1892 Suicide of Bath Tavern landlord

Mr. W. Percy Morrison held an inquest at Mitcham yesterday on the body of Frederick Snooks, who shot himself on the previous Friday.

Eliza Jane Snooks, the widow, said her husband was the licensee of the Bath Tavern, at Mitcham, and was 29 veers of age. He had for some time suffered from an affection of the sight, and had attended the Ophthalmic Hospital. He was much depressed in consequence, and had said more than once that he would destroy himself if he thought he should lose his sight. On Friday he rose about one o’clock, came down, had breakfast, and then carved dinner for herself and family. About half-past two be went up stairs, and she heard the report of firearms. She ran up and tried the door, but it was locked. She called for assistance, and the potman and a passerby broke open the door. Mrs. Elizabeth Knight said she was at work in the house, and hearing the report ran up with Mrs. Snook. When Dr. Love arrived, went into the room and saw deceased lying dead.

He had been very dull since an attack of influenza three months ago. Richard Hayder, the potman, said deceased had altered greatly during the past three weeks, and had told him that on a previous occasion he had been to London to purchase a revolver to blow his
his brains out. Witness had watched him closely in consequence, but had never seen a revolver in his possession. William Jennings, of 16, New Oxford-street, stated that deceased purchased a revolver and 50 cartridges of him on Thursday, stating that he was going to Australia. Dr. Henry Love said be had once seen the eye of the deceased, and observed a growth there, which, in time, would affect the brain. Witness was called to the house on Friday, about three, and found deceased lying across the bed, warm, but quite dead. There was a stain of gunpowder smoke on the chin : the diet had passed in at the mouth and out at the top of the head. Deceased was still clutching a revolver, which contained five cartridges, one spent. His forefinger was on the trigger. A verdict of suicide whilst Temporarily Insane was returned.

Source: London Evening Standard – Tuesday 26 April 1892 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

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