8th December 1861


A man named Bryant, belonging to Her Majesty’s ship Orpheus walked up to a stranger in Portsea on Friday night and said, “How would you like to lie under the green sod tomorrow?” With these words, he raised a large knife and stabbed the man in three places. Bryant was taken to the police station and was committed for trial by the magistrate.


An inquest was held at Birmingham Heath on the body of Joseph Smith, late an inmate at the workhouse, who died from starvation under the following circumstances.

It appeared from the evidence of Fanny Giles, nurse at the workhouse, that deceased had been under her care for the past month. Latterly, he had refused all nourishment and expressed a wish that he might die. He said that his father and brother had shot themselves and he intended to commit suicide. When out of the workhouse, he had applied to a chemist for poison, but was given an emetic only, and his design was not then carried out. The thought of death was uppermost in his mind and he was determined to destroy himself.

He died from exhaustion and want of nourishment on the 25th November.


Elizabeth Annand, a dirty little woman, was charged with violently assaulting Mrs Susan Eagle, under the following circumstances.

The complainant, the wife of a bird-shop keeper, at 40, Great St Andrew-street, said that on the previous night the prisoner came into the shop and abused and struck her several times about the head with her fist, and tore out a quantity of her hair. It was the third time she had so treated her.

Mary Gardner said she heard the prisoner ask for Mr Eagle, and being told that he was not at home she attacked Mrs Eagle.

Prisoner: “Mrs Eagle’s husband has bewitched me. He has been murdering all of us for some time while in our beds. He has set a spell on me. I am enraged to madness, and can’t live. I am bewitched. I live in Lambeth.”

Mr Tyrwhitt: “You will have to find bail. Whether you are crazed or not I cannot tell; but your conduct is dangerous.”

The prisoner, who is a strange-looking woman, was then ordered to find bail of £500.

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