Phillimore, Elizabeth

Phillimore, Elizabeth     1919 May 16th

Widow’s Sad End

An inquest was held into the sad death of Mrs Elizabeth Phillimore, of 88, St Edmund’s Church Street, whose body was found in the Avon after she had been missing from her home for three weeks.

Frederick Mould, audit clerk, of 88, St Edmund’s Church Street, said Mrs Phillimore’s age was 68, and she was the widow of Thomas Phillimore, a postman, of Salisbury. He had known her about 18 months, and was engaged to be married to her daughter. He should have been married about two days after the date on which she disappeared. Her son died in November last, and she had been somewhat strange since then. Since that time she had also had two attacks of influenza. She was absent-minded, and her behaviour was queer at times. She also had hysterical fits, in which she referred to the death of her son. She had been operated on for cancer, and latterly she thought she had cancer in another part of her body. About 8.30pm on April 16th her daughter and witness left the house. Mrs Phillimore appeared to be quite normal. When they returned about 9.30pm, they found that she had left. Apparently she had not taken any money with her. They waited up all night. As she did not return they communicated with the police the next day, and also with all her friends and acquaintances, to whom she might possibly have gone. He did not think that the fact that he was about to marry her daughter had upset her in any way, as in order to please her he had agreed to live in Salisbury, and had arranged that she should live with them.

PS Sims, stationed at Alderbury, said that in consequence of a report made by Leonard Harris, he went to the river at the back of “Belmont House,” Clarendon, where he saw the body of a woman in the middle of the river. They got the body out. It was entangled in rushes, and had evidently not been touched by anyone, and had been in the river some days. Two men who had been clearing away the weeds first made the discovery. He searched the body and found a penny and a pocket handkerchief.

A verdict of “Suicide whilst of unsound mind” was returned.

(FreeBMD shows a marriage for Miss Phillimore and Frederick Moulds registered for June 1919)

Salisbury Magistrates Court 1920 June 4th

Bigamy and Embezzlement

Frederick Marshall Moulds (43), accountant, was indicted for marrying Elizabeth Phillimore during the life of his former wife, at St Edmund’s Church, Salisbury, on May 14th, 1919. He pleaded not guilty.

To a further indictment of embezzling £222 16s 8d, the money of the Air Ministry, at Stratford-sub-Castle, on November 28th, he pleaded guilty.

Mr Duke stated that defendant married his first wife in 1897 and lived with her for some time at her sister’s house till they quarrelled. He then went away, but afterwards they came together and lived at Woolwich in 1915. There was one daughter. Again he left his wife, and in May of last year he married Elizabeth Phillimore in Salisbury. When arrested, he said he married again under rhe almost certainty that his previous wife was dead. He had not, however, enquired of his wife’s sister, or of his daughter.

Minnie Fletcher, sister of defendant’s wife, said she was bridesmaid at defendant’s wedding at Maidley, Shropshire, in 1897.

Answering the defendant, she said her sister was now suffering from a nervous breakdown and had been ill nearly four years.

Gertrude Hannah Moulds, daughter of the defendant, said she was a clerk in Tunstall, Staffs. She remembered visiting her father and mother in 1915 when they were living at Woolwich. After her father went away she saw a letter he had written to her mother asking her to divorce him and saying he would give her sufficient grounds.

Elizabeth Phillimore, tailoress, of Salisbury, said she went through the form of marriage with defendant on May 14th thinking he was a bachelor as he described himself. She lived with him till November 29th, when he left to go to work and never came back. He always treated her very kindly.

Defendant said he received a letter from a mutual correspondent telling him that his wife was very ill. Then his correspondent moved, and he moved, and he heard no more. Afterwards he was met by a man who told him that he had seen his daughter in mourning and had heard that her mother was dead. He took it for granted that his wife was dead.

The jury found defendant guilty, and Supt Cowdrey said the man came from a most respectable family and had a good education. While a bank clerk he stole £100 and absconded, but was arrested and sent to prison. He afterwards went to America but returned and again stole money. Then he joined the Army, being posted to a Labour Company and subsequently was employed on the audit staff. He believed that drink was at the bottom of all his crimes, and that was the reason his parents would have nothing to do with him now.

Defendant admitted the theft, adding that he had been on a drinking bout for some weeks.

Taking the three charges into consideration, bigamy, embezzlement £225, and stealing £60, the Judge sentenced him to three years penal servitude.



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