Victorian London - Crime - Violence, murders and assaults - Murder in Pimlico (Mr. William Collins)

The Times, December 18, 1876


The young man Frederick Treadaway, who stands charged with the murder of Mr. William Collins, of 99, Stanley-street, Pimlico, on Friday last, and with the attempted murder of Mrs. Collins, as reported in The Times on Saturday, was on Saturday night apprehended at Isleworth. In his possession was a revolver which had all the appearance of having been recently discharged, and he was yesterday morning conveyed to Rochester-row Police-station, which adjoins the court where, to-day, he will appear before the magistrate.
    Immediately after the crime had been made known to the divisional police, and this was at once, Superintendent Hayes, the chief of the division, in order to further the ends of justice, called in the aid of the Scotland-yard detectives, and Inspector Sayer, of Scotland-yard, and Chief Inspector Foynett, of the Pimlico division, acted together in order to secure the apprehension of the accused man. At first it was believed the crime was the result of passion, but, the fact being known that the deceased was in the habit of wearing a belt worn by travellers who presumably have large sums of money in their possession and the disarrangement of the deceased's clothes, showing that an attempt had been made to search this belt, it was considered not improbable that money had been obtained. The police quickly obtained all information about the accused man - that he was 5ft. 7in. in height, was 22 years of age, that the niece of the deceased, to whom he was paying his attentions, lived in Green-street, Harrow-road, that his father lived near the Hornsey-road, Holloway, and that he was in the habit of going down to Isleworth and Twickenham. A copy of his portrait was quickly printed off and, with all the other information, distributed broadcast among the police, and the Thames police were strictly enjoined to keep a watch on the river, all the railway stations were watched, the police at all ports of the kingdom were appraised of the "wanted," and all the outgoing passenger ships were watched.  At about 8 o'clock on Saturday night a constable of the T division stationed at Isleworth saw the prisoner go into a cottage at Isleworth, having all the appearance of being thoroughly tired and weary. He was allowed to enter unmolested, but the policeman soon followed and charged him with being the missing Frederick Treadaway who was accused of the murder. He had entered the cottage, knowing the man who lived there, and had asked to borrow a sovereign. He was taken to Isleworth police-station and searched, and it was found that he had the revolver, an empty purse, a pipe, a pair of spectacle, and some papers relating to the Civil Service examinations. . . . 
    The deceased was a retired builder, as stated on Saturday, and the house in which he lived was his own. The man charged with the murder had called a few times at the house, and was regarded as the future husband of their niece, and on the day of the crime had been admitted to have a chat. He said he was tired and would have a rest, and he had not been in the house long before Mrs. Collins heard the pistol shot, and, taking the alarm, rushed into the room, where she nearly met with her own death. There do not appear to be any grounds for the supposition which first arose that any conversation as to the niece led to the act. The habit of the deceased man, in regard to the wearing of a belt, was known and talked of in the family. Treadaway seized Mrs. Collins by the thrust, thrust his hands with such violence into her mouth as to knock out several of her teeth, and dashed her head to the ground with such violence as to cause the blood to spout from her ear.  . . . 
    The prisoner is not at all an unprepossessing-looking young man. His age is given as 22, but he has a boyish-looking face, and his youthful appearance is heightened by a fair complexion and his habit of parting his light hair in the middle of his forehead. His father's business - that of a tailor and hosier - he is stated to have followed, but he has not been employed for some months. 

Times, December, 1876