he wished us to understand that Miss Barrow had parted
with all her investments, and that she had bought an annuity which had
died with her. I mentioned the Buck's Head and the barber's shop to
him. He said, "Yes, everything," and I remarked, "Well, whoever
had persuaded Miss Barrow to do that was a remarkably clever person,"
that Miss Barrow was a very hard nut to crack if you mentioned money
matters to her. He made no answer to that.

By Mr. JUSTICE BUCKXILL Did he say who had granted the annuity!
No, I do not remember him saying that.

Examination continued What did he tell you had happened the last
night that Miss Barrow was alive what did he tell you about the events
of that night? He said Miss Barrow was a very great trouble to them.
She sent down once or twice; she sent Ernie Grant down, but Mr. Seddon
said his wife wa-s worn out with waiting so much on Miss Barrow that he
went up himself to her.

By Mr. JUSTICE BUCKNILL " As his wife was worn out," then what?
With waiting so much upon her during her illness.

" That he had to go to her himself "? Yes, and he asked her what
she wanted, and he gave her some brandy, and said tliey would be retiring
to rest, and he hoped that she would not trouble them again.

By " again " you understand that he hoped that she would not trouble
them again that night? Yes.

Did he tell you at what time of the day, evening, or night it was when
he went up instead of his wife? No. He did not mention the time, but
the boy came down again after that, and he. Mr. Seddon, went up again
and gave her some brandy. He did not say what time that was. He
said that he had left some brandy in the bottle, which was gone in the
morning. I do not remember him saying the hour that she died.

Examination continued I think that is all that he told me about that
night as far as I can remember. He mentioned Hilda Grant's insurance,
and he also spoke about the funeral. I said that I thought it was a great
pity that she was buried in a common grave when she had a family vault
at Highgate, but Mrs. Seddon said that they had a very nice funeral;
they did everything very nicely.

Mr. JUSTICE BUCEJSTILL Either Mr. or Mrs. Seddon, I do not remember
which, said that Ernest Grant was at Southend then. Mr. Seddon said
that he had no legal claim on the boy, but he should always look after
him, and if he could find a suitable home for him to go to he should let
him go.

Examination continued That was all the conversation, as far as I can

Evidence for Prosecution.

Mrs. Amelia Blanche Vonderahe

remember now. My sister-in-law and I then went away. We did not see
either Mr. or Mrs. Seddon after that time at all.

Apart from the one matter as to the funeral being a nice one, did Mrs.
Seddon take any part in the conversation? Only to say that she had felt
very ill through waiting on Miss Barrow, and that she was going to tha
doctor that day. Miss Barrow showed me her jewellery in the early summer
of 1910 when she was living in my brother-in-law's house at 31 Evershot
Road. (Shown exhibit 122.) It was a gold watch I saw, but I do not know
whether it was this one; I saw a gold watch attached to this chain. (Shown
exhibit 121, gold ring with a diamond set in a claw.) I saw a ring like
that in Miss Barrow's possession ; the setting is exactly the same, because
I remember remarking to her that it looked rather like a gentleman's
ring, and she said it was her mother's. I could not say about the size,
but the setting is precisely the same. (Shown exhibit 123, a gold chain
with a blue enamelled pendant attached to it.) I saw that when Miss
Barrow showed me her jewellery.

Cross-examined by Mr. MARSHALL HALL I suggest to you that the
first thing that Mr. Seddon said to you when you came was, " Why did
you not answer the letter that I sent you"? Yes; he said that to my

It was said to both of you? Yes.

Did you tell Mr. Seddon that Miss Barrow was not responsible at
times? Yes, I said she was strange at times.

Not responsible? Strange at times.

What you said before the magistrate was this, " I said to Seddon that
at times Miss Barrow was not responsible"? Yes, that is right.

Then did he say you could never get her to do anything she did not
want to do? Yes, that is right.

You agree with that it was pretty difficult to get her to do anything
that she did not want to do? Well, I adhere to what I say that she
was peculiar.

