Suicide at Colne Engaine

Suffolk and Essex Free Press 19091888

A distressing suicide was discovered at noon on Thursday at Colne Engaine. Mr. Arthur Beard, of the Lodge, was out shooting when he found the dead body of an elderly man, named Wm. Meadows, hanging by his neck handkerchief to a bough in the hedge not more than five feet high. Information was at once given to the police, and P.c. Wade communicated with deceased's friends. It appears that Meadows lived at Halstead and worked as a farm labourer at Mr. Armey's farm at Colne Engaine. He left his home as usual on Tuesday morning, and had not been seen since eight or nine o'clock on that day, when a boy saw him gathering mushrooms in a meadow only a few yards from where the body was found.

On Friday afternoon an inquest was held at the Five Bells Inn, Colne Engaine, before Mr. J. Harrison, jun. Mr. D. B. Brand was foreman of the jury. -Hannah Meadows, the widow, said the deceased was 67 years of age; he had had bad health lately and had been afraid he would not be able to continue to work; he was very depressed and low, and worried a good deal about it; he was weak, and was afraid he would have to go into the Union-house because he could not work. -Arthur Willis Beard, tutor at Greenford Rectory, Southall, deposed to finding the body hanging in the hedge from a small oak bough, by a scarf. -George Smith said he cut the body down; the deceased appears to have been dead some time. -James Smith deposed that about a quarter to ten he saw deceased go down the meadow and pick some mushrooms : next morning witness found the mushrooms which deceased had picked about 20 rods from where he was found; witness had never heard in complain in any way. -P.c. Wade and Inspector Mann also gave evidence. The latter said deceased had worked at Barley Beams for Mr. Nunn between 35 and 40 years, and when Mr. Nunn gave up the farm the present owner had discharged him as not being an able-bodied man; the deceased frequently spoke of this, and considered it a great hardship to be discharged after having worked for so many years on the same farm; he told people he could not do his work as other men and he was afraid he would have to go to the workhouse; this had seemed to prey upon his mind very much; he had been a respectably conducted labourer. The jury, immediately retuned a verdict of "Temporary Insanity".