24th February 1861


It appears that, her husband being absent from the city, the wife of Mr Craggs, a city merchant, paid a visit to the Horns tavern, where she had some refreshments and subsequently joined a female of questionable character in the Kennington road. They proceeded together to the neighbourhood of the Elephant and Castle and then entered a public house, where they had some old ale.

While there they were, joined by a man, a stranger to them, and after drinking some more, Mrs Craggs accompanied this person to a house of ill-fame. Here her companion managed to take the rings from off her fingers, a handsome brooch containing the miniature of her husband from her bosom, and ultimately walked off with the property, as well as her valuable Paisley shawl, and a rich silk dress, leaving Mrs Craggs in a state of semi nudity, to get home the host way she could.

In her unfortunate dilemma the brothel keeper gave the miserable, silly woman an old dress to toddle home in, and she managed to reach her husband’s residence at two o’clock in the morning. On the return of the husband, he, by some unlucky accident, saw the old dress, and this brought forth the delinquency on the part of his erring spouse.


On Monday afternoon an inquiry at the London was held respecting the death of Charles Souter Laidlaw, aged thirty-two, who died from strangulation, under the following circumstances:

The deceased, a merchant’s clerk, was in his usual health at noon on the previous Friday. On the same day the landlady at No 48, Burr street, adjoining the back premises of St. Katherine’s docks, went into his room and found him in a state of insensibility, leaning backwards in a chair.

Mr. Comley, surgeon, of High street, Whitechapel, said that when he was called to see Mr Laidlaw, he found that the body was cold, and death must have taken place some hours previously. Upon examination, he found that the cause of death was from asphyxia or by strangulation, which had been caused by the stiff collar of the deceased’s shirt becoming tight as the deceased leaned backwards in the chair as he slept. There was a deep indentation in the front of the neck.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death by strangulation.”


Yesterday information was forwarded of another deplorable death to be added to the long list of casualties that took place during the winter season from the practice of wearing crinolines. The circumstances of the case in question, like many of the preceding ones, are of the usual distressing character.

An inquest was held on the body of Sarah Muckle, 24 years of age, whose death resulted from injuries sustained by burning. It appeas that the deceased, who was a prostitute residing at Aldershot, went into the Inkerman public house on Sunday morning between ten and eleven o’clock, where she remained for some time in the tap-room, in company with two other females and a civilian, named Elliott.

The deceased stood with her back to the fire, and while in that position requested the civilian to give her some tobacco. He did so, and the deceased stooped down to take a pipe from her pocket, which caused her crinoline to come in contact with the fire, and it ignited.

Deceased, who was shockingly burnt, was conveyed home to her lodgings. She was removed in the afternoon, to the Earnham Union, where, after severe suffering, she expired on Friday night. Verdict, “Accidental death.”

17th February 1861


A Trappist monk, named Brother Hugo, has just been sentenced to death by the Court of Assize at Hainault, for setting fire to the convent of Forges in October last. He acknowledged his guilt, and said the crime was committed in a fit of passion after a sermon, in which the preacher was especially severe on him and others who had transgressed the laws of silence.


On Wednesday morning, at an early hour, a frightful accident occurred to Miss E Hill, aged 18 years, who resided at Sutherland terrace, Caledonian road, Islington. It appeared that she was sitting along by the side of the fire, her crinoline dress hanging over the fender, when a piece of red hot coal fell on it, which became ignited, and she was enveloped in fire. Her screams brought assistance, when the flames were extinguished. She was conveyed to the hospital, where she remains without the slightest hope of recovery.


One of the greatest wrestling matches known to the history of the United States came off at Ireland’s Corners in Albany on Tuesday. The parties were Dr Frazer, of Troy, and Abram Herrington, of Watervleit.

The parties met at nine a.m. for the purpose of trading horses. They talked horse two hours, but could not trade, as each wished to “put a leak” into the other. At last, Herrington lost his temper, and proposed to go into wrestling for 20 dollars a side, the winner to pay the drinks. The doctor agreed to this and put up the money without hesitating a moment. The stakes were held by Elias Ireland.

Round 1: This round was a side-hold. It lasted 45 minutes, during which time Herrington got the doctor four times against the shed, and once under a two-horse waggon. Towards the end of the round the doctor lost his wind and went down on a broken bottle and a lot of bricks. (Cheers for Herrington) Bottle holders gave parties something wet out of a bottle, and wiped their faces with a piece of oilcloth.

Round 2: This was a “square old flop”. It lasted one hour and ten minutes. The doctor tripped Herrington and staggered him. Herrington made a spring and recovered his foothold. (Cheers.) The doctor now braced back, lifted Herrington from the ground and undertook to fall in a mud puddle with him. (Cries of “foul”.) Herrington touches the ground, and gives the doctor a yank that lifted him out of his boots. The doctor rallied, set his teeth, and went in. Herrington, exhausted, went down, cutting his shin with a tin pan. “First blood Frazer!” (Cheers.)

