No corrections yet
MURDER OF A WIFE AND SIX
TIÎE Times gives the following description of the scene q£ the murder of his wife and six children by Sergeant Whitworth.
" On opening the door of the house the appearance of the dresser, with the crockery, &c, upon it, with the pans and pails, &c, show it to have been the living room. In front of the fireplace stood two chairs, on which were hung two printed children's frocks whiph had been placed there to dry. A staircase to the right of this room led to a bedroom, in which was a bedstead with bedding on it, but no clothing, and nothing disturbed beyond the absence of the clothing from the bed, tho bedding being perfectly even. On the stairs, however, were two or three spots of blood. At the foot of this staircase, at a distance of about six feet, another door led into a room on the ground floor, which had been used as an office by Whitworth, his letter-book lying on the table, with a number of official forms and envelopes. The flooring of this room was covered with bloody footprints of naked feet and feet with stockings on, two of the footprints being those of children of different ages, and others those of a man, the latter in some places with the mark of the stock- ing on the foot plainly impressed on the floor, and in other parts with the naked foot as distinctly marked on the boarded flooring These footprints crossed and re crossed each other, and led into the entrance to the kitchen, the only chance of escape from the house, but there took back an abrupt turn towards the sta'rs in the room leading to a second sleeping room above. On those stairs the footprints were thicker and more intermingled with blood. From tho marks in the rooms below and on the stairs, it would appear that some of the children had escaped from the room, and had been pursued by the murderer and driven upstairs again, where he completed his horrible work. On going upstairs and entering the room the sight was inde- scribably dieadful. Opposite the door was the window, with folding wooden shutters inside. At the right hand side'of the room was the fireplace, and on the mantel above it were two prayer-books, with other little family articles. The floor of the room was covered with blood, papers, and articles of children's clothing, and also an overturned bedchamber candlestick, and from this floor were taken the razor and cutlass with which the murders were perpetrated. Whitworth's boots were also found in the room, without any marks of blood upon them. At the left side of the room stand two bedsteads, in a liae with each other. On the outer edge of that nearebt the door lay Mrs. Whitworth, dressed, with the exception of her boots, and her throat gashed in a hor- rible manner, and showing the vertebras of the neck. The wounds of the mother and her six children were all of the same shocking character. An infant lay across the mother's lap, and had been placed at the breast, in which position the mother had evidently fallen asleep, and been deprived of life be- fore she awoke. On this same bed were the bodies of the second girl and eldest boy, which had both been thrown on the bed after being murdered. On the bed nearest the window lay the eldest girl and another one, both of whose countenances boro the impress of the deepest horror. They had their stockings on, and the soles of thom were saturated with blood. At the head of the same bed lay a little boy, about two years old. The marks on some of the pil- lows would appear to indicate that the mur- derer used them to stifle his victims' cries
while he deprived them of life. A back door led from the houso along the foot of the earthen rampart, and where there was a piece of garden which had been tended with great care. Many rumours have been cur- rent in the village concerning remarks which are stated to have fallen from the
children for some days previous to the mur- der, and also about the murderer's intention to have fired the magazine in the fort ; but nothing was adduced at the inquest with reference to any of these rumours, with the exception that the key of the magazine was found in the room with the bodies, and that the powder in the magazine was all piled together in its centre. The most unaccount- able part of the whole of this wretched affair is that in this small block of build- ings, with only thirty-five paces between them, seven out of sixteen human beings should have been murdered without any cry or noise of any kind being heard."
