The Conisborough Tragedy – Death of The Woman

August 1890

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 29 August 1890

The Conisborough Tragedy.

Death of The Woman

After lingering in fearful agony the unfortunate woman, Rebecca Beckett, who was shot on the 16th inst. by a lodger named Jesse Hoye, under circumstances with which our readers are already familiar, died at ten minutes to four on Tuesday afternoon, in the house where the tragedy occurred.

Little now remains to be said, for, despite every effort, the parties immediately concerned preserve a conspiracy of silence with regard to the possible motive of the murderer that is an effectual barrier to a complete elucidation of the tragic affair. Of course it is idle either for Lindley or the murdered woman’s grandmother to assert that they are entirely ignorant of what could have induced lloye to commit such an awful crime, and it is equally beside the mark to attempt to account for it by the fact that he was asked to seek fresh lodging.

A young man, however violent his temper, would not go and buy a revolver and for a week meditate upon a fearful and bloody deed, which he eventually put into execution, merely because a desire had been expressed that it would be convenient for him so live elsewhere. This explanation. tendered by witnesses at the coroner’s enquiries, has only been partially successful, for though it was some sort of an answer to the interrogation of the coroner, his deputy, and the juries —and, Inasmuch as the latter did not have to enquire into the motive, was passed by as sufficient—yet no one in his senses would maintain that it held half the truth.

Witnesses are enjoined to” speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” and it was quite evident that this injunction was disregarded and people who take a morbid interest in probing crimes of this description down to the very foundation will have to rest content with general surmises and speculations, which,however, near the truth they may be, do not bear upon them the official mark of veracity.

With the woman’s decease there is now no likelihood of anything more coming out. Hoye’s lips became sealed in death very shortly after he committed the deed, and if he has to answer for the dreadful consequences , it will not be to any earthly tribunal ; the unfortunate woman, Rebecca Beckett, after ten days of extreme mental and bodily anguish, is now silent in her long last sleep. whilst it is not likely that the third party in the tragedy, John Linley, who evidently, as well as Hoye, was deeply attached to the woman with whom he had been living, will ever divulge the circumstances that led up to the tragedy.

Beckett’s case was hopeless from the first, and it was only by the unremitting attention of Dr. and his assistant, Mr. Gibbs, and the kindness of Mrs. Hills and Canon and Mrs. Bulstrode, that her life was prolonged. The only wonder is that she should have survived her terrible injuries so long. No attempt was made to extract the ballets, as they were all too deeply seated,— one in the brain, one in the breast, and another in the throat, whilst a fourth bullet wound was discernible at the back of the neck. She grew weaker day by day, but spoke very little, and volunteered no statement. On Monday and Tuesday she grew unconscious, and only regained her seines at intervals.

For the last three or four days however, she evidently wished to say something, and strove hard to do so, but failed through difficulty of articulation. She was given slate and pencil, but was too weak to write. Several times her efforts to speak were painful, but during the last day or two it was too late, and she was doomed to die without unburdening her mind of something which must have caused her no little mental torture. At the finish she passed away peacefully.

Arrangements for the inquest were immediately made by P.c. Drury, in the absence of Sergeant Simpson, who is away on his holidays. P.c. Payne was also at the enquiry. The inquest, like the previous one, was held at the Star Inn, close adjoining the bones where the tragedy occurred, and took place on Wednesday evening, at seven o’clock, before the deputy-coroner, Mr. G. Nicholson. and the following jury ;—Messrs. Caleb Kilner (foreman), William Barlow, John Gibson, Henry Marshall, Thomas Booth, Bosdin James Clarkson, Benjamin Askham,  William Jones, Samuel Whitefield, John Pagdin, Charlie Gibson. Henry Saville, and William White Norwood.