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Notable Sritisb trials 



William Gardiner 



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Editor 

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Mr. Justice Lawrance 

(jP/toto. fcy Elliott ii. Fit/) 



Trial of 



(The Peasenhall Case) 



EDITED BY 

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December, 1934 



SIB ERNEST WILD, K.C. 

THIS KKCORD OP A UBEAT IXKFKNUK 

13 
ISV KIND VERAHSMION 

DEDIOATKD 
BY 
THIfl EDITOR 



WILLIAM GARDINER, 



INTRODUCTION. 

I. 

THERE are many remarkable features connected with the 
murder of Hose Harsent and the subsequent trials of 
William Gardiner for the crime now widely known as 
the " Peaseuhall Case." An almost impenetrable atmos- 
phere of mystery surrounds the case from beginning to 
end, from the discovery of the tragedy until the release 
of Gardiner after juries had twice failed to agree; and 
there are certain psychological considerations involved in 
the case which are far more attractive than those arising 
out of most murders. We see that the figure of the 
accused stands out as typical of a large and well-defined 
section of English life and character. His religion, Ids 
moral fibre arid mental outlook, arc indeed so germane to 
the question of his guilt or innocence on this charge that 
the Peanonhall Case, with its abortive conclusion, strikes 
a heavy blow against the principle of our criminal law 
which keeps from the jury all knowledge of the 
personality of the man they are trying except what they 
can gather from his attitude under cross-ex aminatiou ; 
the rule, in short, that deprives him of his status as a 
human being and leaves him, behind the panel of the 
dock, little more than a waxen figure. 

Yet, on the other hand, the rules which govern our 
criminal law procedure are probably well suited to the 
national temperament. The law ol evidence did not 
spring fully araod from the brain of a politician. It 
has been a creature of slow growth evolved by, and 
adapted to, the requirements of innumerable cases, and 
its fundamental principle is to elicit the facts relevant 



William Gardiner. 

to the issue, to the exclusion of all others. Our rigid 
elimination of the criminal differs materially from the 
method adopted in certain other countries, notably in 
France, where the personality of the accused, his history 
and character, form an important feature of the investiga- 
tion. The French consider that an analysis of the human 
soul, based upon the evidence, is helpful in criminal 
matters. Much might be written both for and against 
these two systems, but probably a strict examination 
would reveal that each is best suited to the mentality of 
the nation which produced it. 

In an inquiry like the present, however, we are not 
bound by the rules of evidence, and can therefore include 
much that from a psychological point of view is of the 
greatest importance and value in our search for the truth. 
A more natural light may thus be shed upon the problem, 
since the concentrated glare focused upon certain of its 
features through the medium of examination and cross- 
examination tends to distort the general picture. 

The story opens in the pleasant little Suffolk village of 
Peasenhall, which lies north of Ipswich, near the old 
town of Saxmundham. Here William Gardiner occupied 
a double-fronted cottage in the Main Street. He was 
married, with a family, a reliable workman who held the 
position of foreman of the carpenters employed at the 
Peasenhall Drill Works, where agricultural implements 
were manufactured, and who had represented his 
employers at the Paris Exhibition. A dark, swarthy 
complexioned man of heavy build, he was said to be 
descended from Huguenot ancestors who had taken 
refuge in our eastern shires. He was, to all appearances, 
a deeply religious man, an active member of the 
Primitive Methodist Congregation at the neighbouring 
village of Sibton, where he acted as assistant steward, 
treasurer, Sunday school superintendent, and choir- 
master. Laborious days in the workshop and innumer- 
able evenings sacrificed to chapel business had established 



Introduction. 

him in a position of honourable distinction in the village. 
An insight into his character is given by his solicitor 
who says that, during nine months association with him, 
Gardiner invariably told the truth, his honesty and 
reliability as a workman were established beyond dispute, 
and, notwithstanding his excessive claims to familiarity 
with the Almighty, he was a truly religious man. So 
far as his domestic relations were concerned, he had 
provided and maintained a comfortable home for his 
family, and in that home he was the dominant figure. 
Upon the whole, he was a man with a good character and 
an excellent record a insin not greatly liked, bu^ 
regarded with respect by all who knew him. 

The character of Rose Harsent, on the other hand, was 
not above reproach. She was a clomoslic scrvani 
employed at Providence House, Peusenhall, an attractive 
girl of Eant Anglian type,, something of a village belle. 
It would be unjust to call her a loose woman, but the 
attentions of a number of admirers among tho young ine?) 
of the village had not been altogether free from certain 
gross accompaniments. Moreover, tho cruder side of her 
amorous adventures was not entirely distasteful to her, 
for she treasured in her box a number of indecent verses 
which had been sent to her by an ardent swain, whose 
indiscretion subsequently caused him considerable 
discomfort. There is no reason to suppose, however, that 
before she becaioe acquainted with Gardiner she had 
transgressed the ultimate limit of modesty, and living 
as she did in a part of England not notably celebrated 
for a particularly high standard of moral purity, she waa 
probably a fair specimen of tho girlhood of her district. 

It was doubtless in the Sunday school and choir that 
Gardiner first became friendly with Hose Harsent. They 
possessed sufficient tastes in common to afford the basis 
of an acquaintanceship, for both were interested in 
chapel affairs and particularly in the chapel music. It 
may be assumed that they would often return together 

3 



William Gardiner. 

to Peasenliall after the evening choir practices at Sibton. 
The acquaintance, which began innocently enough, 
nevertheless held from the beginning a certain element 
of danger since it pandered to the vanity of both parties. 
They both felt flattered by it, she by the attentions of 
such a prominent and highly respected member of the 
small community, and he by the unsophisticated admira- 
tion of a young girl with considerable physical attraction. 
Moreover, the development of an " eternal triangle " 
situation would not be retarded by the personality of 
Gardiner's wife, a frail, faded little woman of about 
forty years, whose married life had been fully occupied 
with her housework and the bearing of children to a 
healthy and vigorous spouse. 

It is impossible, except by the aid of the imagination, 
to trace the growth of Gardiner 's alleged haison with 
Rose Harsent. They were often together, however, and 
under circumstances which would certainly afford oppor- 
tunities for misconduct. Indeed, it was not long before 
rumour was rife in the district about the nature of their 
friendship. Spicy stories were freely circulated, and 
eventually the " scandal " was made the subject of an 
inquiry by the chapel authorities, under the auspices of 
Mr. John Guy, superintendent minister of the Wangford 
Circuit of the Primitive Methodist Church. At this 
inquiry a definite charge was made against Gardiner by 
two young men named Wright and Skmner, who deposed 
that on the evening of the 1st of May, 1901, they saw 
him follow Rose Harsent into an old thatched building 
called the " Doctor's Chapel," which stood a little way 
back from the main road, opposite the Peasenhall Drill 
Works. Expecting, as Skinner subsequently admitted, to 
" hear something indecent/' they approached to within 
a few feet of the " chapel," and first heard some laugh- 
ing and rustling going on inside. Then a woman's voice 
called out " Oh, oh," and, according to Skinner who 
remained there after his companion had gone away, the 

4 



Introduction. 

same voice later asked, " Did you notice me reading my 
Bible last Sunday? " The man said, " What were you 
reading about? " and the woman replied, " I was 
reading about like what we have been doing here 
to-night; I'll tell you where it is," naming a chapter 
and verse of Genesis. Finally she said, " I shall be 
out to-morrow night at nine o'clock. You must let me 
go." This story was absolutely denied by Gardiner at 
the inquiry, and by Rose Harsent later, and the result 
of a rather unsatisfactory investigation was entirely 
negative. 

An interesting glimpse of Gardiner's character is 
afforded by his behaviour under this ordeal. It must be 
recorded that he faced the situation like a man, 
As soon as Skinner's story became public he called 
the latter, who was employed at the Drill Works, 
into his room and demanded an apology, which, however, 
was not forthcoming. He also wrote two letters to Hose 
Harsent. Whether he was innocent or guilty of this 
charge, these letters indicate that he was no weakling. 
The first reads : 

" Dear Rose, I was very much surprised this morning 
to hear that there is some scandal going the round about 
you and me going into the Doctor's Chapel for immoral 
Purposes so that I shall put it into other hands at once 
as I have found out who it was that started it. Bill 
Wright and Skinner say they saw us there, but I shall 
summons them for defamation of character unless they 
withdraw what they have said and give me a written 
apology. I shall see Bob to-night, and we will come and 
see you together if possible. I shall at the same time 
see your father and tell him. Tours, &c., 

" WILUAM 



The second letter is as follows : 

" Dear Rose, 1 have broke the news to Mrs. 
Gardiner this morning, she is awfully upset but she say 



William Gardiner. 

she know it is wrong, or I was at home from \ past 9 
o'clock so I could not possibly be with you an hour so 
she wont believe anything about it. I have asked Mr. 
Burgess to ask those too Chaps to come to Chapel to-night 
and have it out there however they stand by such a tale 
I dont know but I dont think God will forsake nie now 
and if we put our trust in Him it will end right but its 
awfully hard work to have to face people when they are 
all suspicious of you but by Gods help whether they 
believe me or not I shall try and live it down and prove 
by my future conduct that its all false, I only wish 1 
could take it to Court but I dont see a shadow of a chancc k 
to get the case as I dont think you would be strong 
enough to face a trial. Trusting that God will direct us 
and make the way clear. I remains, yours in trouble, 

" W. GAKDUTEB." 

