Date Of Execution: 4 Feb 1856
Execution Place: unknown
242. THOMAS WILLIAM JOHN CORRIGAN was indicted for the wilful murder of Louisa Corrigan; he was also charged upon the Coroner's Inquisition with the like offence.
MR. PAYNE conducted the Prosecution.
ELIZABETH FEARON . I am the wife of Thomas Fearon, an optical turner, of Nicol-square, Hackney. On Christmas day I was at Mr. Burton's, in the Minories, with my husband, the two Mr. Marleys, the prisoner, and his wife—we went there about 5 o'clock in the afternoon—we all of us remained there all night—the females retired to bed about half past 2 or 3 o'clock, the men sat up—we had been playing at cards before we went to bed—there had been some drinking, there were spirits provided—we got up before 9 o'clock in the morning to breakfoat—I saw the prisoner in the morning, I saw him leave the room to go to the warehouse, he wished me good morning, that was about 9 o'clock in the morning—he was employed in the East India warehouse, in Leadenhall-street—he and his wife lived at No. 10, Selby-street East, Waterloo-town, Bethnal-green—the two eldest children of the prisoner were stopping at my house—I went with Mrs. Corrigan to my house, as she wished to go, and we took their children with us, and mine also, from there to Mrs. Corrigan's—we got to her house about half past 2 or 3 o'clock—while we were sitting there talking, the prisoner came to the window and looked in—he looked very cross—he was in the
street, the window was not open—some one opened the door to him, and he came into the room—he said to his wife, "Where have you been?"—she said she had been with me to look after the other children—he said, "You might have come home and looked at the baby first"—I said the baby was all right; and there were other persons present who said the baby was all right, and had been very good—he was cross for some time—I almost forget what he said, there were some other words between them—he said he would have his tea at home—I advised him to have tea at Mr. Burton's, as Mr. Fearon was waiting there for us—he objected to it for some time, but afterwards he agreed to it—he said he would prefer having his tea at home, but the children were playing with some fruit, and I advised him to leave them as they were very good, and go to Mr. Burton's; at last he said, "Very well, I will have a wash and go"—we all three then left the house—I was rather before them—we went on foot to Whitechapel, it rained very hard, and the prisoner said, "Are we to get wet? shall we have a cab?"—we had a cab, and rode in it to Mr. Burton's house—the prisoner appeared rather cheerful till we got to Mr. Burton's house, and then the horse shied, and nearly turned us over; and the prisoner never offered to save us, which seemed very remarkable for him—we jumped out while the cab was going on, but he never put out his hand to save us—the cab was not quite overturned—we all got out—it was about 4 o'clock, or a little after, when we got to Mr. Burton's; we first went into the sitting room where the tea things were prepared, all three of us—Mrs. Corrigan and I directly left the sitting room to go into the bed room, to take our wet clothes off—we left in the sitting room Mr. and Mrs. Burton, the two Mr. Marleys, Mr. Fearon, and the prisoner—the bed room is on the same floor as the sitting room, a small passage divides them—we did not shut the bed room door—we had not been in the bed room a minute when I observed the prisoner come on to the landing which separates the two rooms—I was speaking to his wife—there is a gate at the top of the stairs, which shuts with a spring, to prevent the children from falling down the stairs; it is on the first floor, above the parlour—I thought the prisoner was opening that gate, because there was a sound like the gate clicking—I did not know what it sounded like, but I thought he was opening the gate—the deceased said, "Who is that?"—no answer was given—I said, "Who is that? is that you, Tom?"