10th September 1883
Reference Numbert18830910-849
VerdictGuilty > unknown

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849. WILLIAM GOULDSTONE (26) was indicted for, and charged on the Coroner's Inquisition with, the wilful murder of Charles Gouldstone.


ADA HAMILTON . I am the wife of William Hamilton, and am a monthly nurse; we live at Walthamstow—I knew the prisoner and his wife and three children; they had lived at Walthamstow at the house where this matter occurred, occupying two kitchens and one back room, for about eleven months—I had lived there about ten weeks up to that time, occupying the front room on the same floor, with my husband—their three children were, Charles, about 3 1/2 years old; Herbert, 2 1/2 years; and Frederick, 16 months—the prisoner was a whitesmith by trade, I believe, and used to go every day to his work in London—on 1st August I attended his wife in her confinement; she was delivered of two male children—up to that time the prisoner attended regularly to his work—the confinement took place on Wednesday, at 10.30 at night—he went to his work on the Thursday and Friday, but not after the Friday—on two occasions before the following Wednesday, the 8th, I noticed him very strange and quiet, and sitting crying—I only saw him once the worse for drink; that was on the Friday after the babies were born, after he came home—up to that time he had always been a sober, industrious man—on Wednesday, the 8th, I was in the bedroom attending to the prisoner's wife and the babies; he came home about a quarter past 5 in the evening, and went into the bedroom; I went into the kitchen, where the two eldest children were playing; the third child, Frederick, was in the bedroom with the wife and babies—the prisoner came into the kitchen; I said "I wondered who it was; you did frighten me"—that was about a quarter past 5; he made no answer; his usual time for coming homo was 7.30—I, did not say anything else—I went back into the bedroom and left him with the two children in the kitchen—he

was there three or four minutes, not longer, and then came into the bedroom—his wife said "What makes you home so early?"—he said he came out while the manager was gone to dinner—she said "Did you tell them I was confined?"—he said "No"—she said "Didn't you tell Mr. Graves?"—he is the foreman at the works—the prisoner said "No," and then took little Frederick up off the bed and went out into the kitchen, which is on the same floor, with him—I did not notice anything in his manner or demeanour at that time; he seemed very quiet—I went on washing the babies, and when I had washed one I went into the kitchen to fetch something—the prisoner was sitting on the fire-guard, which comes all round the grate and rests on the floor; the fire was alight; the prisoner's back was towards it; the children were playing about there—the prisoner had a piece of string or thin twine in his hand; I did not say anything to him, and went back again into the bedroom—I was away from the kitchen for about ten minutes, and then returned and asked him if he had had his tea—he said "No"—I said his tea was ready then; it was on the table and the tea was on the hob—the three children were then playing in the kitchen—I went through the wash-house to the other kitchen on the same floor—the prisoner was still sitting on the fire-guard, and I noticed the perambulator was moved from under-neath the cistern, and a chair, which usually stood by the side of the cistern, placed there—to reach the cistern you had to get on a chair—I asked the prisoner who placed the chair there; Charley said "My dada put it there"—I went back again into the bedroom, got the prisoners wife out of bed, remade the bed, and was there some little time—I might have been there twenty minutes before I saw the prisoner again; then he came along the passage and looked into the room; I told him he could come in; he said something to himself, I could not distinguish the words, and went into the kitchen again—I thought he wanted to say something to his wife, and so I spoke to her and left the bedroom and went downstairs—the kitchens are on the first floor—when I was on the stairs going down I heard the kitchen door open and I heard the prisoner go into the bedroom—I had got to the yard door when I heard screams of "Murder" from the prisoner's wife; that could not have been more than two or three minutes after I had left her—I rushed at once up to the bedroom door and tried it and found it locked—the prisoner's wife said "Come in; he is murdering my children"—I could not force the door; I called for help; Mrs. Clark was at the bootom of the garden; she came, and we both tried to force the door, but could not—I called to the prisoner to open the door, but I never heard him answer—after we had been at the door about three minutes he opened it—I said "Mr. Gouldstone, what have you done, you wicked man?"—he said "No, I am a happy man"—I passed into the bedroom to his wife, and he passed me and went out into the kitchen—he did not say anything about the other children—I then went up to the bedside and saw the babies; they were both alive, bleeding from the mouth and nose, and appeared to be dying, seriously injured—I took a small sheet and covered them over, so that the mother should not see them, and sent for a doctor—then from what the wife said I went into the kitchen—the prisoner was there with the youngest of the three elder children in his arms, wringing wet and apparently dead; he laid him on the floor, and then I turned round and saw the wife coming into the kitchen, and I went back with her and

