Woman’s Dead Body found in a Pond

January 1906

January 6th 1906

Woman´s Dead Body Found In a Pond.

The deputy coroner, Mr. F. Kenyon-Parker, held an inquest at the Reresby Arms, Denaby Main, on Tuesday afternoon on the body of Margaret Pattison (50), wife of Wm. Pattison, of 17 Barnburgh Street, whose dead body was found in a pond near the Bone-mills on Sunday afternoon.

The first witness called was Sarah Gibson, living at the Bone-mill, who said she did not know the deceased to speak to, but only by sight. She last saw her alive on Sunday morning at 8-30, when witness was in her own house. The deceased was walking down the path which ran past the window ; she was walking towards the plantation near Meggitt´s pond. She was rather surprised to see a woman pass so early in the morning, which was very cold. She did not speak to her. The path led to a turnpike. She did not see her again until they brought her past dead, about one o´clock. Witness did not notice anything un-usual about the appearance of the deceased.

Wm. Till, of 33 Barnburgh Street, Denaby, said he knew the deceased only by name. He found her in the pond, but could not identify her. Witness had been to the Reresby Arms on an errand and had to go to Gibson´s and having occasion to go near the pond saw the deceased in the water. Witness called Mr. Tomlinson and ultimately with the aid of P.C. Clitheroe, the body was recovered.

The deceased´s head and arms were clear of the water, and about one yard from the side of the bank. Witness could not tell what the deceased was doing there, she had no business to be there. The bank was on a slant, and it was a very hard and frosty morning it was quite possible that anyone could have tumbled in accidentally.

In answer to a juryman, the witness said the deceased would have to cross some gardens to get to the spot where she was found.

Bertha Moss, living at 16 Barnburgh Street, Denaby, said the deceased slept at her house on Saturday night. She came to her house about eight o´clock stating that her husband had turned her out at home. She did not give any reason and she was crying nearly all the time. She stayed in the house until 8-30 on Sunday morning. She slept on the sofa all night. Witness went to bed at 11-50 on Saturday night. The deceased did not say anything about her affairs, but she was talking about her first husband all the time. She never said anything about drowning herself. When she went in the morning witness and her husband were upstairs, and she shouted ” Good morning ; I´ll be going before anybody is knocking about.” She seemed alright then, but her object in going away at that time was because she said her husband was so peculiar. Witness was very much surprised when she heard the deceased had been found in a pond.


Leah Froggatt, 88 Doncaster Road, who laid out the body of the deceased, deposed that she did not see any unusual marks on the body.

P.c. Frank Clitheroe said on Sunday afternoon he was called to the pond. He agreed with what Till had said. The deceased was fully clothed and not disarranged in any way. They were all wet through, and there was no doubt that she had been under water. He had not the least doubt that she was drowned. He had known the deceased for fifteen months, and he could not imagine that she fell into the pond accidentally. If she had fallen down the bank he did not think she could have got in the water at that particular spot. He had no idea why she had been turned out, but he had heard rumours.

Wm. Pattison, 17 Barnburgh Street, Denaby, husband of the deceased, a dataller at Denaby Main Colliery, said deceased was fifty years of age. He could not say whether she had drowned herself. He saw her last alive at one o´clock on the Saturday afternoon. It was true that she had been turned out. She did not know what she was talking about on Saturday because she had been drinking so long. She had been drinking for two or three weeks. She was not quite sober on Saturday, and she did not say anything when she went out.

A juryman, asked by the Coroner, also stated that he knew the woman drank a good deal. He did not believe the man was to blame at all. He had known him for thirty-two years, and had always found him to be straightforward, and not done him any harm.

The witness said he and his wife had had no words.

The Coroner said the statement made by a previous witness that the deceased had been turned out of her house wanted an explanation, but if the jury were satisfied she had been drinking and was not answerable for what she said, that was sufficient explanation.

Wm. West Lovett, son of the deceased by her first husband, living at 37 Doncaster Road, said he had seen his mother a good deal lately. It was, unfortunately, true that she had been drinking a good deal, so much in fact that he was sure that she did not know what she was doing or saying. She had often rambled off before, and he had gone to find her. He believed that her husband had treated her well.

In summing up the Coroner said that the deceased woman had been drinking for some days, and it was clear that any statement that she had made about her husband to Mrs. Moss were not justified by the facts. On the evidence it was almost incredible that she got into the water accidentally. Whether the jury thought that she had drowned herself whilst in the state of insanity, or whether there was sufficient evidence for them to bring in a verdict of ” found drowned ” was for the jury to say.

The jury returned a verdict of ” Found Drowned.”

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