—by Tom I meant the prisoner—the passage was rather dark, he made no answer, but came into the room, walking hastily—I was standing close to commenced striking her—I rushed towards them and tried to separate them, but I could not, the prisoner had his back towards me—he was rather to the left, the deceased was more to the right, I put up my hands and felt a slight pain in my arm, I did not notice it for the moment, but still kept screaming out for help—I began screaming for help directly the prisoner began to strike his wife—I felt that my hand Mrs. Corrigan—he separated me and Mrs. Corrigan, and threw her towards the child's bed—I rushed up to them, and said, "What do you mean; what are you doing?"—he then threw her on to the child's bed, and commenced striking her—I rushed towards them and tried to separate them, but I could not, the prisoner had his back towards me—he was rather to the left, the deceased was more to the right, I put up my hands and felt a slight pain in my arm, I did not notice it for the moment, but still kept screaming out for help—I began screaming for help directly the prisoner began to strike his wife—I felt that my hands were wet, I looked at them and found they were all over blood—I became alarmed and rushed out of the room—Mrs. Corrigan began to scream directly the prisoner began to strike her—she was lying on the bed with her face uppermost, and he appeared to be striking her about the body, I could not say where, with his right hand—I was not aware that he had anything in his hand—I was so frightened that I rushed down stairs—Mr. Marley overtook me on the staircase—I told him what had happened, and rushed down stairs towards Mr. Cook's, the
surgeon's, holding my arm, which was bleeding—I heard footsteps behind me on the stairs, but did not look behind me—when I had got four doors from Mr. Burton's, I heard the deceased's voice—she said, "Betsy, Betsy"—I turned my head, and begged Mr. Marley to go to her—I saw her behind me—she appeared to be fainting—she fell upon the steps of a house in the street—I went on, and went into Mr. Cook's—I was about having my arm dressed, when the deceased was brought in by Tour men—she was brought into the surgery where I was sitting—I felt very ill, and left the room—I was not present when she died—I have known the prisoner between eleven and twelve years—when I saw him the morning after Christmas day, as he was leaving, he had been drinking all night, at least, I cannot say all night; he had been drinking, but he had had a wash, and appeared somewhat refreshed—I saw him drink before I went to bed—he had a wash in the morning, and appeared better, but I do not suppose he had exactly recovered from the drink by his appearance—he appeared to know what he was about—I merely said "Good morning" to him—he had had his breakfast before we came out of the bedroom—when he got into the cab in the afternoon, he appeared under the influence of drink, but he had had a wash, and was again refreshed; still he had been drinking—we could discern that the instant he came to the window, because he looked wild about the eves, which he generally did if he had been drinking—he was in the habit of drinking—I have known the prisoner and his wife living together for about seven years—we only knew them a part of the time—I believe they lived rather unhappily together—we were not in the" habit of visiting their house—I do not think they were living very happily.
Cross-examined by MR. BALLANTINE. Q. Although they were not living, according to your belief, happily together, did he always behave kindly to his wife? A. From whatever I saw of him—I have seen her violent—when sober, he always treated her very kindly—I do not know that he bore any anger against her for anything that she did—he will be thirty years of age in April—he is a commodore or sort of foreman at the East India Warehouse—he has been for some years given to habits of drinking—I do not know that he was addicted to drinking much before his marriage, but I know he has since, especially this last year or two, and this last six months more than ever—I have heard his wife speak of his suffering from delirium tremens, and I have heard him speak of it.
COURT. Q. What is delirium tremens, do you know? A. No, I do not—I merely heard him say that he was suffering from it, and his wife said so also—it was only on the Christmas night that his wife was telling me that he had suffered so badly in the week from it, that she was obliged to sit up with him at night—he was alraid of something hanging upon the wall close to the bed—I have very often seen him in a state of intoxication.
