Victorian London - Crime - Violence, murders and assaults - The Bayswater Mystery (Frederick Moon)

The Times, Friday, May 26, 1871


   At the Marylebone Police-court, Mrs. Flora Davy, 38 years of age was yesterday brought before Mr. Mansfield charged on suspicion of having caused the death of Mr. Frederick Moon, by stabbing him, at No.23, Newton-road, Bayswater, on the 24th inst. Although the deceased died about half-past 10 on Wednesday night the police had not communicated with his relatives before bring the case into court, and hence there was no lawyer present to conduct the prosecution. The brother of the deceased learnt the news while riding in Rotten-row, and arrived at the court after the case had been remanded, and the prisoner set at liberty on bail. The landlord of the house at which Mr. Frederick Moon lodged also heard what had happened through some one residing near the scene of the murder. The prisoner, it was said, had several times dined with Mr. Moon at his lodgings, and they appeared to be on very friendly terms.
    Mr. George Lewis, jun., defended the prisoner.
    William Futerall, 41 X, stated that about 20 minutes past 12 he went to No.23, Newton-road. On the first floor, in a back room, he found a man lying on the floor on his back. He was quite dead. The witness then went into the front room and saw the prisoner. Her clothes were very much disarranged and stained with blood. Her hair was dishevelled and she appeared to be greatly exciting.
    Dr. Phillips pointed out the knife produced (apparently a small carving knife with a sharp point), which was lying in the fender in the back room. Cross-examined - The back room appeared to be used as a dining-room. There were some biscuits, wine, and cigars on the table. A knife-basket, containing several knives, stood on the table. The deceased was lying close to the fender. The prisoner seemed delirious, and was crying. When she was taken into custody she asked to be allowed to go into the next room to see the body.
    Sergeant Woonton, 32 X, said he was called to the house in question at a quarter to 1 in the morning. He found the prisoner in the front dining-room. She had on a flannel dressing-gown. A jacket, a silk skirt, petticoat, cuffs, and chemise were given to him by Mr. Davy. They had all marks of blood on them. He took the prisoner to the police-station in a cab. He read over the charge to her, and she said, "I shall say nothing." Cross-examined. - She appeared to be very cool when he went to the house and asked him to allow her to go into the back room to kiss the body once more. He went with her into the room. She leant over the body. He did not see that she was crying. The stains of blood on her clothes were all in front, and were such as might have been produced by her taking the deceased in her arms to lay him down.
    Mr. George Turner Phillips, surgeon, of No.37, Prince's-square, Bayswater, stated that about half-past 10 on the previous night he was called to No.23, Newton-road. He went into the back dining-room and saw the deceased, lying on the floor, and the prisoner trying to undo his things in front. As she incommoded the witness, he half pushed her away, and requested the servant to take her out of the room. The man was almost pulseless, and evidently dying. He managed to swallow about a thimbleful of brandy, but never spoke. In the left side the witness found a wound about an inch and a half in length, which took rather an upward direction inward. It was three of four inches in depth, and passed between the fifth and sixth ribs into the pericardium. Mr. Moon ceased to breathe about six minutes after the surgeon came. The witness searched the room in order to find the instrument with which the wound had been inflicted and discovered the knife produced lying within the fender. He took it up and gave it to his father, who handed it to a policeman. After a little while the witness went into the adjoining room, and saw the prisoner, who was much excited and agitated, sobbing and crying. He had seen her previously at half past 9. She was then crying, seemed very much distressed, and said, "Oh! doctor, Fred is going on so. Can you come again in an hour?" Cross-examined. - Witness had been attending the prisoner for the last seven months. Lately she had been dangerously ill, and witness had met Dr. Gull several times in consultation at her house. Witness was sent for a second time on the previous night by the prisoner. She had sent for several doctors, and appeared to do everything she possibly could for the deceased. THere was no appearance of animosity on her part towards him; indeed, she seemed quite beside herself with grief. The position in which the witness found her would entirely account for the marks of blood on her clothes. He saw her kiss the body twice. She constantly begged to be allowed to go into the room. Assuming that he had taken a knife to her and she had struggled to get it away, the wound might have been inflicted accidentally in that way. The deceased was lying close to the fender, with a slight inclination to the left side. It was quite possible that as he fell in the struggle the knife might have fallen into the fender. The witness had had opportunities of seeing that the prisoner had always treated Mr. Moon with every appearance of affection.
