Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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Sussex Tragedies and Romances.            205
two forged letters that he received from London, and these, falling into the hands of his friends, raised a suspicion of foul play. The London carrier was questioned, and he now recollected that he had, some time before, brought down a parcel to the deceased, which had been given to him in Southwark by a person unknown; also, that he had somewhere by him a letter addressed to this party in Southwark, which, being refused to be taken in, he—the carrier—brought back again to Lewes, but, not knowing the writer of it, had laid it by. On the very day of Moor's interment this letter, by a remarkable coincidence, was found by the carrier; and, on being opened, it was found that Brinkhurst was the writer of it, and its purport left little or no doubt that the other communications received by Moor had come from or been suggested by him. He was accordingly apprehended and taken before the Lewes Justices, to whom, we are told, he partly confessed his guilt. Being interrogated as to the nature of the powder he had procured, he pretended not to know its name, but said that, if he saw it again, he should recognise it. The Magistrates, unsuspicious of any design on the prisoner's part, directed an apothecary of the town to bring samples of different poisons, that Brinkhurst might point out the one he had used. This was done, and the prisoner, to the horror of the lookers-on, snatched up a parcel of yellow arsenic and swallowed a considerable quantity of it before he could be prevented.
This desperate act stopped all further judicial proceedings. We are not told if any attempts were made to obviate the action of the poison by an emetic or otherwise—only that he "languished from the Tuesday till the Saturday evening"— exactly the same time that his friend had suffered—" tormented alike by bodily pangs and remorse"—and then died. His body was refused Christian burial. It was taken in a dung cart, without a coffin, to the cross roads near Spittle Barn, and there flung into a hole dug north and south, " from some absurd, superstitious notion," says the local historian, "a stake
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