remained with her in the bedroom about a quarter of an hour I dare say, and then went out again into the kitchen and saw the three, Charles, Herbert, and Frederick, lying there on the floor side by side, all wet and dead—the prisoner was standing there—I went back to the bedroom and remained there some time till the policeman brought the prisoner into the bedroom—he said to his wife "All your children are dead, and I shall be hanged, and you will be single again; you wished they were dead, and now you have got your wish"—he had not said anything as to how they had come by their death—he then kissed his wife—she asked him if he had any money—he said "Yes," and put his hand in his pocket and gave her 3s. 4d., and then he was taken away by the constable—I remained behind—previous to that one of the constables asked me for the hammer, and I afterwards picked up from the floor by the dressing-table and near the bed an ordinary large hammer for knocking in nails, and gave it to the constable—I had never seen the hammer before—I attended to the mother and the two babies; one died half an hour afterwards in my arms, and the other at 2 o'clock the next morning.

Cross-examined. When I first went into the kitchen the children were sitting on the floor playing, and the prisoner was sitting with his back to the fire looking down at his hands, not at them—both his hands were holding the twine; he was turning it round and looking at it—when I came back on the second occasion he was still looking at the twine and playing with it—the room was a small one—the children seemed happy—when I left the wife, before I went up and found the door locked, I left the two babies in bed; she was sitting up—since I have known them I have had opportunity of observing his demeanour towards his wife and children—as far as I can say up to this time he had always appeared a good husband, and very fond of his wife and children, and they seemed very happy together—I have seen him play with the children—on the Sunday he used to sit in the kitchen and amuse them—I have seen that several times; I was a good deal in there with them—after the twins were born I noticed he was very strange; he seemed so quiet, and used to sit still, and if you spoke to him he did not answer you; he seemed absent, and far less cheerful than he had done before—I have heard his wife say he had come home with a headache that came on suddenly—I have seen him put his hand to his head a great deal, and he would then complain of pain—I have never heard him complain at all about being short of money, or of not being able to support the children—as far as I noticed he was always a sober, well-conducted man, and always came home every night; never missed since I have known them.

EMMA CLARK . I am the wife of Charles Clark, a carpenter, and the tenant of 8, Courtnay Place, St. James's Street—the prisoner and his wife and family had lodged with us about eleven months—they were strangers to me before they came to lodge there—the prisoner has always been a steady, quiet man, very fond of his wife, and kind to his children—Mrs. Gouldstone was confined on Wednesday, 1st August, about 10.30 p.m.—the prisoner was not at home then—when he came in I told him his wife had been confined, and that there were two—he looked strange when I told him so—he did not say anything—I did not see him the night after the confinement—on the Wednesday afternoon, the 8th, about 5.30, I was in the garden hanging out the clothes to dry, when I heard the nurse run upstairs and call for help—I ran up after her, went to the bedroom door,

and tried to open it—it was locked on the inside—I heard the wife say "He has killed my babies"—the prisoner opened the door, and said " You can come in"—I went into the bedroom, and saw the two babies on the pillow; they were breathing, and bleeding from their noses and mouths—Mrs. Hamilton covered them over with a sheet—I ran downstairs and called for the police, and then went back to Mrs. Gouldstone's bed-room, then followed Mrs. Hamilton into the kitchen, and saw the three little boys, Charles, Herbert, and Frederick, lying on the floor in a row, apparently quite dead—their clothes and hair were wet—I saw the prisoner apprehended—I had not about this time or any time that week seen the prisoner the worse for drink.

