Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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Sussex Tragedies and Romances.            209
The letters left by Dr. Warder at his lodgings on the night of his quitting them for the Bedford, addressed to friends, contained a virtual confession of his crime. After giving some directions about his property and his children by the first marriage, he wrote, " There is no escape for me, as you will find when you know all." There was, indeed, none. Success in former cases (for the second wife died under similar symptoms to those of the last, and of the fate of the first there can be no doubt) had made the poisoner rash, and when he put the finishing stroke to his last crime he rushed on inevitable detection. It seems strange that he should have returned from London after, doubtless, procuring there the means of suicide. But who can explain the workings of a mind enmeshed in such a terrible net ? That he fully realised his situation after the holding of the first inquest was demonstrated by the evidence of his landlady as to his frantic action in rushing to the window, from which she thought he would have thrown himself, and by the blow with which he fractured the mirror in the room and cut his face and throat with the broken fragments of glass. But this impulse towards despair and self-destruction was restrained for a time—only to gather force and be carried out in a more terrible, if a more collected, manner.
There is a general resemblance in the circumstances of the two events—at Lewes in the 17th and at Brighton in the 19th century—in the deadly means employed ; the chance of escape; and then the sudden flashing out of the truth and the self-inflicted punishment of the culprit. But the relations of the parties in the modern crime were closer and the circumstances surrounding it more terrible.
Passing over the twin tragedies of Celia Holloway and Hannah Hobbs—the one brought home so completely to the guilty party, the other still shrouded in the mystery which involved it from the very first—as too revolting in their details to be told again, we come upon another undiscovered crime, connected with, though not committed in, Brighton, P
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