1892 – Suicide at the Cranmer Arms

Below is the transcript taken from the Nottingham Evening Post about the sad events at the Cranmer Arms in 1892.

An inquest was held at the Cranmer Arms, Aslockton on Monday evening, before the Coroner for the Newark District, relative to the death of Margaret Elizabeth Nix, who died through taking poison on Saturday night. 
Samuel Nix, landlord of the Cranmer Arms, said that the deceased was his wife and was 33 years old. On Saturday night, about 11.10, she died. At 10.25 she came down in her nightdress. Witness was getting his supper and reading the newspaper, and she said, “Are you not coming to bed?” He replied, “Yes; I am, getting a bit of supper, and am ready”. She went to the kitchen cupboard, got a cup with some salt and warm water, and drank it, and then went to the sink and tried to be sick. Witness asked what was the matter with her and she replied, “I have taken poison.” Witness said, “Oh, nonsense; where have you got it from?” Deceased then said she had taken the vermin killer out of the cupboard. Witness went to look, and found the empty packet, which he threw into the fire. He bought the packet on the 2nd of May of Mr. Doubleday of Bingham and signed for it. He bought it to kill mice, and his wife knew he had it, and had used some of it for mice. She said, “It’s no use, Sam. I am done,” and walked upstairs and threw herself down on the bed and died, not speaking to him again. There was lunacy in the family, and he though she was shamming, but when he found it was not so he went for assistance. He gave her mustard and water and salt and water, but it had no effect. It was 20 minutes before the twitching came on, and in a few minutes she had died. She had been low for some time, and worse lately. He had four children.
On Tuesday morning she got up about three o’clock, and he believed she intended to destroy herself, but was put off and did not do it.
They had never had any quarrel, and there was no jealousy between them. Latterly deceased had taken more than was good for her, but had nothing to trouble her, except that she had a father and mother who were bedridden, and also a brother who had been is the asylum at Lancaster.

On Tuesday, at breakfast time, the deceased said she would do it, and put her head in a tub of water. He sent for his mother, and his sister came and stayed with her. His sister left on Friday.

Deceased had had the influenza, and had never been the same since. Sarah A. Simpson said she lived at the railway station. On Tuesday at three o’clock in the morning the deceased called her up and said “would I have her in”. She replied “Yes” and the deceased came in. Witness made her go to bed. She was talking to herself, and witness said “What are you doing at this hour of the morning?” She said she did not know, but that she was tied of living. In about two hours she went home. On Saturday night Mr. Nix came for witness. She found the deceased stiff. She got her out of bed and tried salt and water and waer and mustard, but could not do any good with her. She died in about ten minutes. Deceased was in bed by herself, but the children were in another bed in the same room. Witness could not make anything of her. Just before she died she said “Oh, dear, God help me.”

Within the last twelve months deceased had drunk a great deal. In answer to the Jury, witness said deceased had never been to her house before at so early an hour. She was not excited at all, nor did she make nay complaint.

P.c. Richmond said he was stationed at Orston. About three o’clock on Sunday Nix met him, and said his wife had poisoned herself. He went to the house, and found her dead, with her legs drawn up, and foaming at the mouth. He searched her, but found nothing. He produced a piece of paper which he took from the looking-glass. On it was written “I have taken my life. I cannot bear what I have done. Bury me like a dog. I did not know what I was doing, but I have heard (erred) this nought. God be with you all. My Policy is in the money drawer. I have done. Good-bye. Leave me in my filth and dirt”. Witness had heard no complaints about the deceased or her husband. He believed she drank, and that they had words about it. The house was well conducted, and Mr. Nix bore a good character.

Robert Keyworth said he lived opposite. He had always thought deceased and her husband were very comfortable and happy. He had been in the house at last three times s fortnight. He noticed she looked pale on Saturday, as she had had influenza.

The Coroner, in summing up, said it seemed the result of an irresistible desire on the part of the deceased to destroy herself, and it was evident she had no control over her suicidal tendencies.

The jury returned a verdict that “The deceased committed suicide by taking vermin killer while in a state of temporary insanity.”

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