    Mr. Mansfield consented to accept bail for the prisoner, who, in consideration of her ill health, was allowed to take a seat at the solicitor's table instead of being placed in the dock. The prisoner's husband offered himself as a surety, and his bail in the sum of 200l. was accepted for the re-appearance of the accused on Thursday next.
Monday, May 29, 1871

   Mrs. Flora Davy, alias Newington, has been re-apprehended and was on Saturday brought before Mr. Mansfield at Marylebone Police-court, charged with the wilful murder of Mr. Frederick Graves Moon on the 24 inst., at 23, Newton-road, Bayswater. On Friday, the day after the prisoner had been liberated on bail, tendered by a person who falsely represented himself to be her husband, information obtained from a private source was received at the police-court, and Mr. Mansfield immediately granted a warrant, on which the prisoner was apprehended at her house on the same night by Thomas Bungay, 61 D, one of the warrant officers attached to the court, and placed in the dock at 10 o'clock on Saturday morning, charged with wilful murder, instead of being charged, as on her previous examination, with having caused the death of Mr. Moon by stabbing him. The prisoner, who is 38 years of age, is rather tall for a woman, inclined to stoutness, but muscular and of robust appearance.
    . . . Captain Davy, a retired officer of the army, and a member of the Army and Navy Club, occupying the house in which the deceased was killed, having declared on oath that he was the husband ofthe prisoner when in fact he was not. The prisoner's real name was Newington. She was the wife of a solicitor of that name, who, however, had separated from her owing to bad conduct, and had since gone to Australia. The deceased, about 12 or 14 years ago, made the acquaintance of the prisoner. Only a day or two before his death he had given her two checks for 100l. each, which had been paid at the bank. Mr. Humphreys asked that the prisoner might be detained in custody until Thursday, when he should be in a position to bring forward further evidence concerning the charge.
    Mr. Mansfield replied that he was sorry to say a base fraud had been practised upon him. When he accepted bail for the prisoner he had no idea of the real facts of the case. He was led to suppose that the prisoner was a lady living in the house of her husband and that the latter was a respectable man whose bail might have been reasonably taken, since the evidence brought forward against the prisoner was very slight, and it was represented that she was in very bad health.
    . . .


   On Saturday morning, Dr. Lankester opened an inquiry at the Princess Royal Tavern, Hereford-road, Westbourne-grove.
    Mr. Humphreys watched the case on behalf of Sir Francis Graham Moon, Mr. G. Lewis, appeared for the accused, and Superintendent Eccles, X Division, and Inspector Shore, detective department, Scotland-yard, watched the case of behalf of the Commissioners of Police.
    The jury, 16 in number, were sworn, and proceeded, in custody of the Coroner's officer, to Newton-road, where they saw the body of the deceased lying on the floor in the dining-room (the first floor back), with a wound on the left side. On their return the first witness
    Mr. William Butler Langmore, living at 35, Portman-square, brother-in-law of the deceased, said deceased was 41 years of age, and a brewer. He was a single man. Saw him alive last Wednesday morning at 9 o'clock. He was at his father's house (Sir Francis G. Moon) in Portman-square. He was then in his usual health. He was not in the habit of drinking. The witness did not know that the deceased was in the habit of going to Newton-road to visit Mrs. Davy. The deceased was kind-hearted and liberal, and of very buoyant disposition. He was in extremely good circumstances. He had 3,000l. per annum. Never saw the deceased worse for liquor in his life. The deceased had not been to the Derby. He was not a sporting man.
    Adelaide Mathews, servant to Mr. and Mrs. Davy, said she had been in their employ three months. The deceased was in the habit of going to their house three or four times a week. He dined there on Wednesday evening at 7 o'clock with Mrs. Davy alone. Mr. Davy was in the country. Witness cleared the dinner away about half-past 8. She noticed that Mr. Moon seemed very gloomy, and talked very little. Mrs. Davy was in good spirits. She had champagne for luncheon about 1 o'clock. She was in the habit of taking brandy. Witness could not say if she took brandy on Wednesday. She had seen her very much excited, but could not say if it was in consequence of what she had taken. There was some Burgundy on the table. Could not say that she had not seen Mrs. Davy the worse for liquor. She was in the habit of drinking champagne by the doctor's order. Mr. Moon was never quarrelsome.
