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From the Sussex Express, 19th October 1895


Mr G E Hillman, coroner for East Sussex, held an inquiry at Glyndebourne Cottage on Wednesday, into the circumstances attending the death of Thomas Edwards, a workman lately in the employ of Mr Russell*, shoe manufacturer, High Street, Lewes. Supt Stevens, of Lewes, attended on behalf of the police, and Mr Lainchbury, of the Police Department, London, Brighton & South Coast Railway, London Bridge, was also present.

Hector Edwards, of Bethnal Green, London, identified deceased as his brother, 83 years of age, and a boot finisher. He last saw him in August after Bank Holiday. Deceased had been working at Lewes, and had never been well since undergoing an operation three years ago.

Henry George Peerless, stationmaster, Glynde, said he saw deceased on the up platform just as the train was running into the station at 5.15 pm on Tuesday. Deceased was standing with other passengers. Nothing appeared amiss with him. Suddenly witness heard someone jump on the ballast between the rails in the four-foot way. It was six yards distant from witness where deceased alighted. Witness shouted at him and the driver immediately put his brakes on. Deceased seemed startled, ran three or four yards in front of the train, and then scrambled out into the six-foot way. As soon as the train pulled up witness went to see if it had run over deceased, but found he had got clear and left the station. On the departure of the train witness thought it best to trace the man with a view to preventing him coming again to the station, and he was driven after deceased in a milkcart. On reaching Glyndebourne Corner witness took up Mr Weller, who said deceased had just passed. They soon overtook him, and as they passed deceased witness remarked 'That is the man' and asked the driver to stop. As soon as deceased noticed the cart stop he ran back. Mr Weller jumped down in pursuit, and on witness reaching Mr Weller he found deceased lying on the ground in Moor Lane with his throat cut, and a pocket knife in his right hand. Deceased appeared dead. Witness was of opinion deceased intended to place himself prone on the outside metal for the train to pass over him.

John Weller, living at Glyndebourne Cottage, said he ran after deceased, and when about ten yards from him saw the man raise his arm to his throat and fall, bleeding freely. Witness found the knife in his hand.

George James McGee said he worked for Mr Russell, by whom deceased had also been employed. Both came down from London on the 6th May last. He last saw deceased alive at two o'clock on Monday afternoon. Deceased said he was going home to rest, as his head was so bad. He had noticed deceased was strange in his manner for some time. His complaint seemed to be in his head.

Mr Frank B Fawcett, practising at Lewes, examined deceased on Monday night, and found him dead. A wound in his throat divided one of the branches of the carotid artery close to its origin. The cut was perfectly compatible with being self-inflicted. The cause of death was haemorrhage.

The jury returned a verdict of 'Suicide while in a state of unsound mind'.

* this is Albion Russell the younger, son of Albion Russell. Albion the younger's sister Elizabeth, married George Frederick Bromley, an employee of the Russell's, in 1874 and this was the formation of the shoe-making firm of Russell and Bromley.

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