7th April 1861


The dangerous custom of dressing children in the prevailing fashion of the day was this week exemplified by an accident which occurred to a girl nine years of age, the daughter of Mr Delamere, architect, residing in Harrington-square, who was amusing herself with some companions on the pavement when her crinoline was caught by the wheel of a cab which was rapidly passing, and she was dragged beneath it.

The vehicle passed completely over her, and but faint hopes are entertained of her recovery.


Mr McNab, landlord of the Cock public house at Rochester, who received serious injuries through jumping from a railway train on the North Kent railway while in a state of somnambulism, has died at the Gravesend infirmary from the injuries sustained.

The singular accident took place upon the 9.20 PM train from London, between Gravesend and Rochester, which was travelling at a very rapid rate. Mr McNab suddenly got up from the seat on which he had been sleeping and opened the carriage door. He was observed by a young man, the only other occupant of the carriage, to throw himself out of the carriage. The occurrence was so sudden that the young man was unable to prevent its taking place. He informed the station master when the train arrived at Higham.

Servants of the company were dispatched to search along the line. On proceeding to the spot indicated, they found the unfortunate man apparently in a dying state and insensible, having sustained a severe fracture of the skull.

He was conveyed to Gravesend infirmary, where, on recovering consciousness, he had no recollection whatever of jumping from the train, although there is no doubt he did so while in a state of somnambulism.


An inquest has been held on the body of a girl, 16 years of age, the daughter of Mr W Blair, of the Bricklayers’ Arms, Walmgate, who died from the effects of poison.

It seems that a young man, named Birch, was paying his addresses to her, and he was in the house on the night she poisoned herself. While talking at the door, at a quarter to eleven, the deceased said, “Stop a bit; I want to go to Mr Leck’s for some poison for my father to kill a rat in the cellar.”

She said that she was going for a pennyworth, and she accordingly ran away to the shop, where she got a sixpenny packet of rat poison. She then returned to her lover and parted with him, as her father called to her.

She had seemed in good spirits for two or three days, and that night she drew some ale for herself, a thing which her father never knew her do before.

The deceased and her parents slept in the same room, and when they were just about to go to sleep, she called out, “You said I should not have Bob!”

They told her to go to sleep, but soon after they were aroused by a scream, and on the father getting up he found the deceased stiff in bed.

Mr Ball, the surgeon, was sent for and he found her teeth closely clenched, and a general rigidity of the muscles, and all the symptoms of strychnine poisoning. He tried the stomach pump but could not get her mouth open until just before death, when it was too late. She died between one and two o’clock.
A glass was later found in the dram shop, with a sediment in it and a few drops of ale. It was evident she had taken about 20 grains of Wilde’s Instantaneous Vermin Killer, ten of which would be sufficient to kill half a dozen persons.

Mrs Blair said a false report had been spread that the deceased was with child, and this had preyed on her spirits.

The young man had never been prohibited visiting her, and they could not tell what she meant by “You said I should not have Bob.”

The jury returned a verdict that the deceased had poisoned herself whilst in a state of temporary insanity.


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