    By Mr Humphreys - There were Miss Dewin, Miss Poor and Mrs. Toynbee in the house at the time of the accident. Mr. Davy lived in the house, but had been away in the country a great deal lately. He is called Captain Davy at times. Since Mrs. Davy's illness Captain Daby has visited Mrs. Daby. I have known Mr. Moon to be in the house when Captain Davy was at home, but I don't know whether they ever met. I have always understood that Captain Davy was the husband of Mrs. Davy, or I should not have taken the situation. I knew Mr. Moon was not her husband. I always thought him a very intimate friend. I do not know that Mrs. Davy's right name is Newington. On the night in question I went into the dining-room to announce the arrival of Dr. Phillips. Mr. Moon was sitting at the table and Mrs. Davy was sitting in the arm chair. She looked as though she had been crying. She told me show Dr. Phillips into the drawing-room. Nothing had occurred up to that time. I showed Dr. Phillips into the drawing-room where the ladies were. Mr. Moon was perfectly calm and quiet when I saw him in the drawing-room. I believe Mrs. Davy went out to see Dr. Phillips. He was only there a few minutes. I know that deceased was the son of Sir Francis Moon. He was known by everybody in the house. About 10 o'clock the parlour bell and the call bell rang and Mrs. Davy was calling out in a very excited state, "Run for a doctor." I ran downstairs, and ran for Dr. Aspey. Miss Dewlin followed me out, and we both went to Dr. Phillips's who had previously called, but he was out, and we went back. Miss Poor and Mrs Toynbee went into the dining-room after dinner. They stopped there some time, and afterwards went into the drawing-room. Miss Pook went down for the Burgundy, but I cannot say whether it was drunk. I heard nothing said about money during the dinner. Before dinner Mr. Moon walked round the garden. He then appeared very gloomy and I noticed an unusual brightness in his eye. I took some olives in the room about half-past 9, and then Mr. Moon was joing about the young ladies' curls. He then appeared in very good spirits. The ages of the young ladies are about 20. They were on a vist at Mrs. Davy's. They used to go out to sleep. They used to call Mrs. Davy aunt. Mrs. Toynbee lived in Monmouth-road, and the young ladies slept there.
    Mr. HUmphreys - Can you tell me whether Mr. Moon ever slept at Mrs. Davy's? - I cannot say.
    Do you know whether he ever slept in the house? - Yes, he has.
    Do you know how this man Davy gets his living? - I do not know, Sir.
    What sort of spirits has Mrs. Davy been in since? - Very low.
    By the CORONER. - I don't know if the jury are aware that Mrs. Davy has been arrested again.
    Mr. Humphreys. - Do you know that a gentleman called on Thursday at the house? I do not know. I let no one in.
    By Mr. Lewis - Mrs. Davy has been very ill for some time. Dr. Gull has been attending her. Last Sunday week she first left her bed after her illness. Mr. Moon has not visited her so often lately. He has not slept in the house for a long time before last Saturday and Sunday. Whenever he slept there Mrs. Toynbee always slept with Mrs. Davy.
    Superintendent Eccles deposed. - I went to the house yesterday at 23, Newton-road, and a warrant for the apprehension of Mrs. Daby was brought to me. I read the warrant to Mrs. Davy and apprehended her upon it. The three letters with the photograph of the deceased, and also a fourth letter Mrs. Davy had in her hand at the time. The fourth letter, which I now produce, she tore across, and I snatched it from her hand at the time. I have also many letters and memoranda taken from the house, including a Prussian passport, dated the 27th of April 1871.
    Mr. Lewis then read the letters. The first was dated Thursday, July 2, 1870, and was from the deceased to Mrs. Davy, in which he repeated his love and devotion. The second one reiterated his love, and stating that, if possible, he thought more of her, and promising to write to her from Chesterfield. The third letter was date Saturday morning 7.30. In this he declared his sincere love, and repeated his anxiety to see her again.
    Mr. Blake, the Coroner's officer, said he searched the body of the deceased and found a gold watch, albert chain, 3l. in gold, and a check book.
