10th March 1861


A scene which excited a considerable amount of curiosity was witnessed on Monday morning in the vicinity of Shoreditch. Between seven and eight o’clock a fine fox, with a splendid brush, was discovered roaming about the churchyard of St Luke’s Old-street.

The news of Reynard’s visit to the metropolis soon spread, and the love of hunting being a characteristic of Cockneydom, the churchyard was speedily invaded by a large number of men and boys, who, armed with sticks and whips, commenced an exciting chase amongst the tombstones.

The fox, however, soon distanced his pursuers, cleared the railings of the churchyard and bolted down Mitchell-street, Brick-lane, and Pear-street, showing his tail to the motley crowd, who kept up the “run,” and, getting into Goswell-street, managed to effect a safe retreat.


On Monday, Mr J Humphreys opened an inquiry at the Grasshopper tavern, Charles-street, Mile-end, respecting the death of a male child, which had been left on the step of the door of No 7, Percival-buildings, Mount terrace.

When a policeman found the child, It was alive and crying with cold and hunger. He carried it to the workhouse and gave it to the gate porter. There was a piece of paper pinned on to the frock, on which was written the following:— “Whoever may find this child, pray be kind to it. The few things it has were given to me by a kind lady. I have been seduced; and have lately come from Australia.”

A portion of the clothes were marked with the name of “Shubbuck,” encircled with a wreath, and the undress was stamped with the initials “HM”. Dr. Richardson, the medical officer, stated that the primary cause of death was from the exposure to extreme cold and want of attention by the mother. The deceased was about five months old.

The jury retained a verdict of wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.

The same day Mr. Humphreys resumed the adjourned inquiry at the new workhouse, Mile-end road, on the body of a newly-born female child, found lying behind a gateway, on the night of the 9th ultimo. Mr Stevens, the parochial medical officer, stated that the deceased had died from exposure to the inclemency of the weather and hemorrhage from the umbilical cord, which was secured on its arrival at the workhouse.

Mr. Humphreys also received information of the discovery of the body of a male child recently born, which had been found behind one of the tombstones in the churchyard of St John, Hackney.


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