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From the Sussex Express, 31st January 1857



An inquest was held at the Glynde station public-house on Friday last, before F H Gell, esq, on the body of George Paine.

Sarah Hilton deposed – I am a single woman and live at Glynde. I have known the deceased about a month. He was shepherd to Mr Richard Woodman, and about 55 years of age. I have resided in his house during the last month. I have had the care of his wife, who is very much afflicted. Deceased was in bad health in consequence of his having undergone the amputation of two of his toes. He has generally been low spirited ever since I have seen him. He was, as I have been informed, in a lunatic asylum in October last. He would frequently sit without speaking, and occasionally sighed, but never gave any reason for his lowness of spirits. He was not in bad circumstances, and had plenty of food and raiment. I breakfasted with him between eight and nine o'clock yesterday morning. He remained in the house till twelve o'clock. When I came into the room where his wife was she told me he was going into the hovel, and wished me to go and look for him to come to dinner. I went out and, in a hovel facing the house, I found the deceased in a sheep pen. He was standing upright against a post, and his hat was lying on some straw. I asked him if he would come into dinner, and he said, 'I'll come presently'. He followed me to the hovel door and snatched it violently out of my hand. I was surprised at his conduct and went into the high road. As I was going along a young woman named Caroline Dicker, who was standing at the hovel door, halloed to me. She said, 'Come back for here he is; he has done it'. She stood on the outside and I went in. I saw the deceased hanging by the neck by a worsted neckerchief fastened over a beam. His feet were on the ground. He was looking towards the hovel door. I cut him down. He appeared quite dead. I went for assistance, and a person named Back [probably a mistake for Beck – Ed] went to the hovel. It must have been about five minutes from the time I last saw him alive till I cut him down. I laid him on the ground in the hovel. The neckcloth appeared to be very tight. I have at different times followed him into the hovel because his wife suspected he might do something wrong. I have heard that he has attempted to destroy himself before.

Caroline Dicker - I live under the same roof as the deceased, and have known him as long as I can remember. He was very low spirited. I saw him about eight o'clock yesterday morning and asked him how he was. He said he thought his foot was a good deal worse. About one o'clock in the afternoon I saw the last witness standing at the hovel door. I went to her and asked her where the deceased was. She said he had fastened the door against her. She then went towards the road. I went round to the other door of the hovel, and on looking in saw the deceased hanging by the neck over the beam. I called Sarah to come to him. I went for a knife, but before I returned she had cut him down with a pair of scissors. About seven o'clock last Tuesday evening I heard a noise in the deceased's house, and went in. I found him in an excited state sitting by the fire. I asked him what was the matter. He said he wanted to see Mr Woodman, and they would not let him go. Hilton locked the door upon him. I feel satisfied he was not in his right mind. I think ten minutes must have elapsed before the time I saw Hilton at the door and the time when deceased was cut down.

James Baker gave corroborative evidence.

The jury returned a verdict of 'Suicide while in a state of temporary insanity'.

[George Paine had been born in Glynde in 1807, the son of Charles and Lucy. Charles Paine had been the head shepherd to John Ellman the elder, the famous improver of the Southdown sheep breed. George Paine had lived at Laceys Cottage, Glynde [LINK] in 1851. George was buried at Glynde 27 January 1857, aged 49. Ed]

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