It is difficult to decide whether these are the resentful 
letters of an injured man, containing as they do his 
expression of trust in God and threats of legal proceed- 
ings against the slanderers, or mere camouflaged 
" instructions for the defence " written by a guilty man 
to his accomplice, notifying her that he is going to 
present a brazen front to the charge and warning her that 
she must do the same. If the truth of the matter lies in 
this latter interpretation of the letters, then they surely 
do credit to Gardiner's intelligence, for the closest 
scrutiny yields no indication that they are such. 

Even at the present day village communities like 
Peasenhall are largely dominated by the local church or 
chapel, whose culture and methods of thought, not less 
than their religious doctrines, permeate the social lives 
of the inhabitants. But this feature of village life was 
considerably more marked a quarter of a century ago 
than it is to-day, and whether Rose Harsent's mysterious 
lover was Gardiner or some other person of a similar 
class, one can well imagine that their relations were 

6 



Introduction. 

characterised by an incongruous mixture of religion and 
sensuality. If Rose tad fostered her amour on excerpts 
from the book of Genesis, their study of the Bible had 
doubtless extended to the exquisite love song of Solomon, 
and they were probably familiar with the sensuous words 
of the psalmist: " Behold thou art fair, my love; behold 
thou art fair; thou hast dove's eyes, thy teeth are like 
a flock of sheep that are even shorn, thy lips are like a 
thread of scarlet. Thy two breasts are like two young 
roes that are twins which feed among the lilies. How 
fair and how pleasant art thou, oh love, for delights/' 
But the " delights " are apt to pall and the piquant 
charm of illicit pleasure sometimes becomes flat and 
stale. 

If intimacy did in fact exist between Gardiner and 
Rose Harsent before this investigation by the chapel 
authorities, it might have been expected to cease after 
the inquiry. He was no flippant Don Juan, but a man 
of sound fundamental qualities whoae worthy object in 
life had been to attain respectability in his village; and, 
obviously, further relations with the girl were fraught 
with the gravest danger to tho position that he cherished 
so much. Yet it was the contention of the prosecution 
at his trials that the girl maintained her hold over him 
even after the inquiry, and that he persisted in his 
intercourse with her so as to become the father of her 
expected child. At any rate, we know that Hose ITarsent 
was pregnant during the spring of 1902. She was then in 
the employment of Deacon and Mrs, Crisp aa general 
servant at Providence House, a picturesque, gabled build- 
ing with a walled garden, situated in the main street of 
Peasenhall within a short distance of Gardiner's cottage. 
In the face of impending trouble, it may be assumed 
that all the glamour of the early romance had faded, to 
be replaced by something quite different by anxious 
discussions and bitter recriminations between the girl 
and her secret lover, whoever be may have been, and by 

7 



William Gardiner. 

innumerable, futile plans to avert discovery until, as the 
months passed, the girl could not conceal her condition 
much longer. 

These were distressing circumstances in which Rose 
Harsent now found herself, but her sufferings were 
minimised by the comparative coarseness of her nature, 
and her lapse from virtue would not be likely to condemn 
her to social ostracism among her class; but, for the 
unknown man, if he was of some note in the village, the 
penalty would be far more severe. And as the magnitude 
of the threatened disaster impressed itself upon him 
his public humiliation, the ruin of his home and probable 
dismissal from his employment, the resolve to murder the 
girl might well take shape in his mind. Other and less 
criminal methods having failed to achieve their object, 
it was absolutely necessary for his self-preservation that 
she should be got out of the way. Brooding on the 
matter, the character of Rose Harsent may even have 
assumed an uglier aspect. It would not be difficult for 
him to imagine that she had been his temptress. Then 
why, indeed, should he suffer for the sin of a scarlet 
woman? The master touch to this line of thought would 
be that he was performing a religious duty in destroying 
Rose Harsent, since her wiles might be the downfall of 
many other men ! 

Such considerations might naturally present them- 
selves in one form or another to the minds of those who 
had to decide the question of Gardiner's guilt or 
innocence, but, after all, they amount to little more than 
psychological speculations, and it would be unwise to 
give them undue weight in a case where two exhaustive 
trials failed to establish the accused's guilt. 

In the evening of 31st May, 1902, a violent thunder- 
storm broke over the Peasenhall district. Thunder 
crashed, lightning flared, and a torrential downpour 
lashed the fields and roads. That night William 
Gardiner might have been seen by a chance passer-by 
8 



Introduction. 

standing at the door of his cottage, apparently watching 
the storm. But from where he stood could be seen a 
steady light that for some minutes showed at the window 
of the room in which Rose Harsent slept. This light was 
a signal to her secret lover. Rose Harsent 7 s bedroom 
and the kitchen were situated in an outlying part of 
Providence House, and communicated with each other 
by means of a separate staircase. On the same afternoon 
the postman had delivered a letter addressed to " Miss 
Harsent/ ' the last of a series handed in by him enclosed 
in buff-coloured envelopes of the same kind as those in 
use at the Drill Works. This letter, which was afterwards 
found, was as follows: " Dear R, I will try to see you 
to-night at twelve o'clock at your Place if you Put a 
light in your window at ten o'clock for about ten 
minutes. Then you can take it out again. Dont have 
a light in your Room at twelve as I will come round to 
the back/' Shortly after ten o'clock in the evening Mrs. 
Crisp said good night to Rose and retired to her bedroom. 
Like other inhabitants of Peasenhall, she was disturbed 
by the storm, and some time in the middle of the night 
she was startled by hearing a scream and a thud, as if 
some one had fallen. She did not, however, make any 
investigation. By four o'clock in the morning the storm 
had abated, and the remaining hours of darknenw were 
quiet and peaceful. 

The first morning of June dawned brightly. At about 
eight o'clock that morning William Harsent went to 
Providence House to take some clean linen to his 
daughter. On entering the kitchen, at the foot of the 
little staircase that led up to her room, he was shocked 
to find the dead body of Rose lying on the floor in a 
pool of blood. He gave the alarm immediately, and the 
police were called in. Rigor mortis had set in, so that 
it was impossible to say exactly when tbe girl had died. 
The body lay with the head near the stairs and the feet 
towards the kitchen door. There was a punctured wound 

9 



William Gardiner. 

m the breast caused by an upward thrust of an 
instrument haying a sharp point and blade, and the 
throat had been slashed across from ear to -ear by two 
distinct cuts inflicted with such force that the windpipe 
was completely severed. On the right cheek were a 
bruise and a small superficial cut, and there were 
numerous semi-circular cuts about the hands such as 
would be caused by warding oil blows. The dead girl 
was lying flat on her back ; she was dressed only in her 
nightgown and stockings. The nightdress was burned, 
particularly at the lower part, and there was considerable 
charring of the flesh about her thighs and buttocks. On 
the floor close to the body there was a lamp with a 
detached oil container and a broken glass, and the room 
was permeated with the smell of paraffin. Beneath the 
body there was a copy of the East Anylian Daily Times 
delivered, it was later alleged, by Rose Harsent's brother 
to "William Gardiner a few days previously. No knife or 
other weapon was found, but near the girl's head there 
was a broken bottle which had contained paraffin and 
which had a label on it, bearing the words, " Two to 
three teaspoonfuls, a sixth part to be taken every four 
hours Mrs. Gardiner's children." 

Strangely enough, the first impression formed by those 
who followed Harsent, and viewed the body, was that 
the girl had committed suicide. Some colour was lent 
to this by the fact that no footmarks were to be seen in 
the blood that lay npon the floor. But it does seem 
extraordinary that any such theory could have survived 
the most cursory examination. It was definitely 
negatived by the fact that either of the throat wounds 
would have proved fatal ; and, therefore, if the deceased 
had inflicted the first it would have been impossible for 
her to inflict the second. Moreover, the cuts upon the 
hands were quite inconsistent with suicide, indicating 
as they did an attempt by the girl to protect herself. 
And how, if the girl had taken her own life, were the 
10 



Introduction. 

signs of burning to be explained away? To put the 
matter beyond doubt, there was the absence of bhe knife 
or similar weapon by which the wounds were caused. It 
has indeed been suggested somewhat foolishly that 
they might have been self-inflicted by the broken paraffin 
bottle, and we have learned from a reliable source that 
there was, m fact, surgical evidence available to the 
defence to support this theory. A broken bottle, which 
is a deadly weapon, might easily be used in a suicide, 
but the jagged or lacerated edges of the wounds inflicted 
by it are quite different from the clean incisions of a 
knife such as extended across the throat of the dead girl. 
Those who conducted the defence of Gardiner liad little 
faith in the broken bottle theory of suicide for they 
wisely did not call evidence to support it. 

