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Southwark Poisoning Case

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Southwark Poisoning Case

Post by Karen on Tue 3 Dec 2013 - 21:55


At Southwark Police-court, Mr. Cecil Chapman on Wednesday resumed the hearing of the charges against Severino Klosowski, thirty-seven, the Russian Pole, alias George Chapman, of murdering Maud Marsh, Mary Isabella Spink, and Elizabeth
(Bessie) Taylor, who were each known as "Mrs. Chapman," by the administration of poison.
Mr. Henry Dacre, solicitor, of Otley, Yorks, said he acted for Mrs. Spink in the voluntary settlement of between 500 pounds and 600 pounds, which had been bequeathed to her. From time to time he made advances to her out of the principal sum. In
1895 he noticed that she signed her letters as "Mrs. Chapman." Subsequently Messrs. Langham and Douglas, solicitors, of Hastings, wrote to him on her behalf, and on June 11th, 1896, he paid over to them 195 pounds for her. After this release there
was a balance of 300 pounds remaining of the trust money. Later some correspondence ensued between him and Messrs. Davenport, Jones, and Glenister, solicitors, of Hastings, and he handed over 298 pounds 7s. 11d., the balance of the money, less
his expenses.
Mr. F.G. Langham, solicitor, of Hastings, said that in May, 1896, the prisoner and "Mrs. Chapman" consulted him. The latter said she wished to get an advance out of some trust money for the purpose of embarking in a hairdresser's business at George-street.
He had some correspondence with Mr. Dacre, and received 195 pounds from him. His costs were deducted, and 191 pounds 17s. was paid by cheque to "Mrs. Chapman."
Mr. J. Petrickovski, said he was acquainted with the Russian language, and he had been handed by Inspector Godley a number of documents in the Russian and Polish languages. They purported to be official documents, and certificates relating to a person named
Severino Klosowski.
Mr. Bodkin: Look at this little book which has been found. Can you tell me the language in which it is printed and the title?
The witness: It is in Polish, and is "500 Prescriptions for Diseases and Complaints." The name on the first page was "S. Klosowski, 54, Cranbrook-street, Green-street."
Inspector Godley stated that he found this book in the box-room adjoining the prisoner's bedroom at the Crown.
Mr. Edward Kearney, superintendent of St. Patrick's Cemetery, Leytonstone, was the next witness. He said that on December 30th, 1897, the funeral was conducted there of Mary Isabella Chapman. On December 9th, 1902, he was present when the exhumation took place.
Henry Edward Pierce, undertaker, of Featherstone-street, City-road, said that on December 25th, 1897, he received a message and went to the Prince of Wales beerhouse, Bartholomew-square. He saw the prisoner, who arranged for the funeral of his wife to take place as soon
as he could get the certificate of death. The prisoner wanted the coffin the same night. The body was not in bed, but was lying on two small tables. The body was yellowish, like a tallow candle.
Mr. Bodkin: Did that strike you as being unusual?
Witness: What struck me most was the entire absence of home comforts.
Prisoner was again remanded.

Source: Rhyl Record and Advertiser, 24 January 1903, Page 8

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

Posts : 4907

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Re: Southwark Poisoning Case

Post by Karen on Tue 3 Dec 2013 - 21:56



Dr. F.J. Waldo resumed at Southwark, on Tuesday, his inquiry relative to the death of Maude Eliza Marsh, aged nineteen, a barmaid, lately residing at the Crown Inn, Borough High-street, whose death occured at the Crown on October 22nd. She had been living there with George Chapman,
the landlord, who is in custody on a charge of wilfully murdering her by administering arsenic in her food. The prisoner was in court in charge of two warders.
Robert Marsh, labourer, West Croydon, stated that his daughter Maude advertised for a situation in August, 1901. Among the ten replies she received was one from Chapman, who then kept the Monument in Union-street, Borough. Chapman's letter asked her to come and see him, offering to
pay all expenses whether he engaged her or not. She went up and saw Chapman, and a few days later he wrote asking her to go to the place. She went there as barmaid, and soon afterwards witness called to see her. She then stated that she liked her place, and Chapman told witness that he thought
she would suit and had "shaped" to the business very well. A fortnight later witness went again to see his daughter, who then said to him: "Mr. Chapman has asked me how I would like to be Mrs. Chapman." Witness advised his daughter to wait until she knew more of the man, and she promised she would.
He next saw her at his own home, where she came with Chapman. She told him she was going to be married, and he asked her not to do anything underhand. Nothing else was said about marriage until his daughter visited him in Croydon Hospital, where he was an in-patient. She then told him that on the previous
Sunday, October 13th, she had been married to Chapman. She shewed him a wedding-ring, but when he asked for the marriage certificate she said, "George (Chapman) has got it locked up." Believing they were married, witness made visits to and received visits from Chapman and his daughter down to September
of the present year, when his daughter became a patient at Guy's Hospital. He went to see her there. She described her illness as internal inflammation, which caused vomiting and diarrhea. He next saw her after she had left the hospital and had gone back to the Crown. She was then in bed. Her sufferings were the same
as when in the hospital, and when witness asked her what caused her illness she replied that she did not know.