MR. BALLANTINE. Q. Have you seen him suffering from disease arising from it? A. No—I do not know that he was at all jealous of his wife—I never saw any signs of it—he had been sitting up the whole of the Christmas night—I and the other females went to bed, and left him and his male companions up drinking—we left them about half-past 2 or 3 o'clock—they were drinking when we went to bed—they had everything on the table, and there were liquors mixed, brandy and water, and the means of obtaining more after that was gone—from the appearance of the bottles in the morning, they had not been drinking much, as we remarked in the morning—he remained up all night, and did not go to bed at all—he had washed himself in the
morning, and that seemed to refresh him—he had every sign in the morning of having been drinking, which he had been for the week past—I had seen him at intervals during the week before—we were at a party together on Christmas eve, and he was very violent, and struck a young man that he had never spoken to, and Mr. Fearon and others had to pacify him—the young man had given him no provocation—I saw him under the influence of drink during the week, not drinking—I lost sight of him from 9 o'clock till 3 o'clock on the 26th—he appeared to have been drinking when I saw him at 3 o'clock—his eyes were very much swollen—when he came to the window, we quite started—the observation was made among us all, "How he looks!"—there was a very great wildness about his appearance—he looked very quarrelsome and cross, and his eyes looked bloodshot from drink, and swollen—there was a wildness of manner about him—we reached Mr. Burton's house about 4 o'clock—the horse shied, and nearly overturned the cab—I opened the door, and jumped out—he appeared quite unconcerned—he continued sitting in the cab without moving, and I turned round, and said, "We might have been run over for what you cared," and he took no notice—the horse was still going on, and my clothes caught in the wheel—he took no notice of what I said—I heard of his having an injury to his head—I did not know of it—we were not exactly acquainted with him at that time—on one occasion when he did not arrive home to tea at the time he promised, his wife and he had some words, and she scratched his face, and he held her hands—he did not strike her, he merely held her hands.
MR. PAYNE. Q. When was this? A. About two years since—we were not in the habit of seeing them together much, he occasionally called on Mr. Fearon and my brother in law, and I had opportunities of seeing him—I saw more of him than I did of his wife—he has called more often of late, sometimes twice and sometimes three times a week, without his wife—sometimes he would stay away for a month—I did not see them together often of late, we did a year or two ago, but not of late—she had a young family, and I had a young family; we did not often meet—I have not seen any quarrel since that which took place two years ago—I have seen him once or twice come out of his place of business—I have never been there—I do not know whether he attended regularly to his business, I believe he did, I do not know—I believe his hours of business were from 9 o'clock till 3 or 4—on the 26th he left at 9 o'clock to go to that place, and I saw him again about 3 o'clock at his own house.
ANN BURTON . I am the wife of Edward Burton, and live in Church-street, Minories. Mrs. Fearon is my sister—Mr. and Mrs. Corrigan came to our house on Christmas day, about 5 o'clock in the afternoon—I did not observe anything particular about the prisoner when they came in; he appeared very cheerful and happy—after tea there was gin and water and brandy and water taken—I left the room, I think, between 1 and 2 o'clock in the morning, or it might have been later; I do not exactly remember; it was at the same time as Mrs. Fearon left—the prisoner was very dull when we left—he looked very dull from 11 o'clock; I remarked to his wife how dull and excited he looked, and she said he well might, for he had been drinking for some months—I did not exactly remark him when I left, I only remember that he looked dull, and, I believe, intoxicated—I saw him about a quarter to 9 o'clock next morning, up and dressed, ready for business—I saw him for about ten minutes at that time, he had to hurry off to business—he took two cups of cocoa before he left; he took it standing, as he was
in a great hurry, as the clock was just striking 9—he had to be at his business at 9 o'clock—I had no conversation with him daring that ten minutes, only he said that he did not feel very well—I next saw him about half past 2 o'clock; he came to our house, I let him in—he was very much intoxicated—I spoke to him—he looked rather strange, he looked behind him—I asked him if he had any one with him—he made no answer, but shook his head—he went up stairs, but returned again, I think in a minute—I asked him if he had heard a knock as he returned so quickly—he shook his head again and said he was going, and went away—I did not see him again till about 4 o'clock—I did not see him come in then, I heard them come in; I was in the sitting room preparing tea, and I heard him and his wife, and my sister come in, talking cheerfully together, but I cannot say what they said—I heard a faint shriek from the bed room—thinking it was a joke, we listened a moment, and then, we heard some dreadful shrieks—I ran into the bed room; I saw some one rush past me quickly; I do not remember who it was, I was so excited—I rushed in, and saw the prisoner on my child's bed, with a knife in his hand—it was open, and clasped in his right hand—I ran to him, and caught the handle of the knife, but he threw me off, and began for a moment to be very violent—I struggled with him, and screamed for help—I asked him if he wished to do any harm—he said nothing—I asked him what he meant to do, or what he had done—he looked wildly round the room, but made no answer—my husband and Mr. Marley came to my assistance, and I then got the knife from him—I looked the knife in an iron I safe in the next room—(looking at a knife produced by inspector Gernon) it was a knife like this—I did not remark it much at the time; it was left in the safe until the inspector came, and then my husband got it and gave it to him—I believe I closed the knife, but I was very excited at the time, and cannot say positively—I did not say anything to the prisoner when I had got the knife from him, I ran away—I had known the prisoner about twelve years, and had known him and his wife living together about six or seven years—I have heard that they lived unhappily, but I cannot say—I think I have heard her say she was not very happy.