Cross-examined. I was examined before the Coroner, but not before the Magistrate—I said "I heard Mrs. Gouldstone say 'He has killed my babies;' at this instant he opened the bedroom door, and said 'You can come in, it is all done'"—that is correct.

WILLIAM CHEESEMAN (Policeman N 86). On the evening of Wednesday, 8th August, I was sent for to 8, Courtney Place, where the prisoner lived—I went upstairs and saw him in the kitchen—the three children were lying on the floor there dead, and wet—the prisoner was stooping over them—his hat and coat were off, and his shirtsleeves were slightly rolled up—I was in uniform—when I went in the prisoner said "Good evening, policeman, I have done it now, and I am happy, and ready for the rope"—I cautioned him that what he said would be used in evidence against him—he put on his hat and coat, and said "Let me see my wife?"—I said nothing, and went with him into the bedroom where the wife was—the wife spoke first—she said "Oh you wicked man, what have you done?"—he said "I have killed all your children, now you will be single again, and I shall be hanged"—his wife said "Have you any money?"—he said "Yes, a little"—he gave her all he had, a two-shilling piece or half-crown, and a shilling and two penny pieces—he kissed his wife and bade her good-bye, and I took him away to the station—on the way he said "When I took my money last week I thought of buying a revolver to do it with, but I altered my mind, because I thought it would make too much noise. I had a hard job with the two biggest, but the other little b—, I soon settled him; I thought it was getting too hot to have five b kids in about three years and a half"—I made a note three or four minutes afterwards; I have got it with me—he added "Now I am happy, I thought it was time to put a stop to it"—at the station he said "I have done it like a man"—he was charged with the murder of the three children, and attempting to murder the two babies—the charge was read over to him by the inspector—he said "Quite right, sir"—he was put in the cells after that—it was about 25 minutes altogether from the time I first went into the kitchen to the time he was put into the cell—during all that time he appeared sober—I noticed nothing in his manner or demeanour—he appeared to understand what I said to him and what he said to me.

Cross-examined. It was about 20 minutes to 6 when I took him into custody at the house—when he kissed his with just before he went away he simply said "Good-bye"—she was on the bed, and he leant over the foot of the bed and kissed her—when he was leaning over the three children and when I took him into custody he seemed excited.

GEORGE FOLKARD (Police Inspector N). I was at the police-station on

the Wednesday evening when the prisoner was brought there in custody by Cheeseman—Cheeseman said "This is a charge of murder, sir; this man is charged with murdering his five children"—the prisoner said "That is right, sir, I did it; now I am happy; I did it like a man, too"—I then left him in custody at the station, and went to the house with Dr. Gould—I returned to the station about half-past 7 and charged him with murdering his three children, Charles, Herbert, and Frederick, and attempting to murder his two male infants—he said "Quite right, sir; what condition is the missis in? I suppose some of you gentlemen have been round?" Dr. Gould replied "Tolerable"—the prisoner said "Are the two young ones dead?" I said "No"—about 8 o'clock he was put into a cell—up to that time he appeared sober—I could not see the appearance of drink—I thought he appeared slightly excited when he was first brought in, that was all—he appeared to understand what he said and what I said to him—I saw him again at 8.30 next morning—in the meantime the other two children had died—I then charged him with the murder of the five—he said "Yes, sir, the other two are dead, then?" I said "Yes"—I examined the cistern in the kitchen—the top of the cistern is about six feet from the floor and about 10 inches from the ceiling—there was about 14 inches of water in it—that was the same night.

Cross-examined. The cistern is long but narrow; it runs the whole length of the room.