Still more astonishing, there were even people who 
believed that Hose Harsent's death had been accidental 
The leader of this select band was a local clergy- 
man, and his theory is explained in detail in Mr. 
Max Peinberton's interesting story of the Peusen- 
hall Case. tf An unknown man/' it is supposed, 
l( desired to see the girl secretly. He wrote and made an 
appointment with her at midnight, tolliug her to put a 
light in her bedroom window that he might know it was 
safe for him to come. He gets a pair of india-rubber 
shoes from somewhere, and creeps up the road to the 
window of her kitchen. There a horrible spectacle is 
revealed the girl lies dead at the foot of the steep 
flight of stairs, the lamp she earned is shattered, the 
paraffin has caught fire and is already burning her body. 
The man is horrified and flies. He is not a murderer, 
but his intrigue with her has undoubtedly been the cause 
of her death. " In support of this view he continues, 
" Just before twelve o'clock liose Harsent took the lamp 
in one hand and the glass bottle in the other and began 
to descend the steep flight of stairs leading to the kitchen. 
Halfway down, perhaps, her foot becomes entangled in 

H 



William Gardiner. 

her long nightdress and she pitches headlong down the 
stairs into the kitchen. It was at this moment that 
Mrs. Crisp, the deacon's wife, heard the thud and the 
scream, and,, but for her husband's persuasion, would 
have gone to the kitchen to see what was the matter. 
Hose Harsent, thus falling, if fall she did, naturally 
thought first of the lighted lamp she carried and did 
her best to save it. She stretched out her arm to prevent 
its breaking; and so we find it upon the floor in three 
pieces the unbroken glass farthest away from the body ; 
the reservoir near, and then the holder. The paraffin, 
naturally escaping from it, ran back to the rill worn in 
the stone at the stairs' foot, as rills are always worn in 
the stones of these country cottages. There it caught fire 
and, for a little while, burned briskly. Meanwhile the 
poor girl herself had forgotten the glass bottle in her 
other hand, and upon that she has fallen with all her 
weight. It cut her throat and killed her." It is hardly 
necessary to comment on this amiable theory, the product 
of a vivid imagination. Had Gardiner's legal advisers 
adopted it as the basis of the defence, their client most 
assuredly would have gone to the scaffold ! There were 
other fantastic explanations, and the usual " con- 
fession " from an ill-balanced individual, without which 
no murder case seems to be complete. In point of fact, 
there were three such missives received during the course 
of the Peasenhall trials, none of which had any bearing 
on the case. 

Important evidence would almost certainly have been 
discovered if the police had arrested their man. 
immediately. But, with all the facts pointing to murder, 
and enough evidence in their possession to warrant an 
arrest, their minds were apparently so obsessed with the 
theory of suicide that it was not until the 3rd of June, 
three days after the tragedy, that the step was taken. 
They had the evidence of the bottle that Mrs. Gardiner 
had owned, of the newspaper alleged to have been 
12 



Introduction. 

delivered to Gardiner's house, and of tie scandal which 
the chapel authorities had investigated. Moreover, 
other testimony was soon forthcoming. A young game- 
keeper named James Morriss, who had passed through 
the main street of the village about five o'clock on the 
morning of the murder, declared that he noticed a series 
of footmarks leading from Gardiner's cottage to Pro- 
vidence House. He was aware of the stories that had 
circulated in the village concerning Gardiner's relations 
with E/ose Harseut, and he seized this opportunity to 
do some amateur detective work. He traced the foot- 
steps, and found that they led close up to the gate of 
ihe house and back again to the cottage. Examining the 
marks carefully, he came to the conclusion that they had 
been made by rubber-soled shoes with bars across 
their treads. Morriss gave this evidence at the inquest. 
A juryman made a sketch of a shoe sole and the witness 
drew lines across it representing the bars. This was the 
kind of evidence which one would expect to be accurate, 
having regard to Morriss's occupation as a gamekeeper, 
and the police took a statement from hjm. It was dis- 
covered later that Gardiner possessed a pair of rubber- 
soled shoes which, the prosecution afterwards alleged t 
would correspond -exactly with the imprints that Morriss 
had seen. 

Presently, after this unfortunate delay, Gardiner was 
arrested. He was taken into custody on the 3rd of Juno, 
and both he and his wife made statements to the police 
which were free from serious contradiction. The in an 
said: " On Saturday I drove to Kelsale at 2.30. I got 
home about 9.30, had my supper, and stayed at the 
front door because of the storm. We went into 
Mrs. Dickenson's about eleven o'clock. I left Mrs. 
Dickenson's with my wife about half-past one, went to 
bed, and did not go out until 8.30 next morning." The 
only noticeable discrepancy between this account and 
that given by Mrs. Gardiner was that the woman stated 

IS 



William Gardiner. 

that she went to Mrs. Dickenson's first and that he came 
shortly after. If the prosecution had been able to 
ascertain the exact time of the murder this variation 
might have been of the greatest importance ; but, as we 
know, they were unable to say with certainty when the 
murder was committed, and so it ceased to be of much 
value. 

The first trial of William Gardiner opened in 
November, 1902, at Ipswich, before Mr. Justice 
Grantham. Mr. H. F. Dickens, E.G., and the Hon. 
John de Grey (instructed by Mr. E. P. Ridley, Ipswich) 
conducted the case for the Crown, while Mr. Ernest E. 
Wild and Mr. H. Claughton Scott (instructed by Mr. 
A. S. Leighton, Ipswich) were for the defence. 
Tremendous interest was aroused by the trial, and many 
notable people came to hear the proceedings. When the 
time came for the accused to give his evidence he made 
a most favourable impression in the box. " We saw," 
wrote Mr. Max Pemberton, " a finely built man of 
thirty-four years of age, with clear eyes and hair so 
black that, as was said, he might have been of Spanish 
origin." His attitude is thus described in a contem- 
porary issue of the East Anglian Daily News which 
newspaper, by the way, made itself largely responsible 
for the money required to have Gardiner adequately 
defended " The accused went from the dock into the 
witness-box, and, after stroking his raven-black 
moustache and beard for a moment or two in a rather 
nervous way, pulled himself together, and stood some- 
what unsteadily, with one hand resting on the ledge in 
front of him often raising it to emphasise his state- 
ments and the other held close to his side. He spoke 
in a clear voice, raising it occasionally at the request of 
counsel, so that the jury might hear, and the quietude 
of his demeanour was the subject of general amazement." 
The statements he made to his own counsel were not 
shaken, to any marked extent, in cross-examination. 

14 



Introduction. 

While lie was obviously anxious, he was never flustered, 
and gave his answers without hesitation. On the fourth 
day Mr. Ernest Wild wound up an exceedingly skilful 
defence by a remarkable speech; but the effect of his 
eloquence on the jury, it was thought, must have been 
dispelled by the summing up of Mr. Justice Grantham, 
which was unquestionably against the accused. There 
was intense excitement when the j ury retired to consider 
their verdict at 4.15 in the afternoon. They returned at 
half-past six to reveal that they were in disagreement, 
and wished to know what inference they were to draw 
from the fact that there was no blood on the accused's 
clothing. The judge said that that fact was in the 
accused's favour, but that guilt had been clearly estab- 
lished in other cases where there was no blood found upon 
the clothes. If the other evidence was not conclusive, 
these facts would serve the accused; but if this evidence 
was conclusive the absence of blood ought not to affect 
the evidence of guilt. The jury retired again to consider 
these instructions, and it was not until twenty minutes 
to nine that they returned. The foreman intimated that 
they had not been able to reach a verdict. Mr. Justice 
Grantham then asked if there were any questions that he 
could answer, and a juryman stood up to say that there 
were no questions which he wished to ask. It was he 
who was in disagreement with the others. When asked 
by Mr. Justice Grantham if he thought time might be 
of value to him in considering the question, the juryman 
said: " I have not made up my mind not to agree if I 
was convinced that the prisoner was guilty, but I have 
heard nothing to convince me that he is guilty." The 
applause in Court which followed this statement was 
quickly silenced. There was, therefore, no prospect of 
an agreement and the jury was discharged. 

The second trial also resulted abortively, but, it was 
said, the position here was the exact reverse of that at 
the first hearing, eleven jurymen being for acquitting 

15 



William Gardiner. 

Gardiner and one for condemning him. The trial again 
took place at Ipswich, and the same counsel were 
engaged, with Mr. Justice Lawrance this time on the 
Bench. The evidence was patiently gone over again, 
and again the summing up inclined towards a con- 
viction. After a little over two hours' absence on 
the fourth day, the foreman of the jury led his men 
back to intimate that there was no possibility of their 
reaching an agreement. Speculation was now rife as to 
whether the accused would again be tried, and it was 
confidently expected locally that he would appear at the 
next Suffolk Assizes. The power of ordering a further 
prosecution no doubt existed, but its enforcement was 
discretionary, and on this occasion the discretion was 
wisely exercised. Five days after the trial had finished 
Mr. Leighton, the accused's solicitor, received the follow- 
ing telegram from the Director of Public Prosecutions : 
" Rex v. Gardiner just lodged nolle prosequi. Sims, 
Treasury, London." On the same day the Governor of 
Ipswich Prison received an order to release his prisoner. 
It is said that Gardiner's first act on being informed of 
this was to fall on his knees and thank God for his 
deliverance. In the evening this much-tried man stepped 
forth from the pnsou, his appearance much altered by 
the removal of his black beard and whiskers. Within a 
lew hours, he was a passenger in the night train to 
Liverpool Street Station, London, and after many months 
of public notoriety his identity became obscured in the 
city's millions. 

Gardiner owed much to his able lawyers. His solicitor, 
Mr. Arthur Sadler Leighton, who has since become a 
practising member of the English Bar, did splendid 
work during the preliminary investigation of the case and 
in the preparation of his defence. In no way, however, 
did he serve him hotter than in his selection of counsel. 
Mr. (the late Sir) Ernest Wild, afterward* the Recorder of 
London, but then a junior barrister on the South-Eastern 
16 




Mr. Justice Grantham 

(Photo bit Rttwlf) 



Introduction. 

