Whale, Ernest 1884 December 20th Overton
While some beaters attending a shooting party were passing through a wood near Popham Beacon, at Overton, Hants, on Friday, they discovered the lifeless body of a well-dressed man, apparently about 35 years of age. The deceased was lying with his face downwards. His linen was marked “E. W.,” and on the lining of his hat was written “wal,” or “wall,” but so indistinct that the letters could scarcely be deciphered. In his pocket was found a bottle of poison, and it was therefore supposed that he had committed suicide.
The body has since been identified by Mr Walter Whale, of Parchment-street, Manchester, as that of his son Ernest, who was a clerk out of employment, aged 29 years. He left his home about three weeks ago in search of a situation, and on the ninth inst., he was seen walking towards Micheldever Station, within a short distance of Suthington Scrubs, where his body was discovered face downwards by a beater who was engaged with a shooting party. His umbrella was stuck in the ground, with his hat on the top of it close by. There were no signs of a struggle, but, as we say, the police found in the deceased’s pocket a bottle labelled “Poison.”
A post mortem examination presented evidences of death from poisoning. Deceased occasionally took morphia to promote sleep.
At the inquest the above facts were deposed to, and the jury found that death was caused by an overdose of morphia, but whether taken accidentally or not there was no evidence to show.