HENRY WHEATLEY (Policeman N 208). I was at the police-station on 8th August when the prisoner was brought there—he was put into a cell, and I had charge of him—he said about a quarter to 7 of his own accord "I have had an extra drop of drink to accomplish the job; there is five of them gone to glory, and it is a good job"—at about half-past 7 he said "I am sorry for my wife and parents, but the children will be better off in heaven, if there is such a place; it is better than leaving them to the mercy of the world"—about 9 o'clock he said "I wish I had killed the little ones out of the way; I don't know whether I hit them once or twice; I have had this playing on my mind for a long time"—he appeared to be quite sober.

Cross-examined. He said "preying," not "playing."

HENRY GOULD , M.R.C.S., and Divisional Surgeon of Police. I reside at Leyton—about 6 o'clock on the evening of the 8th I was called by Inspector Folkard, and went with him to 8, Courtney Place, and into the front room on the first floor—I there saw a bed in which were two male children, apparently a few days old—I examined them, and found them both suffering from fractured skulls; blood was issuing from the nose and mouth of one of them—they were living, but in a dying state—I then went into the kitchen and saw three children lying on their faces on the floor, dead—the clothes of two that had clothes on were saturated with water—on the eldest, Charles, there was a mark as if a piece of thin string had been tied round his throat—the others had no marks whatever—the same night, shortly after 8, I went to the house, and found there that one of the younger children had died, and next morning I found the other of the twins dead—I made a post-mortem examination on the 9th of all the bodies—the two younger died from injury to the skull and brain; the three in the kitchen died from suffocation from drowning—before this injury they were apparently in health and fairly nourished.

JAMES HONEY (Policeman N R 41). On the Wednesday evening, about 6 o'clock, I went to the prisoner's house, and there saw the children in the Kitchen—a piece of string was tied round the neck of the eldest; it was Loose.

WILLIAM CHEESEMAN (Re-examined). I took possession of this hammer (produced) at the time—it is a common hammer.

The following Witnesses were called for the Defence.

THOMAS GOULDSTONE . I am the prisoner's father, and live at Great Sampford, in Essex—my wife, the prisoner's mother, is alive; she is very bad in her mind now, and has been for a good many years—she was in a very bad way about 18 years ago; I kept a woman with her—she tried to grain herself with a scarf. [A JURYMAN: Grain is the Essex word for strangle.] I have taken a knife away from her several times during that time—she was going to make an end of herself, as far as I could see—about eight weeks ago she threatened to make away with herself—she was in a very bad state of mind when the prisoner was born—my wife has a married sister living in the neighbourhood of the name of Andrews—she has not been right for two years; she has some one to look after her to keep her at home—she has not threatened to take her life that I know of—Charles Gouldstone, a second cousin to the prisoner, died in a madhouse Know whether she died mad or not.

Cross-examined. I have seven children; the eldest is a daughter—the prisoner is the third—I believe that they are all right but him—he went to school, and since he left he has been at work with me, and afterwards in employment, always getting his living by his daily labour—he was five years in this one place—he was a blacksmith with me—I saw him last before the 8th of August just after Christmas—he did not look very comfortable—my wife has not been in any asylum; I keep her at home—I have not seen anything wrong about my daughter—my wife is a sober woman—it was about 18 years ago that she tried to strangle herself; she was not taken up for it; I had business troubles about 18 years ago; it was at that time that my wife tried to strangle herself—it was about 18 years ago she took the knife up—Mrs. Andrews, my wife's sister, has never been in any asylum; she lives with her husband.

Re-examined. All my other sons are right except the prisoner as far as I know—when I saw him last I could see he was not quite right, but we did not know what there was to trouble him; that was just after Christmas, at my place at Stamford Hill—I was living there then—he did not do anything then, but he was not very comfortable, so I and my wife thought—I have had trouble with my wife to keep her from doing herself harm—the last time I was up with her all night—sometimes she appears all right, and then suddenly she tries to do herself harm—it was about two months ago that I sat up in this way, I cannot say to a day.