COURT. Q. Do you know yourself how they lived together? A. No, I I did not know anything about their domestic affairs.
Cross-examined. Q. Did you visit at their house much? A. I think I have been at their house twice, but have not staid many minutes—I saw the prisoner very often, he called chiefly on business—he was a very quiet harmless man, I never saw him out of temper—when I saw him with the I knife in his hand he looked dreadfully wild, and very agitated—I shook him once by the shoulder, and asked him if he intended to hurt us, or what he had done, or what he could mean—he looked wildly round the room, firgt nodded and then shook his head, and then looked wildly round the room.
EDWARD BURTON . I am an optician, in Church-street, Minories. I remember the prisoner and his wife, with other persons, being at my house on Christmas day—I saw the prisouer early next morning—I had not lost sight of him all night—I might at intervals, but he had been in my house and company from something like 6 o'clock on the Christmas night, until 9 o'clock the following morning—the females retired to the bedroom, and the men remained up—I do not know of anything particular that he was doing during the night; he was a guest of mine, and we were all enjoying ourselves—in the early part of the evening we sat conversing, and I think each of us sang a song round, or nearly so; then we supped, and after
supper they were about to retire, but it being wet I persuaded the females to go up stairs to bed, instead of going out into the wet—there was some drinking going on during the night, but not more than you would find in the most rational society that was ever formed—the prisoner breakfasted hurriedly in the morning—I saw him drink some cocoa, I believe—I do not think I spoke to him—he was hurried to get to business, and stood with the cup in his hand while I passed from one room to the other—he did not appear intoxicated then—I cannot say that he was intoxicated when the females retired to rest, but he looked remarkably strange at some part of the night, after the females had retired—I saw him again somewhere about half past 2 o'clock, that same day—he came up stairs at my house, and said, "Where is my mistress?"—I said, "In the other room," but she was not there—he then left the house, and I saw no more of him until about 4 o'clock, when they came in the cab—I did not see Mrs. Fearon and Mrs. Corrigan go into the bedroom—the prisoner came into the adjoining room, the sitting room—the first thing of any importance that I heard was some screaming—that was two minutes, or not so much after the prisoner had come into the room, it was what a person would call immediately.
COURT. Q. Where were you when he came in? A. In the sitting room, on the same floor as the bedroom—he came into the room where I was—I saw him go out of the room again—that was soon after the two women had gone into the bedroom to change their clothes; they went into the bedroom and he came into the sitting room—I did not see the females arrive, but I believe he came into the one room, and they went into the other—he said nothing that I remember whilst he was in the sitting room—the next time I saw him was when I was attracted by the screams—I saw him go out of the room—the whole transaction did not take two moments—he came in and immediately went out, without saying anything that I heard, and then I heard the screams.
MR. PAYNE. Q. When you heard the screams, what did you do? A. I rushed immediately into the bedroom adjoining, from which the screams proceeded, I there saw my wife holding the prisoner in a lying position on my child's bed—I did not see the deceased, or Mrs. Fearon—I flew to the assistance of my wife—I assisted her in getting the knife away from the prisoner—the knife got into my wife's hands, by the conjoint exertions of the whole of us, I should imagine—my brother in law, Mr. Fearon, was also there—I have every reason to believe this is the knife—my wife locked it up in our iron safe, and when it was inquired for I took it out, or passed the key for some one else to do so, and gave it to inspector Gernon, about half an hour after the occurrence had taken place—I afterwards saw the deceased at Mr. Cook's surgery—as to the prisoner being sober at this time, I cannot say, but I never saw him in such a state before in my life—I have at times seen him intoxicated.