Circuit, was briefed to lead Mr. Claughton Scott, and 
his conduct of the case set the seal of public fame on 
an already successful career. He Bad all the gifts of 
the complete advocate, skilful in cross-examination, and 
renowned as a polished orator at a time when rhetoric 
at the Bar was on a much higher plane than it is to-day. 
Above all, he possessed that combination of qualities 
which we call charm that attractiveness, in fact, which 
inspires a jury with a sometimes illogical desire to award 
his client the verdict. His closing speech in this case 
was a characteristic effort, and will repay a careful read- 
ing by those interested in the art of advocacy. The 
other side, as has been stated, was led by the late Sir 
Henry Dickens, then Mr. Dickens, E.G., who was after- 
wards appointed Common Serjeant of the City of 
London, one of the most able leading counsel practising 
at the common-law Bar at that time. A gifted son of a 
famous father, his appearance for the prosecution was a 
guarantee that everything would be said that lay within 
his province as a minister of justice for the purpose of 
placing the issues clearly and dispassionately before the 
jury. He never transgressed these limits to obtain a 
personal triumph. 

Something has to be said, at the same time, about the 
occupants of the Bench. The personality of Mr. Justice 
Grantham, who heard the first trial, has been presented 
in a previous volume of this Series, and need not be 
dealt with.* The Honourable Sir John Compton 
Lawrance, who presided at the second h-earing, had then 
been a judge of the King's Bench Division for some 
twelve years. Originally a student and afterwards a 
Bencher of Lincoln's Inn, he possessed the urbanity of 
manner that is characteristic of the Chancery Bar. He 
was for some years Recorder of Derby and leader of the 
Midland Circuit, and before his Judicial appointment 

* " Trial of George Chapman," edited by H. L. Adam. 
B 17 



William Gardiner. 

he had sat in Parliament for divisions of Ms native 
county, Lincolnshire. His courteous and kindly dis- 
position are well instanced by his conduct of this Peasen- 
hall trial a duty of considerable difficulty. It will be 
seen from the report that both the charges, though they 
incline towards a conviction, are scrupulously fair. We 
imagine that either, in the event of a Guilty verdict, 
would have stood the test of an appeal' to the Court of 
Criminal Appeal had such a tribunal then existed. 

Finally, the decorum observed throughout these trials 
of Gardiner affords a noteworthy instance of the quiet 
and efficient manner in which the most sensational 
criminal cases are handled in our Courts. The order of 
the Court may so easily be sacrificed to cheap sensation 
and disgraceful scenes that we are to be congratulated 
on our comparative immunity from these. The whole 
course of the proceedings in the Peasenhall Case is 
worthy of the best traditions of British Justice. 

II. 

It is not proposed to publish a report of the first trial 
in this volume as nothing of importance then occurred 
which is not covered by the notes of the second trial. Our 
discussion of the more important incidents will there- 
fore be confined to the latter. 

There was no direct evidence against the accused. 
Only the murderer knew what had actually happened in 
that blood-stained kitchen, and the Crown had to depend 
on a cumulative case of circumstantial evidence. In 
pointing this out to the jury Mr. Justice Lawrance said : 
'* If a man came to the witness-box and said he saw A 
shoot B through the head with a pistol, A would be tried 
for murder, and that would be direct evidence. And the 
only question you would have to consider would be : Can 
we trust this man who has said he saw A shoot B? In 
direct evidence only one question arises : Do you accept 
18 



Introduction. 

the statement of the person who gives the evidence? Let 
me give you the plainest and simplest case of circum- 
stantial evidence and the most familiar one in the text- 
books. Suppose you saw a man rush into a room with a 
naked sword, and you afterwards saw him coming out 
with it covered with blood. Supposing that in that 
room there was a man who was found to be struck in 
the back or in a* place where he could not strike himself. 
That would be circumstantial evidence. First, you 
would have to say whether you were satisfied that the 
witness saw A go into the room, and then, if you 
believed that, the next question would be: What pre- 
sumption does that give rise to in my mind? 
Circumstantial evidence is evidence which gives rise to 
a presumption. First, you have to say whether you 
accept the fact, and then, secondly, what is the reasonable 
inference to be drawn from the presumption? " " There 
are cases in the textbooks, " he continued, " in which it 
is shown that circumstantial evidence is of greater value 
than direct evidence. " 

It is, of course, common knowledge that direct evidence 
is sometimes fraught with the gravest inaccuracies. This 
unreliability is noticeable in cases where the facts 
deposed to are of such a transient nature that the 
opportunity of observation is reduced to a minimum. 
Thus it has produced, in what are termed at the Bar 
" Bunning-down cases/' a " Court speed " of motor cars 
at 15 miles per hour, that being the pace almost 
invariably stated by eye-witnesses in favour of the sido 
for which they are called, and the same divergence 
from the facts has led the present Lord Chief Justice 
to say that he is always trying collision cases between 
stationary vehicles! But it is in cases of mistaken 
identity that the misleading nature of direct evidence 
has become most striking. The classic example in this 
connection is the case of Adolf Beck, a man wrongly 
convicted on the evidence of a large number of persons 

19 



William Gardiner. 

who, with equal certainty and inaccuracy, swore to his 
identity. An interesting test of the value of direct 
evidence was carried out by a well-known American 
jurist* during a university lecture. While he was 
addressing his class one of the students, strikingly 
dressed, stood up and took objection to a statement he 
had made. The professor answered the objection, and 
an angry altercation ensued, which resulted in the 
student mounting a platform and firing a revolver. 
Explaining to the astonished class that the incident had 
been arranged beforehand, the professor asked his class 
to write a full and accurate report of what they had seen 
and heard. The result of their efforts was a hopeless 
confusion of misstatements and omissions, and the best 
account of all showed only twenty-six per cent, of 
correctness. 

An eminent authority on this subject,! in comparing 
the value of the two kinds of -evidence, has said, 
" Witnesses sometimes lie, facts never." There is much 
truth in that. But, at the same time, it should be 
remembered that a tribunal may have extreme difficulty 
in ascertaining the correct inferences to be drawn from 
the facts. This is a weakness of circumstantial evidence 
which has often been exploited to good purpose by the 
defence. Look, for instance, at this case of Gardiner. 
A broken bottle, which has contained paraffin, is found 
in the kitchen near Rose Harsent's body, and the label 
on it bears the words, <e Mrs. Gardiner's children." 
Here, it would seem, is a piece of circumstantial evidence 
of the greatest importance which cannot be contested. 
What does it prove? Prom the point of view of the 
prosecution, it supports the view that the accused has 
filled the bottle with paraffin at his home and taken it 
with him to Providence House for the purpose of using 



* Professor Munsterberg. 
t Sir Michael Foster. 
20 



Introduction. 

it to burn the body of the dead woman. Regarded in 
this light, the evidence of the paraffin bottle assumes a 
damning aspect. Yet, when the defence come to deal 
with the matter, it is put forward as the strongest proof 
of Gardiner's innocence ! They say that, if he were the 
guilty man, he might just as well have left his visiting 
card on the body of his victim. It is one of the earliest 
lessons to be learned in defending criminals that 
apparently glaring pieces of evidence like this can be 
countered by the argument that no one but a maniac 
would provide such evidence against himself. And that 
contention may not always be met successfully by the 
answer although it is an established fact that however 
clever a criminal may be he usually assists detection by 
at least one act or omission of unaccountable stupidity. 
A host of instances of this immediately come to mind 
the packages of arsenic kept for months by Herbert Rowse 
Armstrong, the preservation of incriminating letters by 
Mrs. Thompson of Bywaters and Thompson notoriety, 
and the open use in their workshop of surgical 
instruments stolen at the time of the murder of the 
police constable by Messrs. Browne and Kennedy. 

Let us begin our examination of the evidence given 
at the trial by scrutinising the incident of the meeting 
at the " Doctor's Chapel/' from which Gardiner's alleged 
association with Rose Harsent dates. It was early 
realised by the advocates that this was the key to the 
whole position, and in his opening speech Mr. Dickens 
fenced round and guarded this part of his cas^ with 
meticulous care* He suggested that Skinner's story was 
too extraordinary to have been invented, and pointed out 
that there was no antagonism between the two young 
men and the accused. The fact was stressed that, in 
spite of the threat of legal proceedings against them, 
the young men would not apologise ; and an elderly man. 
named Henry Rouse would be called to support the view- 
that Gardiner was more than friendly with Rose Harsent. 



William Gardiner. 

He had seen them walking together in the month of 
February, 1902, and had also detected familiarities 
taking place between them as they sat in the choir while 
he was preaching at Sibton Chapel. The answer to 
this, in Mr. "Wild's opening speech, was that his client 
had been the victim of village gossip ; and the fact that 
he had retained all his offices of honour at the chapel 
after the inquiry was proof that the charge had been 
fabricated. The jury heard Wright and Skinner tell 
their story, and Mr. Ernest Wild bombarded it with 
heavy artillery, but the young men were not much 
shaken. Then Mr. John Guy, superintendent minister 
of the Wangford Circuit of the Primitive Methodist 
Church, before whom the inquiry at Sibton was held, 
Appeared to support their testimony. Mr. Guy said 
that it was as the result of a letter received from Bouse, 
stating that there were certain rumours abroad rolaiing 
to the conduct of Gardiner, that he decided to hold the 
inquiry. He admitted that Rose Uarscnt was employed 
to clean the " Doctor's Chapel " at Peaseuhall and that 
the accused had nothing to do with that particular com- 
munity. No decision was arrived at then, but Gardiner 
was told to be careful in his relations with young girls. 
Gardiner admitted that he bad been indiscreet, but 
promised to keep clear of Rose Harsent in the future. 
Mr. Wild's cross-examination here was fairly successful. 
Guy agreed with him that if there had been any truth 
in the story the accused would have been speedily asked 
to resign summarily ejected, in fact, from his offices at 
the church; but he denied the suggestion that he had 
on one occasion said that it was a trumped-up affair. 
The Court then listened to Rouse telling of the 
familiarities he had noticed in church. His story some- 
how did not ring very true, and it was easily shaken by 
the defence. Mr. Wild skilfully showed the jury that 
the witness was one of these people who are continually 
bringing accusations against others. 