ROBERT GOULDSTONE . I am the eldest son, and the prisoner's brother—I live at Great Sampford with my father—I have lived there with my brother before he came to London—when at Finchingfield he worked with me, and I remember his complaining of his head—that is about eight years ago—he suffered from an accident and had a repture—when he suffered from rupture pains he suffered more pains in

the head—he complained a great deal more when the rupture troubled him—he did not say anything about the pains, he wished himself dead at times; I have heard him say so—we have always been afraid to bring anything up to affect my mother in any way—she was looked after—at times she was allowed to go about by herself, not always, because we have been afraid she would do an injury to herself—we used to have to hide the knives and razors from her because we were afraid she would make an end of herself—I have heard her say she would make an end of herself with knives—I know my aunt, Mrs. Andrews—they don't have any one except those in the house to look after her—I remember going to see her on a Sunday evening, she sat on all the chairs in the room in the space of a few minutes—it struck me as peculiar the way she was acting, and I thought she seemed very strange in her ways.

Cross-examined. I could not say whether it was about seven or eight years ago that the prisoner was ruptured, six or seven years ago I should think—it was when he was ruptured he had pains in his head—he did not tell me he was kept awake at night—he was a blacksmith at this time—that is a very noisy trade, and he had a headache—it was a good many years ago that he said he wished himself dead.

EMILY GOULDSTONE . I am the prisoner's sister, and am in service in London—I have noticed my mother's conduct for many years past, it has been through trouble in business—she has attempted to commit suicide several times—I have myself heard her threaten to do it.

Cross-examined. I heard her threaten to do so about a fortnight or three weeks ago—I have not seen my brother very often, we are a long way apart—I saw him last about two months ago—I was at my sister's—I knew he had been for five years at this firm in Thames Street, working there regularly every day and going home to his wife and children at Walthamstow.

Re-examined. I have heard of my mother attempting suicide before a fortnight ago, years ago.

WILLIAM GRAVES . I am foreman of the department in which the prisoner worked at the Falkirk Ironworks, Upper Thames Street—I have Known the prisoner ever since he was born—he came to the works about five years ago, and married some four or five months afterwards—they lived with me for about the first three years after their marriage, and the three elder children were born in my house—they seemed to live like all other working people, happily together—I never saw any cause to complain—he always seemed fond of his children—he had many peculiar little ways, but being foreman I did not mix up with the men only so far as my duty compelled me—I did not myself notice anything particular till the 2nd of August—I then noticed something peculiar, and went from my end of the shop to where he worked and said to him, "William, are you well, or have you got the toothache?"—he was rubbing his head and face—I asked him whether there was anything the matter with him—he said "No, only my head is very queer"—it is my practice if any man is ill or anything is wrong to persuade him to go home for a few hours, and I was going to do the same with the prisoner—on Friday I gave him a job to do in the regular way, and I found he was regularly confused with the work I gave him, and I complained to him he did not get on so well as he had at other times; and he made no reply—he left on that Friday night—it was our beanfeast on Saturday, the next day;

then there was Sunday and the Bank Holiday, when we did not work—he ought to have been there on the Tuesday; he was not, nor on the Wednesday—I did not know anything about his wife's confinement at the time, but I particularly noticed on the next day after she was confined, the 2nd of August there was something wrong in the man.

Cross-examined. When he first came to work for this firm he was a blacksmith; we then made him a whitesmith—he earned 25s. a week—on the Friday night before this occurred I had paid him his wages and made him a present of 10s., according to the custom of the firm—he always thanked me for that—that was on Friday, 3rd, about 5 o'clock—I went to my own beanfeast; he went where he thought proper, as everybody else did; I cannot tell if he went to a beanfeast—he did not say he had got twins on the Thursday when I thought he was ill—I did not know if he had been kept up all night owing to his wife's confinement and had got headache.