Cross-examined. Q. Was his appearance when intoxicated the same that he presented on this day? A. Oh dear no—he presented a very wild, frantic appearance on this occasion, with a strange glaring of the eyes, and a thick perspiration on the upper lip—his coming into the room was so hurriedly that I had scarcely time to observe his appearance closely then, but he looked peculiarly strange when he first came in—he had sat up with me the whole of the preceding night—his appearance was very strange after the women had gone to bed—I never saw a man appear so strange before—I can scarcely describe it, but he seemed lost—I could not imagine that he was himself at all—when anything was addressed to him, he did not seem to
know what we were speaking of—he was not so drunk but what he could have told—I noticed that his general appearance was very peculiar indeed—his eyes seemed wild, peculiarly strange; in fact, he seemed lost—this was about 4 o'clock in the morning—I have known him for about sixteen years, and have associated with him intimately—I am sorry to say I hare seen his wife somewhat provoking to him—he has on those occasions acted in the most kind and benevolent manner—I have never seen him attempt to strike her in my life, but I have seen her strike him—he behaved very gently indeed to her, and showed very great forbearance—after this transaction had taken place, he stood there fixed; he could not speak to me—I led him down stairs, and gave him into custody—I asked him, over and over again, to give the knife to me—he made no answer at all—he did not seem to know what I was saying—it took the whole of our united efforts to get the knife from him—his eyes were glaring very much, and rolling fearfully—I was not present at any accident that he met with—I saw him once when he was suffering from an accident—it was a wound in his head—he was kicked, I believe, and taken to the London Hospital—I did not see him there—he would not stop in—I did not see the wound itself—I saw him with his head bandaged—that is, as near as my memory serves me, seven or eight years ago—I did not know for a positive fact that he was away from business on that occasion.
MR. PAYNE. Q. you say that he appeared lost on this night; did he appear lost the next morning, when he was going away be his place of business? A. No, he appeared as usual then.
CLARA BROWN . I am servant to Mrs. Burton. I remember the day after Christmas day—when the cab came that afternoon, I opened the door, and saw the prisoner, his wife, and Mrs. Fearon—they went up stairs into the sitting room—I saw the prisoner in the sitting room afterwards—I saw him cross the landing place from the sitting room to the bedroom—I saw him part his wife from Mrs. Fearon, as she was untying his wife's bonnet—I then screamed out.
Cross-examined. Q. You opened the door to him? A. Yes—I noticed his appearance—he looked very wild about the eyes—I knew him before, by coming to my master's house several times—I noticed that he had a peculiar appearance on this occasion.
THOMAS FEARON . I am the husband of Elizabeth Fearon. I was at Mr. Burton's when they came in the cab—the prisoner appeared excited—I heard the screams—I was about to go down stairs, and I saw my wife run down—I went on to the landing, and then into the bedroom, and assisted in getting the knife away from the prisoner.
JOHN HENRY COOK . I am a surgeon, in the Minories. On Wednesday evening, 26th Dec., I went with Mr. Burton to Aldgate Church, and saw the body of Mrs. Corrigan—I did not see her at my surgery—she had been removed from there to the Church—she had then been dead about two hours—I examined the body, and found three wounds, one on the top of the left shoulder, about an inch and a half in length, and about half an inch deep; one on the inner side of the shoulder, about an inch long, and superficial; and the third on the inner and upper part of the left breast; that was about an inch long, and in depth to the breast bone—I traced that wound with a probe, and found that the instrument had entered the cavity of the chest—by the direction of the Coroner, I made a post mortem examination of the body—continuing my investigation of the wound, I found that the instrument had struck the bag that covers the heart—I laid it open, and then came to the heart itself—I found in it a longitudinal wound,
about half an inch long, and nearly a quarter of an inch in depth; which wound was the cause of death—they were such wounds as might have been occasioned by a knife of this kind—it would require some force to make a knife penetrate to that part of the heart.
