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Knottingley and Ferrybridge Local History

KNOTTINGLEY INQUEST REPORTS

FROM THE WAKEFIELD ARCHIVES

Ref: C493 - K2/1/35 number 1839
Inquest into the death of REBECCA THORP, 7th December 1869, at the house of William Myers, Royal Oak Inn, Knottingley.

William Thorp of Back Lane, Knottingley a Canal Labourer says:
Deced was 28 years old and my wife. We have been married 9 years. We have had 5 children and 1 is dead. The youngest is 7 months old. Deced has always appeared to be in good health and spirits. Last Wednesday night I got home having been away since the preceding Monday. I was unwell and staid in bed all last Thursday. Deced attended to me and seemed to be allright. On Thursday night I told her I wanted nothing more and that she had better come to bed. She replied that she would rather sit up as she could then attend the fires. I fell asleep between 10 and 11 o'clock that night and did not wake up until one of the children called about 7 o'clock last Friday morning. I then called out for deced but received no answer. She was lying on the bed alongside me when I went to sleep. I got up and went downstairs and found the house door partially open.

Ann the wife of Thos Finney of Back Lane a Labourer says:
I have known deced for the last 12 years. For the last 3 months she has seemed to be very low spirited. She said she had nothing to complain of but could not help it. Mr Bywater attended her and said she required better food and rest . At this point the inquest was adjourned to 9 December.

9 December:
Ann Finney further says:
Since Mr Bywater died the deced has varied considerably in health and spirits. She said she did not let her husband know how she was as she was afraid he might become ill. She seemed to live on the best terms with him.

Samuel Parker of Knottingley a Waterman says: I was not acquainted with deced. Last Saturday and Monday I was searching for her body in the Knottingley and Goole Canal. About past 9 o'clock last Tuesday morning I found her body in the canal near Sebastopol boatyard. I had also searched in the River Aire last Saturday morning. Deced was without boots.

Ann the wife of William Sayner of Knottingley a Waterman says:
Last Tuesday morning I helped to undress and lay out the deced's body. Her father died a few months ago and she has been low spirited ever since.

Verdict: Found drowned - probably suicide

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