Introduction. 

Here, then, is all the evidence of Gardiner's alleged 
relations with the dead girl. This earlier history of the 
case may not prima facie seem to be connected with the 
actual circumstances of the murder itself ; but it possesses 
a vital importance from the Crown standpoint because, 
if established, it constitutes a probable motive for the 
crime, the whole force of the argument culminating in 
the fact that Rose Harsent at the time of her death was 
sis months advanced in pregnancy. The motive, shortly 
stated, was the removal of an imminent menace to the 
accused's respectability. The question now arises : Is 
there evidence enough to satisfy us that Rose Harsent 
was indeed Gardiner's mistress; or can we, with Mr. 
Wild and the jury, dispose of it as nothing more than 
village tittle-tattle? If we discount the evidence of Mr. 
Rouse, who we were told had a taste for squabbles, the 
testimony of Wright and Skinner still remains. They 
apparently had nothing to gain by Gardiner's disgrace, 
and if the story had originally been started as a prank, 
one would think that these two boys would have been 
brought to their senses by the man's wrath and his 
threat of legal proceedings. But, as we have seen, they 
told their story, and, in the Transatlantic phrase, they 
stuck to it. Against this there are the denials of 
Gardiner, supported by his wife's testimony, evidence 
weakened by self-interest of course, the value of which 
could best be judged by those who saw and heard the 
Gardiners. 

The next important matter relates to the letter in the 
buff envelope, which the girl received on the afternoon 
of 31st May. After Harry Harsent, a brother of the 
dead girl, had deposed that he had taken letters from 
the accused to his sister on several occasions, the post- 
man spoke about the letter in the buffi envelope, in which 
the Crown were specially interested. Re had several 
times delivered letters to Rose which tad been enclosed 
in similar envelopes. It appeared that envelopes of this 



William Gardiner. 

kind were in use at the Drill Works, and the accused had 
access to them. Later in the trial a fierce battle of 
expert evidence raged round the handwriting in this 
document. " There are liars/- says the cynic, " damned 
liars, and expert witnesses/' and a study of the expert 
evidence given here tends to make one believe that the 
expression is not too drastic. As a matter of fact, the 
administration of justice in our Courts might be better 
served by the rigid exclusion of all such testimony except 
in cases where, owing to the technical nature of the 
subject-matter, it is absolutely necessary in order to 
explain the points in dispute. The present practice in 
our Courts goes far beyond this. Engineers of alleged 
eminence in their profession have spent hours in Court 
explaining, and contradicting each other, about the 
ability of an open-ended spanner to slip off a nut. In 
medical cases, especially, there seems to be no limit to 
the latitude allowed, and much time is wasted. Of all 
the classes of expert evidence adduced for the so-called 
assistance of the Court, that dealing with handwriting 
is among the most illusory. It depends in the main upon 
a number of similarities the existence of which is 
strenuously affirmed and just as strongly denied. In no 
case does it afford any guidance beyond the point at 
which an ordinary man would arrive by a careful com- 
parison of the documents. In the case we are consider- 
ing it is perhaps enough to say that the discrimination 
of the handwriting expert for the Crown, the best-known 
authority on the subject, was entirely discredited in the 
action of Parnell against the editor of the Times news- 
paper, where he was fully prepared to give his sworn 
opinion that the letters which the notorious Piggott 
afterwards confessed he had forged were in the hand- 
writing of Mr. Parnell. There is, therefore, little to be 
gained from this evidence. In passing, however, we 
note a peculiarity common to the letter received by Rose 
Harsent and other letters admittedly in Gardiner's 
24 



Introduction. 

handwriting : in each case several words in the middle 
of sentences are commenced by a capital letter. As an 
item in a cumulative case this resemhlance is significant, 
but too much reliance should not be placed upon it. 

It will be remembered that the writer of this letter 
instructed the dead girl to put a light in her window 
at ten o'clock for about ten minutes. Harry Burgess, a 
bricklayer, was called to say that he had spoken to 
Gardiner on the evening of 31st May about five minutes 
past ten. Their conversation took place at Gardiner's 
front door, and Burgess remained there for quarter of 
an hour. As he was going home he noticed a light in 
the top window of Providence House. It would be wise 
not to pay much attention to this statement. Obviously, 
the imagination may enter into evidence of this kind, 
and, in addition, the fact that the storm was then raging 
is sufficient to discount it. 

From the light in the window the Crown came to the 
matter of Gardiner's rubber-soled shoes. James Morriss, 
the gamekeeper, told of the footmarks he had traced 
between Providence House and Gardiner's cottage. 
When questioned by the police, Mrs. Gardiner had 
readily produced the rubber-soled shoes. They did not 
appear to have been worn recently, and there were no 
traces of blood upon them, a point which the defence 
quickly turned to the advantage of their client. There 
were, in fact, no bloodstains of any kind upon any of 
Gardiner's clothing. 1 The only trace of mammalian 
blood was a spot upon a clasp knife which was found 
in the accused's possession. This knife had evidently 
been freshly cleaned and sharpened. It had been scraped 
inside the haft and the two blades bore signs of recent 
polishing. On examining the interior of the handle, 
Dr. Stevenson, senior official analyst at the Home Office, 
had found a minute quantity of mammalian blood* The 
suggestion of the defence was that the presence of this 
blood was due to the fact that the accused had killed 

20 



William Gardiner. 

some rabbits shortly before and liad used the knife to 
disembowel them. The absence of blood was a strong 
point in favour of the defence; but, against this, the 
Crown brought a neighbour to say that there was a fire 
in Gardiner's wash-house very early on the Sunday morn- 
ing and that both the accused and his wife had been seen 
going there at an unusual hour. This was a rather 
dangerous piece of evidence, but Mr. Wild's clever cross- 
examination was meant to show that the witness's 
imagination had played no little part in his recollections. 

"We have already dealt with that specious piece of 
evidence, the broken paraffin bottle with the tell-tale 
label, and have seen how the defence ridiculed the 
idea that Gardiner would leave such a glaring clue 
behind him. Later they strengthened their position by 
calling evidence to prove that the bottle had originally 
contained camphorated oil, which was prescribed by a 
local doctor for Mrs. Gardiner's children, and that she 
had let !Rose Harsent have some of the oil in the bottle 
for a sore throat. It was suggested that thereafter the 
bottle had been used by the girl for storing paraffin, that 
it had been placed upon a bracket behind the kitchen 
door which was afterwards found broken and that it 
had been knocked off on to the floor when the door was 
pushed open on the night of the crime. It was an 
exceedingly plausible supposition, and served to make 
the matter of the broken bottle with its label of little 
value to the Crown. 

These were the principal points against the accused 
upon which the prosecution relied to secure a con- 
viction. Their case ended with the close of the second 
day, but before that a young man named Davis 
spent an uncomfortable hour in the box. He was a 
young shop assistant who had written several question- 
able letters and verses to Rose Harsent. In respect of 
his more objectionable compositions he was severely 
censured by the Bench when he stepped down. But he 
26 



Introduction. 

was quite innocent of any connection with the murder, 
and this was admitted "by the defence. At the same time, 
however, when Mr. Wild addressed the jury he showed 
them how a case might have been built up against Davis. 
It was an excellent idea, his ingenious object being to 
demonstrate how easily a strong case might be con- 
structed against a perfectly innocent man. 

On the third day Mrs. Gardiner told her tale. She 
had never believed the scandal that linked her husband's 
name with that of Eose Harsent. On the afternoon of 
31st May her husband had driven to Eelsale, and he 
had returned home at half-past nine. He stood at the 
door watching the storm for some time, after which 
they had supper, and then went to Mrs. Dickenson's. 
She went first and her husband followed a few minutes 
afterwards. They left Mrs. Dickenson's at half-past one 
in the morning, when the storm was practically over. 
After they retired her husband slept soundly, but she 
had to get up more than once during the night to see to 
one of her children who had been frightened by the 
storm. Thus she was positive that he had not been out 
of bed during the night. When she had given her 
evidence, Mrs. Gardiner fainted and her cross-examina- 
tion was delayed until nest day. Mr. Dickens did not 
shake her testimony, but as a defence the suggested alibi 
is obviously weak since no definite hour could be fixed 
for the murder and the accused was within a stone's-throw 
of Providence House during the night and morning. 
The behaviour of Mrs. Gardiner is interesting. She was 
distressed and terrified in the box, and after her 
examination-in-chief she had a violent fit of hysterics* 
The next day, after cross-examination, she was obviously 
on the verge of another breakdown so much so that her 
husband, sitting in the dock, burst into tears. These 
incidents could not fail to impress the jury, and they 
formed a basis for the last pathetic appeal by the defence. 
Mrs. Gardiner's collapse in body and mind is strange when 

27 



William Gardiner. 

one remembers that all that was required of her was the 
truth about her husband's movements on the night of the 
murder. Certainly there had been much cruel suspense 
connected with the case, but a belief in her husband's 
innocence might have been expected to inspire her with 
greater fortitude, unless, of course, she was in weak 
health or abnormally temperamental. 