At the inquest a witness said : >
" On going into the bedroom I found the room was nearly in darkness, the right hand shutter being open about six inches. I opened them, and the first thing I saw was an old sword lying in the centre of the floor, in the midst of bloody papers and pools of blood. I next saw the ring on the woman's left hand glittering as her hand hung over the side of the bed. I then opened the shut- ters, and went to the bed, where I saw the body of Mrs. Whitworth and those of three of the children-tho eldest girl, the baby, and one other child. On the next bed, nearest the window, at tho foot, lay the body of the scconl eldest girl, a boy about two years of age, and one other child. The throats of Mrs. Whitworth and all the child ren were cut, and all the children were quite dead. Mrs. Whitworth wns dressed, with tho exception of her boots. All the children were in their night dresses, but had their socks on, with the exception of the eldest girl, who had none on. All tho bodies were partially covered with bedclothes, Mrs. Whitworth's moro so than the others. The beds and clothes were saturated with blood. On the socks of the eldest girl there was much blood, as though she had been walk- ing in it. The bedclothes were much dis- ordered, and some on the floor. On the floor, near the sword, I saw lying an open white-handled razor, about two feet from
where the body of Mrs. Whitworth was lying, and almost -opposite to her head. I called out, and some other men carno up to
the room. There were marks of blood hav- ing spiited on the walls, and on the bed- posts, and one large drop on the window sill. The sword and razor I gave to the police constable. The bloody footmarks on the stairs and in tho room below appeared of two sizes, tho larger ono from a naked foot; the smaller ones appeared to havo boen made by feet with stockings on, and, as far as I could judge, were mado by one of the children. Last night at tho hospital I saw Whitworth there in bed, and heard him say to one of the men who was watch- ing him, ' poor little Bobby is gone.' The man then asked him what the namo of his children wore. Ho said ' The eldest wns Ellon ; and there's Lizzy, Molly, Freddy, Willy, and Bobby.' The man thon asked him what their ages wore ; and ho replied that the eldest was twelve years, and the youngest twelve months. Ho continued talking in a rambling way through the night about his duties and his garden. The sword found in tho room with the bodies was spat tared with blood, but did not appear to have been used. The razor was deeply stained with blood, but did not appear to havo been used. The razor was deeply stained with blood, and part of the edge was turned, as though it had como in contact with some
Captain Manners said:
"I wtiB on the barrack parade-ground I yesterday, about 2 p.m., wbon I saw Whit
worth running across it in great excitement. Captain Robinson .was a few. paces in. front,
and Whitworth threw himself_on his knees" before him, and, holding up his hands, ex-
claimed, 'For God's sake, sir, save mel'. . He then gave Captain Robinson his watch, an envelope with some papers, and soma money, aud said, ' He's used me dreadfully ; he's held a pistol at my head, and swore he'd shoot me if I didn't cut my throat ;' pulling down at the same time the collar of his coat, and showing his throat covered with blood. He then added, 'There's awful work down lhere, pray go down.' He waa. sent to the hospital, walking there himself^ Some one then present on the parade said, ' ' He has murdered his family,' and then IJ immediately ran down to the fort. _ On ar-
riving there I fouud Sergeant Daish and, some other men comiug out of the door of the house. I have seen Whitworth since he has been in the hospital. Ho wanted to know who the doctor was, and asked for a cool bandage to be placed on hi3 forehead, which was done. He then said, fAh! my poor wife has put many a bandage to my forehead. She was a good wife and a good woman. I nursed her for a fortnight once, and she nursed me, and I've nursed the children. Wo did all for each other, and were an affectionate family. Ho continued talking in a ramblina manner about ships coming to attack the fort, and asked if the fort was condemned, &c."