Cross-examined. Q. I believe you had not known any of the parties until you were called in on this unhappy occasion? A. No—the disease called delirium tremens is the result of a constant habit of drinking—I think it is a disease which generally gives signs of its coming for hours before—it depends upon the stage of the disease whether it produces entire delusion—it does in extreme cases produce entire delusion upon every subject—it is generally the case that when a person has been subject to attacks of delirium tremens, a very little will excite another attack—a swollen appearance about the pupil of the eye would be one of the signs of delirium tremens—it is generally one of the symptoms—it shows the state of the brain—I mean the swollen appearance of the eyelid—a fulness and prominence of the eye is indicative of the state of the brain—I am speaking of a swollen appearance of the eye itself—a swollen and wild appearance of the eye is one of the indicia of delirium tremens—I have seen cases of delirium tremens—a thick perspiration on the face or lip is an indication of it—it is mentioned by writers as a strong indication of it—there is an extreme state of delirium tremens which is decided insanity—that is the cane where a man requires five or six persons to hold him down and control him—he is perfectly unconscious of what he says or does; and when he recovers, if you ask him if he is cognizant of anything he said or did, he will tell you he was not aware of it—some kinds of insanity may be cured, even such insanity as, while it lasts, prevents a person from knowing the' difference between right and wrong—there are forms of delirium tremens in which a person does not know the difference between right and wrong—unless I saw a patient while under a fit of that kind, I should not be able to tell from any description.
MR. PAYNE. Q. Supposing a person to have been labouring, upon a previous occasion, under delirium tremens, what effect would drinking all night have upon him? A. It would have a tendency to throw him into the same state—the drink would reproduce it—delirium tremens follows upon drunkenness—it often occurs after a person has been drinking excessively that taking away the stimulant will produce delirium tremens—sometimes a fit of delirium tremens lasts for days, at other times but for hours—it all depends upon whether you are able to procure sleep—if you procure sleep, the disease generally subsides at once.
Q. Does a person labouring under delirium tremens from intoxication of necessity not know right from wrong? A. Not necessarily, I think—it may come on during intoxication, during excessive drinking, and it may also come on by the stimulus being withdrawn—a great deal depends upon the constitution—an attack generally comes on within about twenty-four hours after the stimulant has ceased—I find persons suffering under delirium tremens labouring under delusions, and expressing those delusions—if a man had been drinking at night, and went to his business in the morning with nothing the matter with him, delirium tremens might come on the same afternoon, if he had been drinking excessively the night before, and been in want of sleep and rest.
COURT. Q. Then if a man had been drinking much the night before, delirium tremens might come on the following day, although he had exhibited no symptoms of it in the morning? A. It may.
MR. PAYNE. Q. Although he had exhibited no signs of delusion in any way whatever, will you say that? A. Yes—it might come on after excess—delusion is a part of the effect of delirium tremena—after the disease is set in and established, then delusion is manifest—I have seen several cases of delirium tremens—I have remarked in extreme cases of delirium tremens that there is an absence of the knowledge of right and wrong; for instance, I go and find a man requiring five or six persons to hold him down, and prevent his doing himself some bodily harm, and everything he says and does is inconsistent—generally in delirium tremena the party who commits an act of violence is labouring under the delusion that somebody is about to hurt him—that is a very frequent delusion—I have met with a case where a man would fancy that the police were after him, and he would jump out of bed suddenly, and go the window, and break a pane of glass, and endeavour to get out, and if there had not been some one there to prevent him he would have thrown up the window, and precipitated himself into the street—there would be a plain indication of delusion in that case—violent excitement from drink very much simulates a weak state of delirium tremens—a man who is very intoxicated would have symptoms of delirium tremens, but not all the symptoms—he would probably be very violent—you often see a man intoxicated in the street, requiring five or six policemen to take him to the station house, but that man is conscious nevertheless, and there is no tendency to injure himself—want of consciousness is one of the symptoms in extreme cases of delirium trement—I never saw the prisoner until he was at the police court.