You agree, do you not, that it was very difficult to get her to do
anything that she did not want to do? Yes, it was.

And anything about money? Anything about money?

I think you said that she was a hard nut to crack when you touched
her money? Yes.

That seems to have been the common opinion of the Vonderahes and of
Mr. Hook? Yes.

They all seemed to think that? Yes.

' She was a difficult person to handle when it came to a question of
money? Yes.

There is one question which ought to have been put in chief. Was
Miss Barrow deaf? Very deaf.

The ATTORNEY- GENERAL That is common ground, but we have not
asked a witness here yet.

By Mr. MARSHALL HALL Did you know that the boy Ernie was very
useful to her, because he used to shout into her ear the messages which
she could not hear otherwise? No, but he had to shout to her.

By the ATTORNEY- GENERAL I suppose everybody had to shout?
Everybody had to; she was very deaf.


Trial of the Seddons.

Henry Edward Grove

member of the Royal College of Surgeons. I am a Divisional Surgeon of
the Hornsey Police and on the staff of the Hornsey Cottage Hospital. Dr.
Cohen (the coroner who took the depositions at the inquest) has been under
my care until to-day, when he has gone to a convalescent home. I saw
him yesterday. He is not able, either physically or mentally, to attend
the Court to-day or for three months.

WILLIAM DELL, examined by Mr. TRAVERS HUMPHREYS I live now at
31 Evershot Road, Tollirigton Park. I went there on 1st September of
last year. Three days after going there I received a circular addressed
to a Mr. Vonderahe. I did not know Mr. Vonderahe's address at that
time. I re-posted the letter after writing on it, " Not known," at the
pillar-box at the corner of Fonthill Road and Tollington Park. I did not
myself receive any other letters after that date addressed to Mr. Vonderahe.

Cross-examined by Mr. MARSHALL HALL Mr. and Mrs. Hughes came
into my house on 16th September. My household consists of myself, my
wife, and three children, and no servants.

Just look at the envelope of that. (Handed.) Are the words " Not
known" on that written in your handwriting? No, that is not my hand-
writing. I should say that it is my eon's handwriting, but I could not
swear to that.

I live with my husband at 31 Evershot Road. No letter addressed to the
name of Vonderahe came to our house about 14th September which I saw.

Cross-examined by Mr. MARSHALL HALL I understand " Not known "
is written on the only letter there was? Yes.

with my parents at 31 Evershot Road. I remember receiving a letter that
came by post addressed to Mr. Vonderahe. I crossed it " Not known,"
and put it back in the letter-box. (Shown exhibit 127.) The words " Not
known " on that envelope are in my handwriting. After writing that I
re-posted the letter.

The Court adjourned.

Second Day Tuesday, 5th March, 1912.
The Court met at 10.15 a.m.

[Several witnesses were called to prove the possession by Miss
Barrow of certain bank notes, and the dealings with them by
the two prisoners.]

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL My lord, that finishes all this evidence with

regard to the notes, and I will state now what the effect is from the

documents which have been produced. It is established that there were in

all thirty-three Bank of England notes of 5 each, which are the proceeds


Evidence for Prosecution.

The Attorney-General

of cheques of Truman, Hanbury & Co. in favour of Miss Barrow at various
dates extending from 1901 to 1910; and that those thirty-three 5 notes
have been traced as to each of them as the proceeds of one or other of the
cheques received by Miss Barrow from Truman, Hanbury & Co. for the rent
of the Buck's Head. Then, my lord, of those thirty-three, six of them
are proved to have gone to the male prisoner's credit with his bank; one
on the 14th October, 1910, the other five on the 13th January of 1911.
As to the remaining twenty-seven of the thirty-three, nine of them are
notes with endorsements in the name of Scott, of Evershot Road. Those
nine appear in this way. The two of them are endorsed in the handwriting
of the female prisoner on the 14th October of 1910, endorsed by her with
the name of M. Scott, of 18 Evershot Road; six are endorsed in the name
of Mrs. Scott, of 18 Evershot Road; one in the name of Mrs. Scott, of 12
Evershot Road; the remaining eighteen of the thirty- three are traced to
Mrs. Seddon. The whole period covered during the dealing with these
thirty-three 5 notes is from the 14th October, 1910, when both the
male and the female prisoners are dealing with the notes, until the 23rd
August, 1911 ; that is the last date traced. Therefore my learned friend
quite rightly pointed out that all these thirty-three notes are dealt with
before the death of Miss Barrow. That, my lord, is the substance of what
has been proved. Each note has been traced out, as your lordship has seen,
elaborately, but that is really what all this evidence has been called to

