Sheffield Evening Telegraph – Tuesday 11 August 1891
Fatal Result of Stopping to Drink at Conisborough
Last night Mr. Nicholson, deputy coroner, presided over an inquiry at the Castle Inn, Conisborough, touching the death of married women named Mary Keys, aged 50, wife of Francis Keys, glasshand. Burcrolt, whose body was found in stream supplying a disused dam, early Sunday morning.
The husband said that he and his sons made inquiries respecting deceased, as she did not come home on Saturday night, until three o’clock on Sunday morning, and falling, he then came to the conclusion that she had gone to Barnsley.
She was seen by his sons in the house at nine o’clock, and it did not strike him until afterwards that there was no train to Barnsley after that time.
The landlady and landlord of the Castle Inn deposed that deceased came for pint of beer and a “jack” of gin shortly before 10 o’clock i on Saturday night, and left carrying beer jug and the gin in bottle. She was sober.
She had to cross over the stream on her way home, and it appears that on reaching it she set down the jug (which was found next morning with the beer in it unspilled), and drank tho gin, for tbe gin bottle was discovered uncorked beside her in the bed of the stream next morning. It is conjectured that whilst drinking she got too near the edge of the bank and fell a distance seven feet. There were only few inches of water in the stream, and from the evidence Dr. McCall it did not appear that death ensued from drowning.
Police-sergeant Ambler, and other witnesses stated that her face was quite clear of the water, though her chin and ears were lapped by it.
The Doctor was of opinion that she died from the shock of the tall, followed by exposure, though the injuries she had sustained were not by themselves sufficient to cause death. She had swallowed a quantity water, but was not drowned. The fall would paralyse her and prevent her from calling out, and the exposure would the rest.
She was found at seven o’clock Sunday morning.
Tho jury returned verdict to the effect that the deceased met her death by accidentally falling into the stream.