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A sad end. At the inquest in Dunedin, on Wednesday, on the body of William C. England, who was discovered in a dying condition on the footpath, on Monday night, evidence was given showing that the deceased was a civil engineer and surveyor, 58 years of age, and had lately got into bad circumstances, through poverty and failing health. After hearing evidence, the Coroner then read a letter written by deceased, which was as follows : “ Cox’s Temperance Hotel, “ Maclaggan street, “Dunedin, June 14, 1880. “My Dear Friend, —I am so nervous that I can scarcely direct my pen, but I could not well do what I am forced to do without saying a word of farewell to my last friend. “lean no longer exist I know not where to lay my head at night, or to find the price of a meal to appease the constant pain of hunger. You can have no adequate idea of the abhorrence with which I regard the idea of suicide, yet I am compelled to this course as the only one open to me. lam old, disabled from rheumatism, and cannot under the most favorable circumstances expect a long lease of life. If my mind was free as to the morality of the act, I would have no hesitation as to what I should do ; but seeing myself so pressed by insuperable difficulties, I have no alternative.— Yours in death, “W. C. England. “ P.S. —I haY r e seen some people since I have written the first part of this note, and I see no hope for me. Oh, David, it is dreadful to think a man in the full possession of all his intellectual faculties should be compelled to do what I am going to do. It is horrible. Yet, what can Ido ? Nothing but that is left to me. Even as if all these things were not enough, the conditions of life in New Zealand are enough to discourage anyone to endure life here. Pity me, your poor friend, W. C. England.” The Coroner stated that the deceased no doubt died from the effects of strychnine administered by himself, and the jury returned a verdict to the effect that he committed suicide while in a state of temporary insanity.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 116, 22 June 1880

Word Count

POVERTY AND SUICIDE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 116, 22 June 1880