Mr. JUSTICE BTJCKNILL You understand that, gentlemen?

The FOREMAN Perfectly, my lord.

CECIL VANE DUNSTAN, examined by the ATTORNEY-GENERAL I am senior
clerk in the chief accountant's office at the Bank of England. I produce
the transfer book for India 3 per cent, stock, exhibit 8. There is an
entry in that book under date 14th October, 1910, of the transfer of 1600
3 per cent. India stock from the name of Miss Eliza Mary Barrow, of
63 Tollington Park, to the name of Frederick Henry Seddon, of 63 Tolling-
ton Park. In the ordinary course that entry would be necessary in order
to transfer the stock out of her name into his name. There is nothing in
the book to show the consideration. The entry purports to be signed, as
it has to be signed, by the transferor of the stock. She would have to
appear at the Bank of England and be identified by some person who
accompanied her. She would sign the book, and that transfers the stock
out of her name into the name of the transferee, Frederick Henry Seddon.
In the ordinary course of events a ticket would be in the first instance
put forward by a stockbroker. The ticket, exhibit 9, was put forward by
W. W. Hale & Co., stockbrokers, and that showed that there was to be the
transfer made in our books. These are instructions to prepare the transfer,
and we then make the entry; the transferor comes, and being identified,
signs the book. Miss Barrow did that.

Cross-examined by Mr. MARSHALL HALL As far as I know, the letter
of 6th October, 1910, from Miss Barrow is the first document in that
transaction. It is addressed, " To the Secretary, Chief Accountant, Bank
of England," and is as follows: "Dear Sir, as I am disposing of the
whole of the above stock, please transfer same to Frederick Henry Seddon,


Trial of the Seddons.

Cecil Vane Dunstan

of 63 Tollington Park, London, N., and kindly inform me when it will
be convenient, and I will call and sign transfer book. Early attention
will oblige. Yours faithfully, Eliza Mary Barrow, stockholder." Our
answer to that is, " 6th October, 1910. Miss E. M. Barrow, 63 Tollington
Park, N. Madam, I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the
5th inst., and in reply to say that in order to effect your purpose it will
be necessary for you to attend here, accompanied by a stockbroker, for
the purpose of identification, and execute a transfer in the bank books
here, or to grant a power of attorney to some person to act on your
behalf in like manner. See enclosed memorandum." That letter is
signed by H. B. Orchard. Miss Barrow replied on 7th October, and that
concluded the correspondence. Thereupon the lady having been given
due notice that a stockbroker would have to be present, attended with
somebody for the purpose of identification, and executed the transfer, and
the stock was in due course transferred into the name of Seddon. (The
letters were put in and marked No. 130.)

member of the Stock Exchange, and my office is at 18 Austin Friars. I
received some instructions just before 14th October, 1910, and in conse-
quence my clerk prepared the stockbroker's ticket, exhibit 9, with refer-
ence to the transfer of 1600 3 per cent. India stock from Eliza Mary
Barrow to Frederick Henry Seddon. I personally attended on 14th
October at the Bank of England with the transferor, Miss Eliza Mary
Barrow. I witnessed her signature.

Cross-examined by Mr. MARSHALL HALL I had some correspondence
with Miss Barrow two or three letters and everything was done perfectly
regularly. I had no instructions otherwise than to prepare a transfer and

Online LibraryFrederick Henry SeddonTrial of the Seddons → online text (page 8 of 57)