Dr. Leeson said :
" I went to the fort and saw the bodies. -, All were quite dead, and I should judge tbey had been so about fifteen hours. The wo-
man's windpipe was completely severed on,, both sides, together with the large vessels and nerves. I consider the wouuds to have been made while she slept, as there were no cuts on her hands nor any signs of a
resistance being made. Threo children ^ were in the same bed, all with their throats cut in the same ' manner as the mother's, but with jagged wounds, from the edge of the razor having been taken off in cutting into the woman's throat so deeply. One of the children lay in in a doubled up position, as though caused by agony, or by the body being thrown oa the bed afcer death. At the woman's feet lay a girl about eleven years of age, whose throat had evidently been hacked at. AU the large vessels were separated. On the
woman's thigh lay an infant, with a severe', cut from side to side of the throat, extend-
ing from behind tho anglo of the lower jaw ' upwards to the joint. Tho wound was, in, witness's opinion, caused by the child being held up and the cutlass drawn across. The. eldest child on this bed had blood on the soles of her naked feet. On the bed near the
window one girl was lying on her side as , thrown there, or having thrown herself there
in despair. A severe cut, several times re- . poated, had severed the windpipe. She had stockings on saturated with blood, and in ' the room downstairs were footmarks of the size of the feet and distinctly showing the web of the stockings. In the same bed were the bodies of another girl and a boy. It appeared from the pillows that they had been used to stifle the children's cries while the wounds were inflicted. The wounds
were not clean cut wounds, but had evi- . dently been cut and haggled at. The wounds on some of the children might have been inflicted by either the cutlass or razor. The wounds described were in each case the cause of death, and it is not probable that any of them could be self-inflicted. Among the foootptiutsonthe stairs, aud in the room downstairs, wore those of an adult. Whit worth's feet wero o'f peculiar formation, hav- ing a bunion on the ball of each foot, and a. protuberance somewhat unnatural on each side of the feet. The footprints of tho naked foot on the boarding of the floor downstairs exactly correrponded, and gave the peculiar conformation of the foot distinctly. In, those footprints of the adult which showed the web of the stockings they also exactly agreed with Whitwprth's socks, which were taken off his feet at" the hospital, one of thom having a circular web at the heel and the other a straight one."
Inspector Campbell, superintendent of the police, sworn : " I found the papers I now produce on the floor of the room where the bodies are lying."
One of these papers was a copy of a letter to Captain Rogan, of the Royal Artillery,' signed by Whitworth,' and stating that having been informed that he would be re- moved from Sandown Fort next month, he, respectfully requested that his application might bo forwarded to the authorities to be allowed to remain at Sandown until the ex- piration of his time for pension, about nino
The other document was written on a piece of paper about six inches long by four wido, with a load pencil. On tho mantel was a pencil just above the place where the paper was found. This last paper was covered with blood, and from that cause was.
partly illegible. The words that could be
rmide out ran thus :
J' Sandown Fort, 1S00,17 May, 1800.
" tnfisrn plot murdered ¡sergeant Whttworth's wife and six children. Lieut.-, K.E.
Dr.-tito i aacall under n cloalc as a friend. Shoik ingwork Captain Corporal- -- Captain
The prisoner was committed on the charge
of wilful murder.
THE EMPEROR NAPOLEON AND THE EAM. . OF ELGIN.-The London correspondent of tho Manchester Examiner writes:-"I heard the other day an anecdote with re- spect to an interview between Lord Elgin and the Emperor Napoleon, when the former was lately in Paris on his way to the East ; and, as I have every reason to believe it is perfectly authentic, I repeat it for what it is worth. ' Well my lord,' the Ethperor is reported to have said ou receiving his visi- tor, 'what are you doing in England?* ' Why,' replied the Ambassador, 'your Ma- jesty has at last succeeded in making us a military nation.' His Majesty, it is said, turned away with an air of disgust, and de- clined to pursue a conversation so pregnant with unpleasant suggestions."
A subcription is going forward in England ? for the sufferers hy the late tremendous gales on the eastern coast, to which we allude in anothor part of our paper. It appears that upwards of 20 of the largest fishing boats in Norfolk and Suffolk toundored, with all hands on board, and that more than 186 men thus perished, loaving between 200 and 300 widows and children destitute. Besides this awful loss of life, there has been a destruction of property which has deprived the men who have been spared of the means of earning their future livelihood. Numbers of their boats have been wrecked and broken up, and a vast quantity of their nets have been
We learn from Dublin that Mr. M'Robins, the enthusiastic attorney's clerk, who carried off the Sherwood children from Galway, and against whom an attachment was issued by the Queen's Bench, has been captured after a long chase and is now a prisoner in the Marshalsea. M'Robins makes tho fifth person in custody in tho matter. Nevertheless no clue to the children has yet beon obtained, and justice is so far defeated.
The Pairie says :-" A comet has been very visible for some days. It is situated in the N.N.W., between the Great nnd Little Boar. Its nucleus is about the Bize of a star of the second magnitude, and ita. > tail is long aad fanshancd "