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THE HENDERSON TRAGEDY.

(From the Post, Saturday,) At twenty minutes past 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon the inquest on the body of Matthew Henderson came to a conclusion, the foreman-bf the jury announcing that, with one exception, the jurors were of opinion that, the deceased died from the effects of strychnine administered by his own hand while he vyas of sound mind. The Coroner shortly afterwards instructed the police to cause the body of the felo cle se to be interred between the hours of 9 and 12 p.m., and without Christian rites and ceremonies. A few minutes after 9 o’clock the mortal remains of Henderson were conveyed to the cemetery, and the coffin was lowered into a grave which had been prepared during, the day. There were very few, persons: present, Chief Detective Browne supervising the proceedings. The grave having; been filled up, the small assemblage of persons then dispersed. Subsequently ittranspired that the Rev. E. A. Lingard, the incumbent of St. Luke’s, Christchurch, was a passenger from'Lyttelton" by the.s.s. Wakatipu, which arrived;in this port last evening. He, came up to represent deceased’s wife, and defend her from the aspersions which had been cast upon her character by Henderson. With him he brought several documents affecting the relations which existed, between the deceased and Mrs. Render-, son. Among these was the marriage certificate .of Mrs. Henderson, showing that she (at that time Mary Ann Lyford) married deceased, a merchant’s clerk, at ;-t Pancras, London, in April, 1866,. the, attesting witnesses being deceased’s own parents. This document does not conclusively dispose of the deceased’s stater ment that he married Mrs. Henderson while his lawful wife was still living. The other documents were those by which the deceased contrived to induce Mrs. Henderson to believe that he was travelling to Otago to wind ; up a certain bankruptcy estate. One ran as follows :—“My address is—Herbert’s Store, Lawrence. Will wire change.— M. Henderson.” It was despatched from Lawrence, about 70 miles from Dunedin. Another—a letter —commenced —“ My dear wife . . : • .

I write this at Christchurch station to post it at the first stopping .pla.ce—Rolleston. . To my loving wife. M. Henderson.” The other document was - one signed by Mrs. Henderson, for the pur* pose of removing any suspicion, that the poison deceased took was obtained in this city, and was as, follows—“ 19th August, 1880.—I have reason to believe that my husband,;.Matthew Henderson, took away ' from Christchurch a packet of strychnine, .made up in. a..-paper,, after the manner of an ordinary powder.—M. A. Henderson. , Witness, - Samuel Batt, draper, Christchurch.” Before leaving Christchurch deceased was taxed by- Mrs. Henderson with being faithless to her, on which occasion he is said to have sworn an oath on the Bible calling on the Almighty to strike him dead if he ever wished to wrong her. The clothes •he wore and other goods brought with him were paid for by post-dated cheques, falling due on the very day the steamer for San Francisco was advertised to: leave Auckland! The Rev. Mr. Lingard returned to Lyttelton to-day. By the Arawata, which arrived from the same port during the afternoon, Mrs. Blyth reached Wellington, and was immediately conducted to her daughter at the Empire Hotel. In all probability an information will be laid against Miss Blyth fox’ attempted suicide, but will not be heard till she is quite recovered from her present illness. 1

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18800826.2.15

Bibliographic details

THE HENDERSON TRAGEDY., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 144, 26 August 1880

Word Count
563

THE HENDERSON TRAGEDY. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 144, 26 August 1880

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