Quorn Publican found drowned - 1926
Loughborough Echo - 24th December 1926
Quorn Publican found drowned.
A woman walking along the canal bank on Saturday morning in the vicinity of the Miller's Bridge, saw a body floating on the water. She communicated with the police and later the body was found to be that of Abraham Cross (55), a licensed victualler of Mill House, Quorn, who had been missing from the house of his brother since Friday. Mr H J Deane held an inquest at the Police Court on Monday morning.
Frank Cross, framework knitter, 46, Wharncliffe Road, Loughborough, brother of the deceased, deposed to paying his brother a visit on Saturday, the 12th December when he found him rather depressed. He attributed his illness to the "gas incident". On the following day he came to the Loughborough Police Court when he was accepted as bail for his brother.
Coroner, to witness: "Was anything said to you at the Police Court about you taking charge of your brother?" "Yes, the clerk told me and asked me if I knew my responsibility." "You took him home?" "Yes, and he remained at my house until last Friday." "During that period your brother had been under your observation?" "Yes." "What was he like during that period?" "During the first day or so he seemed in the same condition as he was at Quorn, but afterwards he cheered up."
Continuing, witness said his brother was quite cheerful when he last saw him alive on Friday. Referring to a charge of attempted suicide on which his brother was to have appeared on Saturday, witness said his brother had not said a word about it, neither had he said anything about putting an end to himself during that period. Speaking of the "gas incident" at Quorn, witness said his brother had told him it was an accident. He knew nothing about his financial affairs, as the deceased never took anyone into his confidence. He last saw his brother at 1.30pm on Friday. He knew his wife was going out in the afternoon and that he would be left alone.
Mr Deane: "Did you think that wise?" "I don't now, sir".
Continuing, witness said that when he arrived home at about 5.15pm his brother was not to be found, and looking round he saw his watch, chain, ring and money on the mantelpiece.
Questioned by Mr R. Sutton Clifford, jun., who appeared for the relations of the deceased, witness said his brother was very strong on the point that the gas incident was a pure accident. His brother said he went into the cellar, and when he blew the gas out he was overcome by the fumes. He had not the slightest fear of coming to the Police Court, as he thought his explanation would be accepted by the Bench, and that he would be going back to Quorn straight away. He made no remark about an application for a Protection Order being made.
Annie Cross, wife of the last witness, said Cross appeared to be better, otherwise she would not have gone out on Friday afternoon. She did not feel slightest anxiety in leaving him.
PC Crabbe said in consequence of something he was told he went down to the canal bank, and near Miller's Bridge he saw a body floating face upwards on the water, and near the bank. He got assistance and the body was taken out of the water and conveyed to the mortuary. He thought the body had been in the water for about a day. There were no papers or documents in the clothes, but only a pipe.
PC Cave deposed to visiting the Mill House Inn, Quorn on December 7th. When he arrived he heard someone groaning in the cellar. The place was full of gas, and searching round he found Cross in a sitting position on the thrall with his back to the wall. He was unconscious, and after witness had pulled him into the yard he applied artificial respiration, and sent for Dr Unitt. After a time Cross revived, but he did not speak, only mumbled and pointed to his chest. He heard him mumble the word "brewers". He saw Cross later in the evening, when he said he had no intention of doing away with himself. He also said that he went into the cellar, as was his usual practice every morning, to get into the back kitchen. He lit the gas, which immediately blew the stop-cock out. He tried to blow the light out, and eventually did so, but he was immediately overcome by the fumes and fell down.
Mr Deane said the gas incident was capable of two constructions. He might have intended to put an end to his life, or he might have been accidentally overcome by the fumes. The police authorities believed it to be an attempt at suicide, and in that belief took proceedings against Cross. He was brought before the justices and remanded on bail. He was taken by his brother to his house in Loughborough and remained there. He improved so much that both Mr and Mrs Cross thought he might be left with safety in the house. He did not appear to be troubled by the fact that he had to appear before the justices, for he said it was a pure accident, and personally, he believed that the first thing a man said under such circumstances was probably true.
An application had been made to the justices to put someone else into the Mill House, although Cross had expected and intended to go back himself. Looking at the matter broadly, and putting out of his mind the gas incident, there was evidence before him that justified him in saying that there was something on this man's mind. His verdict would be that Cross drowned himself whilst of unsound mind.
At the conclusion of the inquest, Mr Frank Cross, desired to publicly thank Superintendent Holloway and the police for the kindness they had shown to him in his trouble.
Mr Deane: "I am very glad to hear you say that."
The police court proceedings referred to in the above report took place on Saturday. Cross had been remanded the previous week on a charge of attempted suicide. Super. Holloway, drawing the attention of the Bench to Cross's non appearance, asked that bail should be forfeited. Mr R. S. Cliffort, jun., who appeared for the two sureties, asked the Bench not to estreat the recognisances, and to adjourn the case till Wednesday so that inquiries might be made as to the prisoner's whereabouts. He did not think it was fair to estreat the recognisances of the two brothers. The Bench knew these to be very respectable gentlemen. It was no fault of theirs that their brother was not present. One brother had had the prisoner at his own home at Loughborough since the adjournment. He was all right when the brother, Frank went to work on Friday morning.
The Magistrates' Clerk (Mr H. J. Deane) said so far as his knowledge was concerned, the Bench had no power to enlarge the recognisances or adjourn the case. He had been to a great deal of trouble in looking up cases, and so far as he could advise, the only proper course was to estreat the recongnisances. If afterwards something occurred which would justify the magistrates in mitigating this course then it was within Mr Clifford's province to come and ask them to alter their decision.
The Bench ordered the recognisances to be estreated.
Mr Clifford "On the understanding that I can come back again?"
The Clerk "Certainly".
A good photograph of the Mill House can be found at artefact 199