On October 18th, when he visited his daughter, he noticed that Chapman every time he came into the room felt her pulse, and when she wanted a drink he always went out of the room to fetch it for her. Every time Chapman gave her a drink she was violently sick. This aroused his suspicions somewhat, and he accordingly
spoke to another doctor about his daughter, and asked him to go and see her. Dr. Grapwell, of Croydon, visited her, and after his visit witness again saw her. He thought she had improved, and he said to Chapman: "I believe my daughter will get better after all." Chapman answered: "She will never get up any more." Witness asked,
"Why? have you ever seen anybody else like this?" and Chapman answered, "Yes." Witness pursued the subject further by inquiring, "Was your other wife like it, then?" to which Chapman replied, "Yes, just about the same." Continuing, witness said that after Dr. Grapwell had examined the patient he told him that his daughter had been
poisoned by arsenic, but that he saw no reason why she should not get better. She died the next day, and when he told Dr. Grapwell of her death the doctor expressed surprise, stating that when he sounded her he had been astonished to find how strong she was. Replying to the prisoner's solicitor, witness said his daughter and Chapman
appeared on affectionate terms. She never complained of ill-treatment, and witness and his wife saw her whenever they liked.


Eliza Marsh, the mother, corroborated the opening part of her husband's evidence. Maude wrote to witness saying she was comfortable in her situation, and when she had been at the Monument about a week she wrote that Chapman had given her a gold watch and chain. Witness shewed her husband the letter, and said: "It seems funny he has
given her that so soon." Her husband thought so also, and went up to see his daughter about it. He was apparently satisfied, for when he came back he said he had invited Chapman and his daughter to Croydon on the following Sunday. When they came Maude was wearing two or three rings which she said Chapman had given her. In a later letter
her daughter stated that Chapman had made improper overtures, and had said he would give her 35 pounds. Witness wrote to her to come home at once.


The coroner read the following  letter, written by Miss Marsh to her mother:

                                                                    Monument, Borough, S.E.
Dear Mother, - Just a line to say q.t. Mr. Chapman has gone out, so I now write this to you to say George says if I don't let him have what he wants he will give me 35lbs. (meaning pounds) and send me home. What shall I do? It does worry me so; but still I am engaged, so it will not matter, and if he does not marry me I can have a breach of promise, can't I?
I must close with love. Write soon. - I remain, your loving daughter, MAUDE. I have sent this without him knowing. Love to all. Let me know how papa is.

"When I got that letter," said Mrs. Marsh, "I wrote to my daughter, and told her to come home at once." But Maude replied with another letter on the following day.

                                                                 Monument, Union-st., Borough
                                                                    12 Sept., 1901
Dear Mother, - Your letter at hand this morning. I am very pleased to say there is nothing between us so far as only friendship; but I was silly enough to write that letter to you yesterday, and hardly knew what I was doing. I had not been very well, and he tried to do the best for me, and I thought he was going to take advantage of me. Dear mother, there is no need
to worry about me, as I am all right here, and was sorry I wrote the letter to you, as I see different this morning of him. I had to shew the letter from you to Mr. Chapman, and was surprised at my own folly. After receiving such a nice letter from you last night, Mr. Chapman said he was going down on Sunday if he does not have a different understanding between us.
I am quite comfortable and getting on all right. We must take things from a different light from this, but will tell you more when I come and see you. Hoping to hear from you again before Sunday, must close. With love and best respects from Mr. Chapman, - I remain your loving daughter, MAUDE.


Following the letters Chapman and Maude again visited Croydon, when Chapman said he wanted to marry Maude. Witness gave her consent to the marriage, but asked her daughter to let her know when she was going to be married, which Maude promised to do. On the same visit Chapman produced his will, made in favour of her daughter. He signed it, witness and
her son signing it as witnesses. On October 13th witness went to the Monument to pay a visit, and was informed that the marriage had taken place that morning. After the visit which her husband paid on October 18th witness went to the Crown and remained there until her daughter died. When she reached the Crown on Sunday, October 19th, her daughter was in great pain,
and said she had been in agony since the last time Chapman administered food to her, which the nurse, Jessie Tomb, said he had done by means of an injection. Maude attributed her illness to some rabbit she had eaten, but stated that though Chapman had eaten some of the rabbit he had not been ill.


After the consultation between Dr. Stoker, who was attending the patient, and Dr. Grapwell, the independent medical man whom her husband procured, Mr. Grapwell told her he wished to speak to her. Then in Dr. Stoker's presence to told witness that her daughter had been poisoned. She asked if it was the rabbit, and the doctor replied: "No; with arsenic. You don't find arsenic
in rabbit." Her daughter died on the following day, and Dr. Stoker refused to give a certificate because he did not know what had caused the death. Witness suggested a post-mortem examination, and Dr. Stoker supported the suggestion, to which Chapman at last relunctantly agreed. Witness having identified the handwriting of two letters written in Guy's Hospital by her daughter
to Chapman in which she referred to Chapman as her husband, the inquiry was further adjourned.

Source: Rhyl Record and Advertiser, 15 November 1902, Page 6

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

Posts : 4907

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