ANDREW GERNON (police inspector). I have produced this knife—I got it from Mr. Burton—he took it out of an iron safe, and gave it to me—I saw the body of Mrs. Corrigan lying on the sofa at Mr. Cook's, and afterwards saw it in the vault at Aldgate Church with Mr. Cook—the prisoner was brought to the Leman-street station in custody by two City officers about half-past four o'clock on 26th Dec.—they said that he was charged with stabbing his wife, and she was at Mr. Cook's—I went there, and found her dead—when I came back, I ordered the prisoner to be put into the dock—he seemed excited when he was first brought into the station, but when I returned he was calm—I said to him, "Do you know what you aer brought here for?"—he said, "Yes, stabbing my wife"—I said, "She is dead, and the charge against you will be her wilful murder"—he seemed very much affected, and burst into tears—I examined his hands, and found some blood upon them—upon conveying him to the police court the following day, he said, "Can I see my wife?"—I said "No"—he said, "All I recollect is giving her one stab, so," lifting his hand, and then he bunt into tears, and was very much affected—I have a letter here which I received on the Saturday morning following, from a woman who was sent by the deceased's sister with it—it is addressed to a Mrs. Hoare, a sister in law of the prisoner.
EDWARD BURTON re-examined. I know the prisoner's handwriting—this letter is his writing, and also this other letter appended to the depositions—(Letters read: "House of Detention, Friday afternoon. Dear Betsy,—With a broken heart, I write to ask you to take all the care you can of my poor dear children till I can make some arrangement with my friends. Do not pay any money out of that trifle I left you; please God, they will be able to get up a benefit at the theatre, or some other place, and I expect there will be 61. allowed for the funeral. You must get it done as cheap as possible, but do not slight the remains of inv poor murdered wife. Oh!
Betsy, if you knew the anguish of my mind, I have no rest night or day now that I have come to my senses. Oh! Betsy, save me a lock of my poor Louisa's hair; now that she's gone, I would give anything to undo what I have done. Be kind to my poor helpless children, and the great God, that I trust in for mercy for my crime, will reward you. When you come up with my shirt, bring my blue waistcoat, and take the one I have got on away with you; you must get the most you can upon it for the children; also a collar or two, and my black necktie: if you can carry baby with you I should be glad to see her. Oh! Betsy, forgive me for what I have done, and beg of your father to do so too; none of your feelings, bad as they are, can be like mine, as I am the cause of all If you cannot come tomorrow, you cannot come till Monday; when, if you will bring a little butter with you, I shall be glad. Give my love to my poor father and sisters, and accept the same for yourself, from your heart broken and wretched brother-in-law. You most try and come at 12 o'clock.")—(" House of Detention, Friday night. My dear Mrs. Fearon,—In the midst of my dreary solitude I write to you, to beg you will forgive me for the injuries I inflicted upon you in my madness of Wednesday, though I honestly feel assured you believe they were accidental; but, my God, if I had wounded you in a vital part, as well as my wife, what would have been my torture to know that I had committed two murders. Let me beg of you to forgive me for the harass of body and mind I have caused you, and also Hannah, and your sister Lucy; tell them that I hope their fates may be happier than mine; give my kindest and best respects to them both; ask them not to hate me; tell them that I would not deliberately hurt a worm, either drunk or sober, much less go so blood thirsty to work as to buy the knife in cool blood to murder a woman. Little did I think when I bought it what would become of it; but it is done, and may God have mercy upon me for it. Give my respects to Tom, and all who inquire after me. Thank them for their interest in my behalf. If you have an opportunity, can you see Jack, and ask him to exert himself about a counsel for me as soon as possible. I have written to Ben Rose. I have never been very backward in assisting others, and among them all something may be done, but do not have Pelham; have somebody better than him: have a counsel for criminal cases, and send him to me before Thursday, so that he may meet the case at Arbour-square on Thursday morning, if possibla I will endeavour to collect my energies together, and pray to God to give me strength to go through it all. Pray for me too; none of us know what hangs over our heads; who would have thought on Christmas night I should have been here now. Good bye, God bless you, and Tom, and Hannah, Lucy, Dan, and all of you. I can be seen any day, except Sunday, from 12 till 2 o'clock by two friends. That God may take you all into his good keeping is the earnest and heartfelt prayer of your faithful and true friend, H. CORRIGAN.")
GUILTY . Aged 29.— DEATH .
Before Mr. Justice Willes.
Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.0, 09 March 2013), February 1856, trial of THOMAS WILLIAM JOHN CORRIGAN (t18560204-242).