When William Gardiner went into the box he was 
taken through all the incriminating points that the 
Crown had raised. He denied that he had had immoral 
relations with Rose Harsent, stating that when he went 
into the " Doctor's Chapel " it was merely to help her to 
shut a heavy door which was stuck. The evidence of 
Wright and Skinner was -entirely false. It was at his 
own request that the inquiry had been held at Sibton 
Chapel, and he had continued in his offices after the 
investigation. He never used buff envelopes for his 
correspondence, and the letter sent to Rose Harsent 
shortly before her death was not written by him. He 
had once received a letter from the girl about a church 
matter, but he had never written to her. Concerning the 
shoes, he was evidently contemptuous in view of the 
storm of Morriss's story of the footmarks. He denied 
any knowledge of the light in Rose Harsent's bedroom 
window, and declared he was unaware at that time that 
such a light could be seen from the roadway before his 
house. His wife, he now admitted, had gone to Mrs. 
Dickenson's first on the night of the 31st; he had 
followed a few minutes later, after seeing to the children. 
They went to bed about two o'clock, and he was in his 
room until eight o'clock next morning. Mr. Dickens 
cross-examined skilfully, but did not score a decided 
advantage over the witness, who emerged from the duel 
with credit. It was, in fact, an excellent appearance in 
the box which must have assisted materially towards his 
acquittal. 

That is a brief summary of the important evidence 
28 



Introduction. 

led at the second trial of William Gardiner. A funda- 
mental axiom of English law is that a man must be 
presumed to be innocent until he is found guilty; and, 
therefore, Gardiner is entitled to the full benefit of the 
presumption since two exhaustive efforts by the Crown 
failed to lay the responsibility for the murder at his 
door. No one has the right to assert that a miscarriage 
of justice took place or to regard him otherwise than as 
an innocent man. But the reader who studies the evidence 
given at the trial must naturally ask himself what 
opinion he would have formed had he been a member of 
the jury who listened to it at Ipswich. In doing so, 
however, one must bear in mind what has so often 
been said by judges of the Court of Appeal, that to read 
a report of the evidence is far less informative than to 
see and hear the witnesses who gave it, and this con- 
sideration must detract from the value of an opinion 
expressed by one who was not present at the trial. 
Nevertheless, the report makes it clear that the case 
presented by the Crown was founded upon a number of 
incriminating circumstances, some of which pointed 
strongly and others with less force to Gardiner as the 
guilty person. Thus, in coming to a decision, one will 
have to ascertain whether these circumstances are merely a 
group of isolated coincidences or whether they form a 
chain of evidence that can only be explained by Gardiner's 
guilt . We imagine that even the accused himself could not 
deny that the cumulative case of the Crown looked very 
formidable, but the burden of proof is upon them, and 
if there is a reasonable doubt the accused is always 
entitled ?o the benefit of it. It may be that to the pure 
logician the reasonableness of a doubt does not depend 
on the result of a decision. But, fortunately for the 
conduct of everyday affairs, the pure logician is an 
extremely rare specimen. We may possess an easy feel- 
ing of certainty in deciding a trivial matter, yet, "upon, 
the same material, certainty may well be replaced by 



William Gardiner. 

doubt if a man is to die by our decision. It seems to 
us that, in view of the vital consequences, the evidence 
against Gardiner is not quite strong enough that it 
does create a reasonable doubt in our minds. Neverthe- 
less, we imagine that many will take leave of the case 
firmly convinced that he was extraordinarily lucky to 
escape the gallows. But perhaps the popular conclusion 
will be one of agreement with the majority of the jury 
at the second trial; or, at any rate, that the abortive 
conclusion of the Peasenhall Case was the best thing 
that could have happened in the circumstances. 



Leading Dates in the Peasenhall Case. 



1901. 

1st May. 

8th May. 

llth May. 
15th May. 

1902. 
14th April. 



31st May 

or 
1st June 

3r4 June* 
November. 



Alleged meeting of Gardiner and Rose Harsent in 
the "Doctor's Chapel." 

Interview between Gardiner and Skinner as to the 
alleged meeting. 

Inquiry at Sibton Chapel. 

Letter of Gardiner's solicitors threatening pro- 
ceedings for slander. 



Letter from House to Gardiner regarding his 
conduct towards Rose Harsent. 



30th May. Letter in huff envelope posted to Rose Harsent. 



j-Murder of Rose Harsent, 
J 

Arrest of William Gardiner. 

First trial of William Gardiner for murder. 



1903. 

21st, 22nd, ] 

23rd, and [-Second trial of William Gardiner for murder. 

24th January. J 

29th January. Nolle pro&equi lodged by the Treasury. 



31 



THE TRIAL 



AT 



THE SUFFOLK ASSIZES, IPSWICH, 



WEDNESDAY, 21ST JANUARY, 1903. 



Judge presiding 
MR JUSTICE LAWRANCE 



Counsel for the Crown 

MR. H. F. DICKENS, K.C. 
HON. JOHN DE GREY. 

(Instructed by Mr. E. P. Ridley, on behalf 
of the Treasury.) 



Counsel for the Accused 
MR. ERNEST E. WILD. 
MR. H. CLAUGHTON SCOTT. 
(Instructed by Messrs. Leighton & Aldons.) 



First Day Wednesday, 21st January, 1903. 
Opening Speech for the Prosecution. 

Mr. DICKENS May it please you, my lord ; gentlemen 
of the jury, you have been sworn to try the question 
as to whether the prisoner at the Bar is guilty of 
the murder of Rose Harsent, who met with her death 
on the night of the 31st of May or the early morning 
of the 1st of June, in last year. The inquiry, I need 
hardly point out, is one of the utmost importance. To 
the prisoner at the Bar, of course, it is of the greatest 
gravity, but in the interests of public justice it is impera- 
tive, if this man killed that unfortunate girl on the night 
of the 31st of May, that he should not be allowed to 
escape. You will try this without fear, without sympathy, 
without prejudice. If this man is guilty of the crime 
of which he stands charged, the crime is of so diabolical 
a nature, so cold-blooded, so premeditated, that no sym- 
pathy should be extended towards him. If, on the 
contrary, the Crown do not satisfy y'ou of his guilt, he 
needs no sympathy at your hands. It is an unfortunate 
consequence of all crime that the criminal brings sorrow 
upon those who are nearest and dearest to him, and I 
must warn you that you must not, because you sympathise 
with this man's wife, allow your better judgment to be 
warped. 

It is impossible to suppose that you are not aware 
that this has been tried before. Having regard to the 
interest which the case aroused at the time of the first 
trial, widely advertised, read by members of the public, 
it would be idle for me to suppose you are not aware of 
that fact. With that trial we have nothing to do. You 
are sworn upon your oath to give your verdict according 
to the evidence which comes before you. We have no 

35 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dicken* 

right to inquire, we have no means of inquiry, as to 
what took place in the jury-room when the jury retired 
to consider their verdict. What you have to do and 
you will excuse my reminding you of that fact is nar- 
rowly to watch the evidence, and see if the Crown prove 
their case; and when once that case is proved to your 
satisfaction no man has a right, when bnce he has taken 
the oath as a juryman to decide according to the evidence, 
to allow any kind of feelings of his own, whether he is 
opposed to capital punishment or anything of that kind, 
to interfere with his judgment. May I also suggest to 
you that it would be well it is absolutely necessary 
that, whatever you may have read about this case, you 
must entirely remove any impression of what you read 
from your minds. However good a report in a public 
newspaper may be, you know as well as I do that the 
effect of evidence when you read it is very different from 
the impression the evidence makes on your mind when 
you hear it. Let us start with an absolutely clean slate, 
with no impressions formed either for or against the 
prisoner at the Bar. I direct your attention to the evi- 
dence, and upon that evidence this case must be decided. 
The Crown have to satisfy you of this man's guilt ; they 
have to satisfy you of his guilt beyond any reasonable 
doubt. "What I mean to say by a reasonable doubt is 
a doubt created in your minds by the effect of the 
evidence which is laid before you. If there is any reason- 
able doubt arising from that evidence, and out of that 
evidence, then the Crown have not fulfilled their duty, 
and have n'ot satisfied the burden which is upon the 
Crown to prove this man's guilt. My learned friend, Mr. 
de Grey, and I are charged with the prosecution in this 
case on behalf of the Treasury, and I hope to conduct 
the case temperately, with the utmost fairness to the 
prisoner at the Bar, but at the same time to carry out 
my duty my undoubted duty which is to see that jus- 
tice is done, and, when you have heard this evidence, 



Opening Speech for Prosecution. 

Mr Dickens 

we shall ask you to say that the case has been made out, 
and that the man who dealt those deadly blows upon 
this girl is the man who stands before you. That is the 
issue before you. 

The prisoner at the Bar is a married man with children, 
something like forty-five years of age. He lives at 
Peasenhall ; he is a foreman carpenter at the Peasenhall 
Drill Works, and has been, I think, for some time; and 
he lives with his wife and family in the main street of 
Peasenhall village. Eose Harsent, at the time of her 
death, was twenty-three years old, and she was in service 
with a Mrs. Crisp, in Providence House, also situate in 
Peasenhall. 