    Ann Marsden Toynbee. - I live at 8, Monmouth-road. I know Mrs. Davy. I was led to believe that she was the wife of Captain Daby, but I don't know for certain. I have known her 12 years. I have known her as Mrs. Newington before. She changed her name about three years ago, when I was in the country. She told me she had been married before to Mr. Newington, who was a solicitor. I knew the deceased. I have seen him more or less for 12 years. She has been friendly with him all that time, more or less. I was there on Wednesday last, and always go every morning there and stop all day. I have been in the habit ever since they have been there - two or three years. I assist in the household duties. I go at 9 in the morning and leave at various hours. Mrs. Davy said she was going out on Wednesday to take a ride in the school witht two young ladies, "and will you mind staying in to see Fred, and tell him I shall not be long?" She got back about 4 or 5, and soon after that I looked out of the window, and I said, "Here comes Fred." She went upstairs to him, and the two young ladies were in the billiard-room. We four were to have them together, as it was doubtful whether he would come. After he came Mrs. Davy came to me and said, "Fred seems very unwell. You had better take tea in the billaird-room with the girls." This was about 6 o'clock. She was not particularly excited. I did not see him. They sometimes quarrelled. He was rather of a jealous disposition. He liked to be with her himself.
    Did you use to see Captain Davy? - Yes.
    Did they ever meet together? - Yes.
    Did they ever quarrel? - Not that I am aware of.
    Has Captain Davy been much at home lately? - Not lately.
    Has he often been at home lately? - Not much.
    Did he sleep with Mrs. Davy? - Yes.
    Did the deceased sleep with Mrs. Davy also? - I believe he did.
    You believe he did, you say? Are you certain he did? - (After some hesitation) Yes.
    Examination continued. - After dinner Mrs. Davy sent for the young ladies. I joined them afterwards.
    CORONER - Do you think the deceased had been drinking? - He seemed rather strange.
    Had Mrs. Davy been drinking? - Not that I observed.
    Was she unusually excited? - Not then.
    What time di you leave the party in the parlour? - About half-past 9. We left the deceased and Mrs. Davy together. He talked about it being the anniversary of his mother's death, and seemed very low. He also seemed very low at Mrs. Davy's going to Hamburg. She was going to start the next day. I heard no words. He seemed low-spirited. Before I left the dining-room he seemed more cheerful, because Mrs. Davy said, "We won't have any melancholy talk the last night." Before we left the dining-room he asked her to play a tune he was fond of, and Miss Dewlin played it. Soon after we got into the dressing-room Mr. Phillips came, and I heard Mrs. Davy say, "Do you mind calling again in an hour and a half?" The girls and I then went upstairs into the billiard-room. I and Miss Dewlin afterwards went upstairs, and all in a moment I heard a violent scream, and ran down instantly. I there found Mr. Frederick Moon lying on the hearth-rug, as I thought in a fit. Mrs. Davy called out, "Get a doctor, get a doctor." I went to get one, and when I got back I found Mrs. Davy and the deceased together. She said, "Oh, Fred, try to speak to me, and then she screamed and cried, "Try and get a doctor."
    Coroner- Well, did she say what happened? Witness. - No.
    Well, go on. I said we must try and staunch the wound.
    Did you see the blood then? - Yes; I thought he had fallen over the fender. She asked me to unfasten his collar.
    Did she never offer you any explanation at all? - No; I asked her on the Wednesday evening how it happened, and she said, "Oh, I don't know."
    Have you formed any idea of your own as to how it happened? - Not in the least. I thought he had a fit.
    You know now that it was a wound with a knife? - Yes.
    Well, have you formed any idea how it happened? - No, not at all.
    How was he lying? - With his head on the hearth rug, and a little on one side.
    Did he speak? - No, not a word.
The Times, Tuesday, May 30, 1871


   Yesterday afternoon Dr. Lankester, coroner for the Central Division of Middlesex, resumed the adjourning inquiry, at the Princess Royal Tavern, Hereford-road, Westbourne-grove, concerning the death of Mr. Frederick Graves Moon, aged 41, who was killed on Wednesday last at 23, Newton-road, Bayswater.
    Mr. Humphreys (of the firm of Humphreys and Morgan) appeared for the relatives of the deceased; and Mr. G. Lewis, jun., for Mrs. Flora Davy, alias Newington, who is now in custody charged with the wilful murder of Mr. Moon.