CHARLES CAKEBREAD . I work at the Falkirk Ironworks—I worked there with the prisoner for some years as his mate—he has frequently said that he would throw himself in front of a train if he thought he could kill himself instantaneously—I could not give any date for his saying that—he said he would throw himself down the lift-hole if he thought he would kill himself right out without lingering afterwards—I tried to pass it off as a joke; I never thought he meant anything serious in it—he did not make a joke of it, he spoke seriously—I believe he was rather popular with the workmen, and was a very quiet, peaceable man—he has been very despondent at times, and I have asked him if I could do anything for him, he has complained of pains in his head and asked me if I would knock his brains out with a hammer—that I treated as a joke and took no more notice of.

Cross-examined. I cannot give any date when that occurred: it was about six months ago, while we were at work—ho seemed to have a determination as if he meant it as a reality—I cannot say but he had plenty of opportunity; I was working with him at the lift—it was quite recently that he talked about the train—he has always attended to his work regularly and earned his wages.

BENNETT GOULDSTONE . I am employed at the Falkirk Ironworks, and am the prisoner's brother—about four months ago he said to me that he should like to throw himself down the lift hole—he was suffering very much from rupture—he said he should like to kill himself out of his misery—he complained of pain about his head, and rupture at the time—he used to wander about as if something were wrong in him, and be very strange.

Cross-examined. He did his work regularly—he suffered very much from rupture, and was very low spirited about it, it pained him at times—I do not know where he was on the Saturday, the day of the beanfeast; or on the Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday; he was not at work—he did not tell me where he had been.

JOHN CLARK . I am also employed at the Falkirk Ironworks—I have heard the prisoner on many occasions wish that he were dead, and also that he wished some one would hit him on the head and kill him out of the way—I don't know what caused him to say so, but he did say so—during the time he was in my company, as far as I can say, he was speaking solemnly and seriously; he was not laughing at all over it—I heard him

complain of suffering from a rupture, and from pains in his head, nothing further.

Cross-examined. He complained a great many times about rupture, and Was very low spirited at times, and he could seldom cough without he doubled himself up to do so—it was not on those occasions he said he wished himself dead; he has said so on frequent occasions afterwards.

Re-examined. I have heard him say he wished he was dead, and ask to be struck on the dead when fie was not complaining of any pain.

GEORGE SKELTON . I am also a workman in the shop with the prisoner at Falkirk Ironworks—some months ago the lift rope broke; the lift did not fall—I was with the prisoner in the lift at the time; it was on the second floor—I said "You had better jump out"—we jumped out and I said to the prisoner "Get a bit of string, we will tie it down to the old iron"—he says" Never mind, it goes to the bottom; it will only kill me out of the way"—he said it very seriously—the only time I heard him say anything of the sort before or after was one morning some months before this affair—I met him and he seemed very much depressed coming to work—he did not say anything coming along, but as soon as he got in the shop he seemed different—he was dancing and singing foolish things, what they cull the Salvation Army hymns.

Cross-examined. He was low-spirited, and then when he got to work among the workmen he began to be joyous—he was sometimes low and sometimes high-spirited—the lift broke seven or eight months ago—I have sometimes seen the men do reckless things, not often, at our place—he did not go down in the lift; I stopped him—I advised him not to do it, sad remonstrated with him.

Re-examined. I told him to come out.

WILLIAM HENRY WESTBROOK . I am manager at the Falkirk Ironworks—during the time prisoner was with me he was a very quiet, steady man—I never noticed that he inclined to be foolhardy in the works or on the lift, or anything of that sort—I never heard that he played any practical jokes; they are kept from me—he was a quiet man, almost bordering on moroseness—he would go home by himself and come by himself, and never seemed to have a companion with him.

Cross-examined. He was a very fair worker—the work did not require much intelligence; it is mere fitting up, work which has been fitted before.

HOWARD JOHN KINNAIRD . I am one of the partners of these ironworks—I have seen the prisoner there—I have not noticed anything about him; I have heard he was a very steady workman—we have fully 1,000 workmen—he has been a steady man as far as I know—the whole feeling of his fellow-workmen is that he is certainly insane.