To summarise the case which we shall lay before you, 
before I detail the evidence upon which we base our 
case, I may tell you that the case for the Crown is this : 
that this man, the prisoner at the Bar, was not only a 
married man, but held a very prominent position in his 
church, which is a church of the Primitive Methodists, 
at Sibton, close by, being school superintendent, choir- 
master, assistant society steward of the trust and school 
fund, and therefore he was a man, both as regards his 
position in the church, with regard to his friends, and 
with regard to his wife, to whom it was imperative that 
no kind of suggestion of shame should be successfully 
imputed against him. The case which we shall lay 
before you is that he had an immoral connexion with 
the girl ; that his conduct raised a scandal in the church ; 
that there was an inquiry with regard to his conduct; 
that having regard to the fact that he denied it and the 
girl denied it there were two witnesses on the other 
side there was impasse, and no real result obtainable 
either one way or the other; and that after this, and 
although he promised Mr. Guy, the minister of the 
church, not to have anything more to do with Eose 
Harsent, he continued the intercourse with her, that 
letters passed between them, until at last the girl became 

37 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickeni 

enceinte. She was six months enceinte at the time of 
her death, and our case is that he then wrote a letter, say- 
ing he would come and see her in her room at twelve 
o'clock on that night; that at some time that night he did 
visit her ; that he killed her ; and that he afterwards tried 
to burn the hody. I will tell you shortly the chain of 
evidence we shall lay before you to support that theory. 
It is a chain of circumstances which we say all lead up 
from one another and weld all these links into one strong 
and unbreakable chain, which leads to the inevitable 
conclusion that this man, and this man only, committed 
that crime. 

Gentlemen, it will be necessary at the outset to give 
you an explanation of the situation of the house where the 
accused lived, and the situation of Providence House, 
where the girl lived; also to describe to you the interior 
,of Providence House, because it is important you should 
know where the girl slept, and what was the access to 
the room in which, she slept. 

Mr. WILD I am sorry to interrupt my learned friend, 
but really all Ms witnesses must be out of Court. 

Mr. DICKENS Of course, all witnesses for the Crown 
must leave the Court, but surely you have no objection 
to the doctors remaining? 

Mr. WILD Mrs. Crisp is at the back. 

Mr. DICKENS Oh, she must be out. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAW&ANCE Do you want all witnesses 
out of Court ? 

Mr. WILD N*o, my lord, not the expert witnesses. 

Mr. JTTSTICE LAWKANCE The others must go, of 
course. 

[Mrs. Crisp, Mr. J. Guy, Supt. Andrews, and other 
witnesses thereupon left the Court.] 

(After handing the jury a plan, Mr. Dickens con- 
tinued.) You see a red building at the corner of two 
roads, the Hackney Road, and the other not nam-ed on 
the plan, the Rendham Road. At the corner of these 



Opening Speech for Prosecution. 

Mr Dickens 

two roads in fact, they are four cross-roads is Pro- 
vidence House, If you go down the main street of 
Peasenhall, you will find a building coloured blue. That 
is the accused's house, and the distance from that house 
to Providence House is something like 200 yards 208, 
I think, to be exact. It is important to know that if 
you go out of the accused's house into the middle of the 
road, or go a little to the right or left, you will be able 
to see a light shining in the window of the room in which 
Hose Harsent slept. I will show you that window by a 
photograph later on, and the importance of that you will 
see presently. Looking at the bottom of the plan, you 
will see a green portion marked " Chapel." That is the 
chapel called the " Doctor's Chapel," and has nothing 
to do with the accused's Methodist church, which is an 
entirely different persuasion. That chapel you will see 
stands back some little distance from the road. Opposite 
to it are the ironworks in which accused was engaged as 
foreman carpenter. Will you be good enough now, 
before I go to the inside of the house, to look at some 
photographs which are important? (Photographs were 
then handed up.) One is the east front of Providence 
House, and looking at that you see three windows. The 
top window of all, just under the roof, is the window of 
the room in which Rose Harsent slept. That window 
looks right down Peasenhall Street, and, as I said, from 
opposite accused's door a light could be seen without 
difficulty shining in the window. The door to the left 
under the tree is one entrance into the house, the main 
entrance is on the north side, which you can just see, 
and this I will now show you a photograph of. The 
north side is on the Hackney Hoad; you see there is a 
gate with some stone pavements, leading up to the 
steps. But if you don't go to the door, there is an ill- 
defined pathway alongside the house by which you can 
go round to the back of the house. Now I will show 
you the back of the house, and this, of course, is a very 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickons 

important view. Supposing you have not got into the 
door at the north front but went round this pathway, 
you come to a door by which you enter the vinery or 
small greenhouse. Immediately on is the entrance to 
the kitchen. Take the plan again. I want to explain 
to you the interior of the house. I do so for the reason 
of showing you that access to the girl Eose Harsent's 
room was by a flight of stairs leading directly into the 
kitchen. If you go into the back and into the vinery, 
you would go straight into the kitchen, and from the 
kitchen into her bedroom, without going into any other 
part of the house. The main staircase of the house used 
by Mr. and Mrs. Crisp is quite independent of that 
leading to Eose Harsent's room; therefore, the girl, in 
the room where she slept, was practically isolated from 
the other part of the house. Let me show you that by 
this plan. Here, if you will be good enough to follow 
me, is the opening into the conservatory. It is shown 
on the plan here. Supposing you come in from the back 
and go into the conservatory door, immediately you come 
in on the left is the door leading into the kitchen. Let 
me explain the kitchen before I go anywhere else. At 
the other side of the kitchen you will see the stairs, and 
these stairs lead to Eose Harsent's bedroom, and to her 
bedroom alone, and nowhere else. There is a scullery to 
the kitchen, and the door of the stairs opens inwards 
into the kitchen. There is a window, you see, from the 
kitchen looking into the conservatory, just close to the 
door, and if you come through the conservatory instead 
of turning into the kitchen you come to another door 
leading into the hall. Out of that hall you will see the 
stairs leading up into Mr. and Mrs. Crisp's rooms 
upstairs, and which have no reference whatever to the 
floor on which Eose Harsent sleeps. 'From that hall you 
get into *ihe parlour, and there are steps going down to 
the cellaf. The lobby on the other side, leading into 
the dining-room, leads up to these steps, leading up to 

40 



Opening Speech for Prosecution, 

Mr Dickens 

the north front, which I showed you where the gate was, 
and where I pointed out to you the stone pavement. So 
that not only is this house within 200 yards of the house 
of the accused, hut you can see the light from the girl's 
window, and if any one wanted to get to the girl's room, 
he could do so without being seen and without going 
into any part of the house except by the back door, and 
through the vinery and into the kitchen. I hope I have 
explained clearly the situation of the house, because it 
is important you should bear it in mind. 

There is one more thing I must draw your attention 
to, and that is the chapel. This chapel is called the 
" Green Chapel " ; I forget what distance it is from the 
road, but you will see it stands back, and there are no 
houses near to it. It is an old chapel which has been in 
existence for some years; it has an old thatched roof 
with rubble wall. There is a plan of that chapel at the 
side of the map you have there. The elevation shows 
a door, a window to the left of the door, and two 
ventilators one close to the door, and another close 
to the window and there are open ventilators. If you 
look into the interior of the plan, you will see there are 
seats, and there is a reading-desk. You see the window 
and door, and you see the ventilator close by the window. 
Although it is very much reduced in size by reason of 
the perspective of the picture, you see the other ventilator 
at the further end of the chapel. 

I think the best way to deal with this case is to deal 
with it directly in chronological order. It is very much 
easier to follow, and makes the facts very much clearer 
than they would otherwise be. The story opens in May, 
1901. In that month an episode takes place which raised 
a scandal with regard to the accused's conduct with 
Rose Harsent. There are two witnesses one named 
Skinner, a labourer, and the other, "Wright, a wheel- 
wright who will tell you a story which I venture to 
think, so far as Skinner is concerned, it is impossible 

41 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickens 

could have been invented. At about a quarter to eight 
on the 1st of May, 1901, they saw Rose Harsent go into 
the chapel, it being her duty to clean the chapel. She 
had nothing to do with it, for it was not her church; 
she was a member of the Sibton Primitive Methodist 
Church. She cleaned the chapel every week. She had 
not gone in very long before the accused followed her, 
and these two young men naturally thought it was a 
very odd thing that this man, at a quarter to eight, who 
had nothing to do with the church, should follow this 
girl into the chapel, and after they were in for a time 
they heard rustling, and the woman cried out, " Oh, 
oh.*' Wright then left, but Skinner heard the conversa- 
tion. " Did you notice/* said the girl, " ray reading 
my Bible last Sunday? " " Yes," said the man. 
" What do you think I was reading about? " The girl 
then remarked, " I was reading about what we have 

been doing to-night. You will find it in ." 

[Counsel quoted the verses in the Bible the girl had 
spok-en of.] 

Gentlemen of the jury, you must form your own con- 
clusions as to what happened between the man and the 
woman on that occasion. It was a most extraordinary 
story to invent. I suggest to you on the part of the 
Crown it is an impossible story to invent, and it is almost 
incredible that two young men without any feeling of 
antagonism to this man in the dock should have invented 
a story like this, which might imperil the life of a man. 
After this it happened that they heard the girl say she must 
go; she would meet him again. They went away the 
woman first, and then the man. Wright had by this 
time come back, and he saw them come, and I think 
there was some conversation either by Skinner or Wright. 
Of course, that is not in one sense an issue in this case, 
but it is a very important element in considering as to 
whether or not there would be a gross scandal between 
this woman and man on the 1st May, 1901, Knowing 

42 



Opening Speech for Prosecution. 

Mr Dickens 

what lias passed, the suggestion may be that outside 
these boys could not hear what was said inside, but it 
depends entirely on how and where you speak. That 
occurrence was on the 1st May, and of course it became 
a topic of conyersation in the neighbourhood. 

