Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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208               Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
with £3 in excess as compensation for loss caused by the illness, inquest, &c. But Dr. Warder himself was gone. He had not passed the night at his lodgings.
The scene of the tragedy is now shifted to the Bedford Hotel, where, at a quarter to twelve on the Monday night, a traveller presented himself, with a black leather bag, and desired to be shown at once to a bedroom. His manner was quite cool and collected. The day was far advanced before the chambermaid thought of calling the late arrival, and when she did so there was no reply. She tried the door. It was unlocked. She entered the room and looked in; and she saw Dr. Warder—for it was he—lying dead on the bed. He was undressed, but the bed-clothes were undisturbed. On the drawer by the side of the bed stood a small blue bottle, capable of holding 10 drachms and still containing 4 drachms of prussic acid. Whoever swallowed these 6 drachms could only have had time to put the bottle where it stood; he could not even draw the bed-clothes over his face before death seized him.
Of course, an inquest was held on the body, and a post­mortem examination of the brain shewed it to be healthy and its structure normal; there was nothing to indicate insanity, from which, it was said, some of his family had suffered. A verdict of felo de se was returned, and the body was interred in the Parochial Cemetery without any religious ceremony and with no inscription to say who lay beneath. The wife had been interred on the 7th July; the husband was buried on the 12th.
At the adjourned inquest on Mrs. Warder, Dr. Taylor attended to report the result of his analysis. There was no vestige of poison in the organs, but they showed no other cause of death, and, from their appearance and the evidence already adduced, Dr. Taylor had no doubt that death had been caused by poison, and the jury returned a verdict that Ellen Vivian Warder died from the effect of aconite, administered wilfully by her late husdand, Alfred William Warder.
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