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.”


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