CHARLES GOULDSTONE . I live at Epping, and am first cousin to the prisoner's father—he had a son named William, who had been a soldier, and who, about 21st April, 1880, was taken to the Brentford Lunatic Asylum and confined there till about October, 1881, about 16 months—he died there in confinement.

Cross-examined. He had been in the Army—he had never been abroad further than Ireland—he was subject to fits—I think sometimes they were only drink; I never saw anything particular in them—he drank occasionally; he was not a drunkard.

JOHN BYFORD . I am the brother-in-law of the prisoner—he has been in

the habit of visiting me—I married his sister—he would usually call on Saturday afternoon and sit in a chair and play with his hat—if I spoke to him he would invariably answer me the wrong question and take three or four minutes to answer me, and I would frequently remark that I thought he was very strange in his manner.

Cross-examined. I should think I last saw him before this occurred, a fortnight before Bank Holiday—I don't know where he was a few days before this occurred.

WILLIAM SUNDERLAND , M.D. I practise at Thaxted, in Essex—I know the prisoner's mother and also her sister, Mrs. Andrews—I have attended the prisoner's mother, and in my opinion she is in an unsound state of mind—I have attended her at intervals during the last eight years—during the whole of that time despondency was the particular form of her unsoundness of mind—I cannot say how long she has been in that state—the fits of despondency came at intervals, then ceased, and came on again—she has not attempted to commit suicide to my knowledge—the sister is not of sound mind—I have attended her professionally—she is suffering from the same form of insanity, despondency—her husband is a small farmer.

Cross-examined. The prisoner's mother has not been certified nor been confined as a lunatic; she is living at home with her husband, and the sister, Mrs. Andrews, lives at home. with, her husband, and a grown-up daughter is kept to look after her—I do not know the cause of despondency of the prisoner's mother or of Mrs. Andrews.

Re-examined. She is now continually restless and thinks her husband will fail in business, and thinks they will be turned out into the streets, and it makes him move about from place to place.

GEORGE HENRY SAVAGE , M.D. I am physician at Bethlehem Hospital—I have examined the prisoner, and from the examination alone I should consider him rather weak in mind, as evidenced by a slowness of appreciation of questions concerning the crime of which he is accused; when speaking about it he seemed not to appreciate in any way the gravity of the charge—beyond that from my personal examination I can say nothing—I have heard the evidence as to his being a steady workman, quiet, and fond of his wife and children, and the details of the killing of the children—from that I should think his mind was unsound at the time he 'committed the act—such symptoms as have been deeailed by his fellow-workmen are frequently present with persons of unsound mind—I suppose they are to be found in persons of Bound mind, but certainly not as a rule—I have heard the evidence as to his mother and aunt; the insanity on the mother's side having been proved, I should say the prisoner has a very great tendency to become insane, and if insanity, however remote, were proved on the male side, it would considerably increase the liability in the offspring.

Cross-examined. I saw the prisoner yesterday for not more than a quarter or half an hour; I was called to see him by his solicitor, and knew I was to examine him as to the state of his mind, and that he was to be tried for murder; that was the only time I saw him—I cannot say if at that time he thoroughly understood he was to be tried for murder—I spoke about the gravity of his crime, that he had killed live children, but nothing about the trial—speaking alone from the conversation I had with him, and what I saw of him, I had no reason to doubt that he was a man of sound mind; or I might say rather to prove that he was a man of unsound

mind; it was compatible with sanity or insanity—from what I saw of him on Saturday I would not certify him as a lunatic; I would say that he was not suffering from any active form of mental disease; I could not say he was a lunatic; he did appreciate questions, although rather slowly—his conversation with me was that of a rational man—I should say he knew that the penalty for murder was death, but if he knew I do not think it would have influenced his actions—the opinion I gave that he was of unsound mind at the time he committed the act was formed from sitting in Court and hearing the evidence, and having seen him as well—I heard that he said that he had killed the children, and that he should be hanged for it; I judged from that that at the time he knew he was committing a crime for which he was liable to be sentenced to death—I believe that he knew he was killing the children, and that the penalty for that act was death.


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