Round 3: This was a back-hold. The round lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes—the longest round on record. During the round they crossed the road ten times, got into the cattle-yard fourteen times, brought up against the pig-pen twenty-seven times, and upset a waggon four times. The round finally ended in favour of Herrington, owing to the doctor tipping his foot against a piece of scantling and falling on a dog belonging to a man called Davis—killing it instantly.

The three rounds agreed on having been gone through with, Herrington was declared the victor, amid the shouts of a multitude which amounted to near two hundred.

Herrington asked Ireland for the stakes. “Haven’t got them—all spent for drinks an hour ago. In addition to which, the barkeeper has a balance against you of 4.37 dollars”

This led to a fresh wrangle, the result of which was that Herrington has agreed to wrestle with Ireland and barkeeper on Monday next for 50 dollars a side.

As a postscript to all this, we would state that Davis intends to sue Frazer for killing his dog. He lays his damages at 30 dollars.

10th February 1861


During the procession of Her Majesty to open Parliament on Tuesday, a man named Mahomet Ali Shan attempted to thrust a petition into the royal carriage at the corner of Parliament street. He was prevented, however, by the Prince Consort, who pushed him on one side, then he cut his throat with a clasp knife. He was at once taken to the station house. He is evidently a lunatic.

After opening Parliament, her Majesty and the Court went to the Adelphi Theatre to see the “Colleen Bawn”.


On Saturday week a charge was brought before the University Court at Cambridge by the Rev Edward Dodd, Fellow of Magdelene and vicar of St Giles’s against the Rev JS Brockhurst, of Emmanuel. The charge was that Mr Brockhurst had violently horsewhipped Mr Dodd outside the hall of his own college. Mr Brockhurst admitted the charge, but justified himself on the ground that he, as an English gentleman and clergyman, had received great provocation from Mr Dodd.

Mr Brockhurst entered into a long defence. Said he, “Mr Reyner, of St Julius’s, with whom I was dining one day, informed me that a Fellow at Magdelene had actually omitted from the grace the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and had said, when asked for his reason, that that it was on account of the presence of a Jew at the table. But Christ died for all men, and I say that the man who would omit the name of Christ in asking a blessing on a college dinner must be lost indeed. When I found out that the omission was made to please a wealthy fellow commoner, I felt that matters had reached a point that a man, feeling the veneration I do for the Lord Jesus Christ, must take notice of. Accordingly, I called on the Vice-Chancellor. I stated that exposure was merited for this blot of leprosy on the Christian Church. The Vice-Chancellor recommended a quiet method of agreement but I said, ‘We require that an apology be drawn up which will meet the gravity of the offence and that it be sent to the Queen, as the head of the Church on earth, and who I hope will pardon the offender.’”

Mr Brockhurst added that, on the recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor, he called on the supposed culprit, who denied ever having committed the offence. Upon this, Mr Brockhurst appears to have taken his determination. He procured a horsewhip, sent for Mr Dodd, called him by anything but euphonious names, and horsewhipped him violently in the presence of the college servants.

The Vice-Chancellor ruled that Mr Brockhurst, having violated the statutes of the University by disgraceful conduct, be suspended from all his degrees for the period of four years.

Mr Brockhurst has written a book on the subject of the Jews, denying their right to be part of the Legislature.

3rd February 1861


Another fatal accident, caused by wearing crinoline, took place a few days ago at Hyeres. Mdme Mausilier, a lady residing in that place, having approached the chimney to arrange the timepiece, her dress caught fire, and although prompt assistance was given, she was so severely burnt that she died on the following day.


A frightful crime of this nature has been committed at Coventry by a man named Fawson, a butcher, whose shop was at Hill-fields, a low district of that town.

He and his wife had quarrelled and separated, but they had recently become reunited. The two appear to have retired to bed about their usual hour on Monday night. Nothing was heard of them in the morning, and their shop remained closed. Ten o’clock passed, and, the house still remaining closed, it was resolved to form an entrance. This was done, and a terrible spectacle presented itself.

The bedstead and bedding, the ceiling and the floor, were all besmeared and bespattered with blood. The wretched man Fawson lay “doubled up” at the foot of the bed, his throat cut, stabbed in the breast, and his brains scattered about him.

It is evident that, in the heat of his passion, he cut and stabbed himself in ineffectual efforts to destroy life, and then, being unable to despatch himself so quickly as he wished with a knife, he went down stairs and procured a gun, with which he returned and shot himself through the head. Both weapons lay near at hand.

On the bed lay the unfortunate woman, his wife, weltering in her blood. Her throat had been cut in a most determined and effectual manner—it will be remembered that her husband was a butcher by trade. Both were quite dead and cold.