Suicide at Conisborough – Young Married Woman’s Rash Act

January 1905

Mexborough and Swinton Times January 14, 1905

Suicide at Conisborough
Young Married Woman’s Rash Act

The quietness of the village of Conisborough was greatly disturbed on Monday evening, when it became known that a young married woman taken her own life under tragic circumstances

Mr F.E.Nicholson, the district coroner, held an enquiry on Wednesday afternoon, touching the death of Laura Saxton, aged 23, wife of Fred Saxton, a butchers manager of Co-operative Terrace, at the Eagle and Child Hotel. Mr Moody was the foreman of the jury.

The first witness called was Fred Saxton, and he said he was a butcher’s manager for the Co-operative’s Society, and lived at 5 Co-operative Terrace. He saw the deceased alive last on Monday at 1:30 PM. He then left the house, been accompanied by her aunt, Anne Marsden, who lived at Goldthorpe and had been staying with them as his wife had been recently, confined – three weeks ago. The child died the previous Thursday morning the 5th inst. The deceased was not low spirited previous to her confinement. Dr Craik had attended her.

On Monday he returned home, about 4 o’clock having left the deceased alone in the house. When he got in the house, tea was not ready as it usually was, and he failed to find his wife. Noticing the cellar door open, which was an unusual thing, he descended and found his wife lying at the bottom, on her face. He raised her up, thinking she had fainted. Afterwards he ascertained there was some blood about, but he did not notice at the time that her throat was cut.

Witness ran out of the house to the manager’s shop, and then went straight for the doctor. Dr Craik accompanied him back and afterwards the doctor in his presence discovered a razor on the floor. The police afterwards came. The deceased, who had been very delicate, and never threatened to take her life, or to do anything of the sort. She could hardly read about such things in the paper. There was nothing for him to suspect there was anything of the kind contemplated. There was not the slightest reason to believe someone else inflicted the wound. They parted on the best of terms at 1.30 and she kissed him before he went out.

And Elizabeth Marsden, a single woman, of Goldthorpe said the deceased young lady was her niece. Witness had been staying with her for some time, and left on the 9th inst at 1.30 pm with deceased’s husband. When they parted, the indices seem to be quite cheerful. She had fretted a little after the child’s death on the 5th but not a lot, but she was weak and rather depressed. She had her husband lived very happily together.

Margaret Harrison, midwife of West Street, spoke to attending deceased during her confinement. She was rather depressed sometimes.

Dr Robert Craik, practising at Conisborough said he had attended the deceased nearly from her confinement, which took place three weeks last Monday. He continued to attend her for 10 days. The child, which was prematurely born, was very weakly and died rather suddenly. He was called into the house on Monday evening, by the husband around 4 pm. The first witness was very much excited, said he was afraid his wife had done herself an injury. They proceeded into the cellar and they found deceased’s wife on the floor. She was dead, suffering from a severe wound in her throat. When he moved her a razor dropped out of the folds of her dress. The blood was clotted on the floor and about the neck. She had been dead at least an hour. The wound in her throat was rather a severe cut, the windpipe having been opened out, and would cause almost instant death from haemorrhage. He had noticed that she had been rather depressed and that she was a weakly woman. She seemed to be rather a fragile creature. She had fretted about the child, as he had never from the first given her any hope it would live

PC Thompson said he went to the house about 5 o’clock. He found the razor, and the diseased right hand was clenched as if she had had something in it. From enquiries he made he had ascertain that the husband was at Denaby at the time

Mr Moody, the foreman of the jury, said he knew the parties, and they always appeared to live together on the best possible terms

A verdict of suicide during temporary insanity was returned. The coroner remarked that the case was a very painful one, but the evidence was quite clear