Victorian London - Crime - Suicide - Legal Proceedings 

    An elderly man named Charles Cooper, carrying out business as a shoemaker, in Marygold-street, Bermondsey, was charged with attempting to commit suicide in a most determined manner by hanging himself. 
    William Caplin, a cowkeeper, residing in Bermondsey, stated that, a little after two o'clock, on Sunday afternoon, he was passing the prisoner's house, when a young man rushed out and said that his father had hanged himself and was dead. Witness instantly entered the shop and cut him down, when he found that he was completely black in the face and insensible. A doctor was called in by the police and, after considerable trouble, animation was restored. 
    Inspector Morgan said that the prisoner was just upon dead when cut down and it took the doctor more than half an hour to resuscitate him. The prisoner said when recovered that as soon as he was set at liberty, he would make a hole in the water. Mr. A.Beckett ordered him to be detained until two sureties, of 25l each, for his future good conduct.  

from Daily News, 3rd April 1851

    Sarah Smith, aged 20, residing in Draper's-place, Burton-crescent, described on the police-sheet as a prostitute, was next charged with attempting to throw herself from the Maiden-lane-bridge into the Regent's-canal.
    It appeared from the evidence of Police-constable Towse, 185 S, that last night he was on duty in Maiden-lane when he saw the prisoner about to throw herself into the Regent's-canal. He took her to the station, and had since ascertained that a young man with whom she had been keeping company had treated another girl to some gin, which had made her jealous, and then she determined to commit suicide.
    The girl now stated that she was very sorry for what had occurred. She had a child to keep, and the father of it had gone abroad.
    The landlady of the prisoner came forward, and said that the girl had only lodged with her for a few days. She was a very kind mother and very clean.
    Mr. TYRWHITT, after addressing a few kind words to the prisoner upon her folly, discharged her, and gave her a trifle for her child.

The Times, October 9, 1856

SEDUCTION AND SUICIDE. – Mr. Collier, deputy-coroner for East Middlesex, held an inquiry at the Red Lion, Church-street, Stoke Newington, on the body of Frances Townes, aged twenty, a domestic servant, who had destroyed her own life under the following sad circumstances:- Deceased had been general servant in the employ of Mrs. Sarah Snellgrove of 44, Broughton-road, Stoke Newington, fro a year and nine months. She had been keeping company with a young man up to Easter when it was broken off, and witness’s husband, having reason to suspect deceased and his nephew of improprieties, instituted a watch upon them, the result of which was that he turned him out of the house early last month. After he left the girl became low-spirited, and more than once said she would commit suicide. On Tuesday last she was found in bed in great pain, and a doctor was sent for, but ere he arrived she was dead, and a packet which had contained Battles Vermin Killer was found close by her side. Her condition was not known until her pockets were searched, when the following letter was found amongst others:- “44, Broughton-road. – My Dearest Mother. – For the last time I write to you to state what a wicked daughter you have got. You will hear a great many lies about me but all of them are not true. I was made to tell lies by Mr. Hazell (the nephew spoken of). I hope that my sisters will never be led into such temptation as I was, and I hope they will see further than I have. I am not able to see you again on this earth, but I hope to meet you in the next. Please to thank her and Mrs. Snellgrove for their kindness to me. I remain, your wicked daughter, F. TOWNES. – You will find money in my box to bury me. I should like to see you all before I go.” The medical evidence showed that deceased was five months advanced in pregnany, and that death arose from the result of taking a large dose of Battle’s Vermin Killer. The ocoroner having commented upon the heartless conduct of the seducer, and expressed his regret that such men could not be made answerable for the death. The jury returned a verdict of “Suicide while of unsound mind.”

Reynolds's Newspaper, August 3, 1879