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George Derry commits suicide.



An Inquest was held at the Vine Hotel, on Tuesday, before Mr. Coroner Wallis, on the body of George Derry, a chemist's porter, who died under peculiar circumstances. - William Derry, of 21 Elgin Place, greengrocer, said he was the father of the deceased, who was married and 33 years of age. He had been in the employ of Mr. Taylor, chemist, for 15 or 16 years. Witness had not spoken to deceased for two years, because he disapproved of his marriage. He last saw his son alive on Saturday night.

- Eliza Derry, the wife of the deceased, said she resided in Charles-street. Her husband went home from work on Monday night between half-past eight and a quarter to nine. He was alone, and had had some drink. About half past nine o'clock he went out again with a friend named Strond, a foundry-man at Newark. She and her grandmother had gone to bed when the deceased returned at twenty minutes past eleven o'clock. He knocked at the door, and witness went down and let him in. She left him downstairs with a light and went to bed. He went soon afterwards to her bedroom door. He said "Where's Daisy," and witness and her grandmother replied that she was comfortable and asleep. He asked for Daisy to be brought to him, but her grandmother told him to go to bed. He said "Good night; God bless you both," three times she believed. Then he said, "What I'm going to take will have an effect," and that was the last she heard. She said, "What does he mean," and sat up in bed for a moment or two, but did not get up.

Her grandmother went to call the deceased at a quarter-past six o'clock next morning. She called him three times, and there was no answer. Witness went to the door to her, when she said "He's dead." She then went for Mr. Appleby, surgeon, who pronounced her husband to be dead. At noon on Monday she had some words with her husband, and he had no dinner. They had been married five years. During the last two years they had been very wretched. Witness went away for a fortnight unknown to her husband. She returned home by the mail on the morning of Monday week. They had some words when she got to the door, and he said he hoped she would stay at home. Witness said, "I would if there were no more quarrelling." The same morning when he came home he brought a bottle, which he said had rum in it. He poured some out in a glass to drink, but she knocked it out of his hand. He again brought home some liquid, which he called medicine, and said he should drink it and drop at their feet. She again knocked it from his lips. The rumours in the town as to her jealousy were untrue. 

Mrs. Poole, widow, who had been residing with Derry (Mrs. Derry being her granddaughter) gave evidence confirmatory of that which Mrs. Derry had given. She narrated how the deceased came home on Monday night, and after asking for the child, whom they refused to arouse, he bade them good night several times, and said "God bless you." The next morning when they went to call him up he lay dead. Deceased and his wife had lived unhappily for the last two years, and latterly they had occupied separate rooms. About a week ago he produced some liquid which he said was rum, and stirred something in it with a spoon. Mrs. Derry prevented him from drinking it, and in the scuffle some of the liquor went into witness's mouth. It made her ill for several days after. Deceased said that when he had drunk the stuff he should drop down before them. Subsequently he asked them to say nothing at all about the matter. The other evidence taken was as follows:- Emma McGuire said she was residing at Mr. Wilson's 9 Charles-street, which was next door to Derry's house. She had often heard Mr. and Mrs. Derry quarrelling.

On Monday night she heard Derry come home and go into his own room, which adjoined that which she occupied. She heard him distinctly ask for the child, but could not tell what the answer was. She then heard him say, "Then it's going to stop." He then said, "Good night, God bless you; God bless you for ever. I am going to lie down, and you'll pick me up dead. I am now going to take it, and I hope it will have it's desired effect." Witness called out to Mrs. Wilson, but did not make her hear. She then heard him say, "I've took it. Farewell for ever. Good-bye. God bless you both." He also said, "I shan't blow the candle out." She heard him give a deep groan and all was quiet after. She ran to Mrs. Wilson's room and said. "Oh, he's dead. Mr. Derry has poisoned himself." She felt so sure he was dead that at last Mr. Wilson got up, but as they had often heard them moving about he thought she might be mistaken. Mr. Wilson went out for a policeman, but all seemed quiet. This morning she heard that Derry was dead. - Mr. T. Wilson said when the last witness came to their room, about half-past eleven, he got up at once and went for a policeman. He found an officer, and told him what Miss McGuire had heard. They went together to the house, and as everything seemed still about the place the officer said he did not see how he could interfere, but he would report it to the sergeant.

He heard some words pass between Mr. and Mrs. Derry about half-past eight or nine o'clock last night, which was a frequent occurrence. He could not tell what they were quarrelling about. Witness had never seen the deceased otherwise than sober or steady. - Mr Taylor said he was one of the firm of Taylor and Son, chemists, Newark. The deceased was in their employ, and had been so about 15 years. He was a very faithful, good servant. Witness knew about his marriage, and that at that time he had a nice sum in the savings bank. He also knew that during the last two years deceased had been very unhappy at home. Witness had spoken to him about his taking more drink than he should do, and he replied he (Mr. Taylor) did not know what he had to bear. He did not, however, say what the trouble was about. The wife used to fetch him away from his business, and witness had to interfere. The bottle produced had their private mark upon it. Deceased had the entire run of the establishment, having been with them so many years, and must have got the bottle out of the poison cupboard. He was a man of good education. - Mr. F. Appleby, surgeon, deposed that he had known Derry ever since he was a choirboy in the parish church. He served as errand boy to Messrs. Lacey, Hodgkinson and Job, surgeons, and must have learnt something about drugs then.

About quarter-past seven o'clock on Tuesday morning he was called up, and went at once to the house. He found deceased in bed, quite dead. On the floor, by the side of the deceased, was a cup with two drops of liquid in it. On a chest stood a bottle containing a small quantity of prussic acid. If the bottle was full when deceased took it, he must have had enough to poison about thirty people. - The Coroner having summed up, the jury returned a verdict "That deceased had committed suicide while in a state of temporary insanity."


NOVEMBER 7, 1884.


- A distressing case of suicide occurred at Newark on Monday night or early on Tuesday morning. A young man named George Derry, porter, in the employ or Mr. John Taylor, chemist, Market place, went to his home in Charles-street about nine o'clock, but immediately afterwards returned into the town, going home again shortly after eleven. His wife and child and his wife's grandmother, Mrs. Poole, who lived with him, had gone to bed, but his wife came down and let him in.

It would appear as if Derry and his wife were not on good terms, as she was sleeping with her grandmother and the child, and Derry occupied a bed in an adjoining room. About half-past six o'clock on Tuesday morning Mrs. Poole called Derry, but receiving no reply, she went into his room and found him quite dead, a cup which contained prussic acid being on the floor beside him.

It is supposed that the deceased's mind had become unhinged by the unhappy differences between him and his wife, and that this had caused him to commit the rash act. The deceased was 33 years of age.

George Derry's death certificate

Owner/SourceNottingham Evening Post - Thursday 6 November 1884, The Lincolnshire Chronicle, Friday 7 November 1884, britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk
PlaceCharles Street, Newark, Nottinghamshire, England
Linked toEliza; George Derry; William Derry

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