    The examination of the medical witnesses was continued and
    Mr. George Turner Phillips, surgeon, of 37, Prince's-square, having been re-called, stated that he had known Mrs. Davy about seven months. She had been accustomed to an excess of stimulants, and was suffering generally from dipsomania and its effects. She had no regular attack of delirium tremens during the time he had been attending her. He had ordered her to drink a certain quantity of champagne. She had of late been more temperate in her habits, and was a great deal better on Wednesday morning. She then told him that she meant to go out for a ride. He tried to dissuade her from doing so, fearing that she would make herself worse, as she was not accustomed to horse exercise. Finding that she persisted in going, he said he should call again in the evening to see how she was, and that was the reason he went to the house the second time on the same day about half-past 9. He was shown into the drawing-room, where he found Mrs. Toynbee, Miss Dewling, and Miss Pook. In about five minutes the door was opened quickly, and Mrs. Davy came in hurriedly crying very much. She said, "Oh, doctor, Fred is going on so; can you come again in an hour?" He had been told by Mrs. Davy that Mr. Moon was her stepbrother, and believing this he had never seen any reason to suspect that theere was anything improper in their intimacy. She usually spoke of him as "poor Fred," and had told the witness that he was subject to some kind of fits, she thought epileptic fits. Mrs. Davy was certainly an excitable person. When he saw her on Wednesday night he could not say that she had taken more than was good for her. The words she uttered were spoken distinctly and coherently. He had heard her speak hastily, and thought she was self-willed. He had never known her to commit any violent act.
    By Mr. Humphreys - He found black marks and small particles of coal in Mr. Moon's hands. These marks might be accounted for on the supposition that he had been stabbed, and in falling had reached across the fender and grasped a piece of coal. When he was fetched to the house about half-past 10, Mrs. Davy seemed beside herself with grief, and kept saying, "O, dear Fred, come back." About a quarter of a hour after the deceased breathed his last witness went into the adjoining room where Mrs. Davy was under the care of witness's father, who is also a surgeon. The witness said to her, "Good God! How did it happen?" She replied, "Oh! I don't know how it was. There was a scuffle and I fear I must have donie it." She saif the dispute was caused by some words used by the deceased concerning her daughter. (It was stated that this daughter is married to a friend of Mr. Moon's.) The witness thought it would have been next to impossible that the deceased could have inflicted the wound himself. It was take an enormous pressure to send such a knife as the one found by the deceased through his coat, waistcoat, shirt and undershirt. Mrs. Davy used to drink brandy.
    By the CORONER - In the state she was no in a small quantity of brandy would be likely to excite her more than it would formerly have done.
    By Mr. Lewis - She had been attended by witness's fahter, in whose care she was placed by Dr. Gull. The witness believed that she left her bed for the first time after a serious illness on the Saturday preceding the Wednesday in question. Supposing there had been a struggle for the knife, and Mrs. Davy had got it in her hand, it was not impossible that the wound might have been produced if he had fallen on his left side. When witness interrogated her she seemed unconscious how the sound had been caused. She appeared bewildered. Witness could not undertake to swear that she had not said it was done as they fell.
    By the CORONER - His impression was that she used the word "in a scuffle" or "in the scuffle."
    By Mr. Lewis - She constantly asked to be allowed to kiss the body.
    Superintendent Eccles, of the X Division, produced the knife found in the fender beside the deceased. It was such a knife as is used for carving fowls with, having a blade and handle each about 7in. long. The point appeared to be rather blunt.
    By Mr. Humphreys - It would require very considerable force to send such a knife as the one produced through all the clothes worn by the deceased. It would have requred the weight of the body falling against something offering firm resistance to have driven the knife in. The witness described the position in which the body was lying and the direction and character of the wound.
    . . .
    Mr. Richard Phillips, surgeon of Leinster-square, stated that he had attended Mrs. Davy about two months ago. She was placed in his hands by Dr. Gull. The witness was sent for on Wednesday night, and found Mrs. Davy in great agitation, sitting on a chair in the drawing-room. She said, "Oh, doctor! How is he?" I said, "The man is dead." She repeated the words, "Dead, doctor? dead? Impossible." He replied that it really was so, and she fell down in a semi-unconscious state on a chair and said, "Oh, doctor, doctor, I am afraid it is I who have done." He exclaimed, "Impossible, Mrs. Davy, you could not have done it." She answered, "I really think I did, but I don't know how." Witness said, "For God's sake, explain yourself, Mrs. Davy." She then said, "We were sitting after dinner at table, and Fred made an observation to me about my daughter which annoyed me excessively. I begged him not to repeat it, for I could not stand it. Mr. Moon said, "I will say it again, and if you are not silent I will fling the bottle at your head." She stated that she then jumped up with a knife in her hand. They struggled and fell, and she saw the blood pouring out and she could not tell how. She said that was all she knew about it. Witness, being under the impression that she was a married woman, told her she must send for her husband immediately. She said he was at his club, and a servant was sent in a cab for him. Witness left some one by her side while he went for a police-constable.
