Rose, Harriett

Rose, Harriett      1888 August 11th        Trowbridge

Shocking Discovery at Trowbridge

On Saturday Mr Sylvester held an inquest at Trowbridge on the body of Harriett Rose, aged 42. From the evidence it would seem that the deceased for the past nine years had been engaged as manageress of Messrs Applegate and Sons’ wine and spirit stores, the Parade, Trowbridge, a position she had fulfilled most honestly and faithfully, and it was only on Thursday that the firm were negotiating with her to transfer the stores in that part of the town to her. On Friday night about eight o’clock she was seen in the shop serving a customer, and witnesses said she appeared more than usually cheerful and happy. That was the last time she was seen alive. As she did not appear at her home (she did not sleep on the premises), her brother went to look for her at half past ten, but seeing the shop shut, as usual, he returned home. At a quarter to twelve he went down the town again to the shop, saw it still shut, tried the door and found it unfastened. He opened it, saw it in darkness, struck a match, and saw her hat, bag and purse on the counter, as if she was about to start for home. He searched further, and saw a pair of wooden steps standing at the top of a flight of stone steps leading to the cellar. He looked down and saw at the bottom of the first flight the dead body of his sister. He returned home, fetched his father and Dr Wise, with Inspector W Fox.

The deceased was quite dead; indeed she had been dead about four hours. An investigation of the premises showed that no robbery had been committed, but that deceased had put on her jacket, placed her hat, bag, purse, and gloves on the counter, preparing to start for home, and had ascended the wooden steps to place the cash box on a shelf; her foot had slipped, and she had fallen off the steps and down the cellar steps headlong, breaking her neck and fracturing her skull, besides receiving several ugly contusions on her face and other parts. The medical men said death had been instantaneous.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death from falling down a flight of steps.”

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