1907 03 29

1907 March 29th      Old Woman’s Pathetic Story

Extraordinary Case from Wilton

Before the Salisbury County Magistrates on Tuesday, Mr W F Lawrence in the chair.

Inspector Grant stated that at 6pm on the previous (Monday) evening the old lady called at the Wilton Police Station and asked for a ticket of admission to the casual ward. This she was given, and she went to the workhouse, but she refused to be bathed. She came away and went into the cowshed, but she was turned out of that. When in the street she pulled a piece if braid off her dress and tied it tightly round her neck, and then tied herself to the handle of a door. A constable went to her, cut the braid off her neck, and brought her to the station.

The Chairman:- Was she sober?

Inspector Grant:- Yes, sir, she had no drink. She said she had come from Warminster, but I find that she had been served at the Fisherton Police Station with a ticket of admission to the Salisbury Workhouse on Sunday night. Whilst at the police station she said two or three times that she would carry out her threat.

The Chairman:- You were offered admission to the Workhouse, but you declined to obey the rules, and you went out and endeavoured to commit suicide. What have you to say?

The Old Lady:- I am tired of my life, Sir. I have no home, no friends. I have been travelling all my life. I have no home, no friends, and I am really tired of my life. I am not able to get about the country.

The Chairman:- Where do you come from?

The Old Lady:- Bristol. I have not been there since I was a child. I never knew my parents, but for a long time I went about in a caravan with gipsy people, and I have been travelling ever since. I used to come here to the Races sometimes. I started travelling when I was 17, and now I am 74, and have been travelling ever since.

The Chairman:- If you are discharged, will you keep your hands off yourself?

The Old Lady:- Well, I don’t know (laughter). I am going to end my life as soon as I can. I am no good here. If it don’t come off here it will come off somewhere else. I have it on my mind, and I shall do it some day, either by getting into the water or something else. I have been ill for a long time, and am not fit to get about the country.

She was remanded to Devizes gaol for a week.

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