    By Mr. Lewis - She did not at all withhold the explanation from him, and she led him to believe that the wound was received in the struggle, but she did not exactly know how. She always appeared to him to be a well-conducted lady, except in the matter of her indulgence in stimulants. She was an habitual drinker.
    Mr. W. Morrant Baker, F.R.C.S., agreed with Mr. Savory that, although it was possible the wound was the result of a fall, yet it was improbable.
    Mrs. Ann Marsden Toynbee, cross-examined by Mr. Humphreys, said she had known the deceased and Mrs. Davy about 12 years. When Mr. Moon was found to be dead, she sent a Mrs. Dewling (mother of one of the young ladies before mentioned) to the chambers at No.40, St. James-street, occupied by the deceased, in the hope that Mr. Pickford, one of his friends who sometimes stayed with him, might be found there. Mrs. Dewling, not finding him there, was asked to go to Charing-cross and to telegraph to Mr. Pickford, who was a surgeon in the Grenadier Guards at Windsor. She thought he would best communicate the sad news to Mr. Moon's relatives. On the Derby Day Mr. Moon sent the telegram produced, requesting Mrs. Davy to take luncheon with him in his chambers. She, however, went to the riding school instead, and he came to Newton-road to dinner. Witness had only one room at No.8, Monmouth-road. The two young ladies mentioned before were stopping at the same house. A dining-room and bedroom were taken at the same house for Captain Davy, because the nurse occupied the dressing-room at No.23, Newton-road. He had not slept at the house in Monmouth-road, but dressed there. She thought the rooms had been engaged for him about a fortnight. She knew that Mrs. Davy had gone by various names. She had been called a "Countess;" but it was only a nickname. Her real name was Hannah Newington, but she had at different times assumed the names of De Morne, Frances Canning &c. Witness had heard that she was charged at Marlborough-street Police-court with robbing a Mr. Whaley of jewelry, and that Mr. Moon had paid 300l. to get her out of her difficulty. Witness became acquainted with her when she was stopping at the Southwick Hotel, which was then kept by the witness's husband. She had a nasty temper, but witness had never heard her threaten to use violence to Mr. Moon, although they had sometimes quarrelled. Witness cashed two cheques for 100l. each on the 22nd inst. for Mrs. Davy, and afterwards paid 95l. into the London and Westminster Bank, where Mrs. Davy had an account. About 102l. was spent getting some of Mrs. Davy's jewelry out of pawn. The witness had never heard that Mr. Moon had made a settlement on Mrs. Davy, and that she would get a further sum of money in the event of his death.
    . . .
    Mr. Daniel Bishop Davy said he had formerly been in the army, but had sold out and entirely left the service. He held the lease of 23, Newton-road, but he had not been residing there during the last 12 months. He had known the person who went by the name of Davy about three years. She had not made any statement to him concerning the death of the deceased. He knew that Mr. Moon visited at the house. He was not aware until he heard it in evidence that Mr. Moon supplied her with money, as she had led him to believe that within the last 12 months some property had been left to her. Witness had seen Mr. Moon twice or three times.
    By Mr. Lewis - Witness had supplied her with money to the extent of 1,400l. or 1,500l., paying her expences and supporting her for about two years. He had never heard that she could benefit directly or indirectly by Mr. Moon's death. Witness came forward to bail her at the police-court the day she was apprehended. He did not say he was her husband. He was not asked. Two questions only were put to him - "Are you a householder? Are you worth 200l.?" and he simply answer in the affirmative.
    . . .

The Times, Friday, Jun 02, 1871

   The CORONER then summed up the evidence, putting before the jury the three suppositions which had been raised - namely - 1, that the deceased had committed suicide,; 2, that he had fallen upon the knife by accident, either when the weapon was in his hand or in hers; and, thirdly, that she had, either fearing he was going to hurt her, or in a fit of passion, plunged the knife into him. It might become a question for the jury in the superior court to decide whether, being an habitual drunkard, she had, losing all power of self-control, committed the fatal act in a moment of temporary insanity, but this was not a question to be now considered. The attempt to show that she would be interested in his death had entirely failed, and all the evidence showed clearly that she repented almost as soon as she committed the deed, provided she did commit the deed.
    The room was cleared, and the jury, after consulting together for about half an hour, returned a verdict of "Wilful murder against the person known as Flora Davy."

Times, May/June, 1871