Newspaper Article Inquest Report 1889

Dewsbury Reporter Article on Inquest held August 27, 1889.

Sad Suicide of a Noted Chickenley Cricketer.

On Tuesday, an inquest was held at the Spangled Bull Inn, Earlsheaton, relative to the death of Scott Exley, aged thirty-five years, cloth-finisher, of Town Street, Earlsheaton. Mr. T. Taylor was the coroner, and Thos. Duke was the foreman of the jury.

Ann Exley said she was the wife of the deceased, and lived in lodgings at Forge Lane, Thornhill Lees. They had been married ten years, and deceased had been in poor health for a greater part of that time. His lungs were affected, and last summer he complained of heart disease. He worked at Messrs. Blakeley & Co.’s of Dewsbury had only earned 5s. since last Whitsuntide, owing to exceedingly bad trade. He appeared very low spirited during the last fortnight, and frequently said he was tired of having to walk the streets for nothing. They had only one child, a boy four years. They had been sold up and deceased lived with his mother partly, for whom he did odd jobs. Witness last saw deceased alive on Wednesday morning at 9-15, when he left her lodgings, saying he was going to mother’s house, and would return at night with her sister’s husband. The latter got home alone, and knowing deceased intended to meet him when he had done work, said he had been waiting for half an hour, but had not seen him. On Monday morning, at 9-15, witness was coming up to his mother’s when a man stopped her, and asked her if she was Scott Exley’s wife. She replied “Yes”, and was told that it was thought he was drowned. When she got to his mother’s his dead body was in the house. He was insured in the Prudential Office.

By the foreman: Had you any sharp words with him before he left on the Wednesday morning? Witness: No; he talked very cheerful before he left.

William Fearnley, beamer, of Little Royd Mill, Earlsheaton, said he knew the deceased very well by sight. He last saw him alive about 9-30 p.m. on Sunday, sat on the wall near the dam. Before that time he had been walking backwards and forwards in Wilson Lane, and repassed witness thrice. He had his cap over his eyes, and his coat collar lifted up, and appeared to try and hide himself from the view of witness by turning his head.

James Sheard, fulling stoker, of Chickenley Lane, said he last saw him alive on Wednesday at four in the afternoon at Thornhill Lees with his brother, William Henry Exley. They were coming to Dewsbury, and asked witness to accompany them, which he did, but branched off by the Savile Hotel, Savile Town, deceased going forward to Dewsbury. Witness was assisting the engineer at Messrs. A. Preston and Sons, on Monday morning, at seven o’clock, and they found a coat and cap on the bank of the mill dam. The discovery did not occasion much surprise at first, on account of the number of persons who bathed there, and left their things when they thought there was someone coming. Nobody was allowed in the yard but employees and it was walled and fenced round. Witness somehow thought it resembled deceased’s clothing, and on taking them to his sister in the mill shed she was certain on that point. Witness then dragged the dam, and brought his body out, and removed it to his mother’s house. There were three pawn tickets and a copy of the Sporting Chronicle in his pockets.

A verdict to the effect that the deceased had committed suicide whilst of unsound mind was given by the jury.