Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Thursday 12 July 1900
Strange Suicide at Conisborough
Yesterday, Mr. F. E. Nicholson held an inquest at the Station Hotel, Conisborough, touching the death of John James, who was drowned in the river on Monday, and whose body has not yet been identified by relatives.
According to a pedlar’s certificate found on him, he comes from Highgate, Kendal, Westmoreland, and is a native of Stockton-on-Tees.’
His age is 54, height, 5ft. 9 ½ in. dark brown hair, brown eyes, and fresh complexion.-
David Shelton of 2, Marr Street. New Conisborough, stated that Monday he was walking round Conisborough Cliffs, near the Rainbow Bridge, which crosses the river Don, when his attention was drawn to the deceased on the opposite side. He was standing still, with his bag in hand, and had no hat on. Deceased walked to a wall, and laid his pedlar’s bag on it.
Witness watched for two or three minutes, and saw deceased tie the bag round his neck, and walk towards the river. Witness called out, “Hey up. Master,” but deceased dived straight into the water. He had looked rather wet when witness first saw him. He was about 100 vards away, and could not get to him.
He informed the police and the body was recovered about four o’clock.
Sergeant Brown said he had written to the Chief Constables of Kendal and Stockton-on Tees, but had not received replies.
A verdict ” Suicide by drowning ” was returned.