On the 8th May, Gardiner invited Skinner to come to 
his room, and then asked him, " What is it that you 
have set afloat about me? " Skinner told him what he 
had seen; the man denied it, and demanded an apology, 
which Skinner would not give. Mr. John Guy, at Hales- 
worth, is superintendent minister of the Wangford 
Circuit of the Primitive Methodist Church of which 
Sibton formed part, and on the llth May there was an 
inquiry at Sibton Chapel with regard to the circum- 
stances of that night. Wright and Skinner both gave 
evidence. The accused strenuously denied the story. 
The girl Hose Harsent was not present, but she also 
later denied it to Mr. Guy, and, of course, it is a point in 
their favour and it is fair you should consider it that 
when charged with this offence both denied it. On the 
other hand, looking at this as men of the world, one 
knows perfectly well it was to the interest of the accused 
and Rose Harsent to deny their guilt of the charge of 
immorality a charge of serious consequence to this 
man, having regard to his position in the church, and a 
charge of grave consequence to the girl, in regard to 
her position towards the world. Mr. Guy will give you 
evidence of what took place. The young men were cross- 
examined and stuck to their story; but having regard to 
the fact that there were two witnesses on one side, and 
on the other side both the accused parties denied it, 
nothing further could be done and no report was made. 
And I think Mr. Guy will tell you that as no charge 
was formulated against accused, nothing more was done 
with regard to it. About that time Gardiner appears to 
have written to the girl herself, for two letters were 

43 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickens 

subsequently found in her possession. The first was 
this: 

" Dear Rose, I was very much surprised this morn- 
ing to hear that there's some scandal going the round 
about you and me going into the Doctor's Chapel for 
immoral Purposes so that I shall put it into other hands 
at once as I have found out who it was that started it. 
Bill Wright and Skinner say they saw us there but I 
shall summons them for defamation of character unless 
they withdraw what they have said and give me a written 
apology. I shall see Bob to-night and we will come and 
see you together if possible. I shall at the same time 
see your father and tell him. Tours, &c., 

" WILLIAM GARDINER. " 

" Both Wright and Skinner say they saw us there, 
but I shall summons them for defamation." Gentlemen, 
it is entirely for you to say whether Gardiner was not 
putting Rose Harsent upon her guard, and suggesting 
that they were not in the chapel at all. The next letter 
was as follows: 

" Dear Rose, I have broke the news to Mrs. 
Gardiner this morning, she is awfully upset but she say 
she know it is wrong, for I was at home from J past 9 
o'clock so I could not possibly be with you an hour so 
she wont believe anything about it, I have asked Mr. 
Burgess to ask those too Chaps to come to Chapel to-night 
and have it out there however they stand by such a tale I 
dont know but I dont think God will forsake me now 
and if we put our trust in Him it will end right but its 
awfully hard work to have to face people when they are 
all suspicious of you but by Gods help whether they 
believe me or not I shall try and live it down and prove 
by my future conduct that its all false, I only wish I 
could take it to Court but I dont see a shadow of a 
chance to get the case as I dont think you would be 

44 



Opening Speech for Prosecution. 

Mr Dickens 

strong enough to face a trial. Trusting that God will 
direct us and make the way clear I remains, yours in 
trouble, " W. GARDINER. " 

His solicitor then writes both to "Wright and Skinner 
on the 15th May 

" Halesworth, 
" Suffolk, 16th May, 1901. 

" Sir, Mr. William George Gardiner of Peasenhall 
has consulted me in reference to certain slanderous state- 
ments which he alleges you have uttered and circulated 
concerning him and a young woman. I have to inform 
you that unless you tender my Client an ample written 
apology within seven days from this date legal process 
will be forthwith commenced against you without further 
notice to yourself. Tours faithfully, 

" HAROLD A. MULLEN. 
" Mr. Wm. Wright, care of Mr. Redgrift, 
" Peasenhall, Saxmundham.'' 

No apology at all was given. These young men 
would not apologise, for what they said was the 
absolute truth, and no steps were taken against 
them. I don't lay much stress upon that, for these 
young men are working men, and no proceedings against 
them would have resulted in any good to the accused, 
except this that he would clear his character, and to 
do this he would have to put himself to expense. There- 
fore, I don't think you would place very much stress 
upon the fact that this threat was not carried out. I 
don't think it will be disputed that the young men's 
story is true up to a certain point. I don't think it will 
be disputed that the man was there, nor that he went to 
the door; but, as I understand, the suggestion will be 
that he remained outside talking about the hymns for 
next Sunday, and never entered the chapel at all. That 
episode ended, but the evidence we shall lay before you 
is that the intercourse between Gardiner and the girl 

45 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickens 

did not end there. But before I leave the episode I must 
give you one bit of evidence of great importance. Mr. 
Guy, after this inquiry had been held, saw the accused 
at his private house, and he said to him in a kindly way, 
" Let this be a lesson to you for life/' and accused said, 
<c It will." He added, " I will have nothing more to 
do with Rose Harsent." " Be careful in all your pro- 
ceedings/' said Mr. Guy, " with the young people, so 
as to be above suspicion/' and they parted with a 
promise on the part of the accused that he would have 
nothing more to do with Hose Harsent. Mr. Guy was 
a friend of theirs, a minister of the church, carrying on 
the same church work as the accused carried on, and 
Mr. Guy could have no motive at all for exaggerating in 
the slightest degree what was said by the accused, or 
for in the slightest degree giving any kind of colour or 
colourable exaggeration to the meaning of his words. 

That episode ended, we come to that of the follow- 
ing year. N"ow we come to a bit of evidence of 
the greatest importance, more especially having regard 
to the character of the gentleman who is the witness 
Mr. Henry Rouse, an elderly gentleman of position in 
the church, of equal position with the accused; a man 
who had never had a quarrel with the accused ; who had 
never been on bad terms with the accused, against whom, 
as far as I know, nothing can be fairly imputed ; and he 
will tell you that on a Sunday night in February, 1902, 
when he was going home from Toxford, at about nine 
o'clock in the evening, he saw the accused and Rose 
Harsent walking together away from home. I think the 
man passed " Good night/' or something of that kind, 
and no answer was made. But Henry Rouse, I think, 
knowing the charge which had previously been made 
against him in connexion with this girl, believing from 
what he saw, as any one naturally would believe, that 
this connexion was still continuing between them, shortly 
afterwards spoke to him on the subject, and pointed out 

46 



Opening Speech for Prosecution. 

Mr Dickeni 

to him that he was not carrying out his promi&e. The 
accused said this: " I do acknowledge being with Rose 
on Sunday night, but I will never repeat it again." 
If this is true, it is cogent evidence to show that 
his intercourse with the girl was continued. Tou 
will hear Mr. Rouse's evidence, and you will see, and 
you will have to ask yourselves the question, whether 
there is anything in that gentleman's demeanour which 
would point to the fact that he is deceiving you, or 
whether there is any motive for his being so wicked as 
to invent a story of that kind to you as against the 
accused on his trial for murder. Mr. Bouse preaches 
in this chapel, and on one occasion when he was 
preaching he noticed some acts the girl sitting 
next the accused during the service while he was 
preaching which he would describe, and which were of 
an indelicate character. Instead o doing what he 
might have done bringing this before the church, and 
adding to the scandal, or blasting this man's character 
to his church by telling the church that he had seen this 
man with this girl on that night he acted in a way 
which I think you will now regard as being charitable ; 
but when once he had got a promise from this man that 
he would not be with Rose Harsent again, he said no 
more about it; and on this occasion when he saw what 
he thought was an act of indelicacy between the man 
and the woman in church-time, instead of denouncing 
him, he wrote him a letter. The letter was an 
anonymous one, written by his wife, and under the 
circumstances I venture to think that his writing 
anonymously does not cast any discredit upon him. He 
did not want to pose as being a man putting himself 
forward, as accusing a fellow-member of his church. He 
wanted, if he could, to get this man to stop this inter- 
course, as he promised to do, but he saw them on 
February of that year, and he wrote this letter, which I 
venture to think is a fair and proper letter, and dictated 

47 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickens 

by the best feeling and the best kind of feeling which 
one man can bear to another. In it the writer warned 
the accused as to his conduct with the girl Harsent as 
being likely to drive many people from the chapel. He 
did not, he said, wish Gardiner to leave God's house, but 
there must be a difference in his conduct before God's 
cause could prosper, as people could not hear when the 
enemy of souls brought this thing before them. The 
letter concluded : "I write as one that loves your soul, 
and hopes you will have her sit in some other place." 
That letter was written on 14th April, 1902. After this, 
Harry Harsent, who is a brother of the girl, will tell you 
that he has carried letters from the accused to the 
deceased. (Here two envelopes were produced.) These 
envelopes are of the same colour and kind as those which 
are used in Smyth's works. One is a blue and the other 
is a buff envelope. Harry Harsent will tell you that he 
carried letters in blue envelopes of this kind from the 
accused to his sister in June of the previous year, and 
also some this year, and you will also have evidence by 
the postman and by Mrs. Crisp that letters in that sort 
of blue envelope were delivered to the girl at Providence 
House; and the boy will also tell you that he carried, I 
think, this year two letters from his sister to the accused 
himself. 

Brewer, who was postman at Yoxford, on the 31st 
May, which was a Saturday, delivered a letter in a buff 
envelope of that kind addressed to " Miss Harsent, 
Providence House, Peasenhall, Saxmundham." That 
letter he delivered at 3.15 on the Saturday. It must 
have been posted between 6.30 on the Friday, the 30th, 
and 10.55 on the morning of the Saturday, and it would 
go through to Yoxford from Peasenhall, and be delivered 
at Peasenhall at 3.15 on that Saturday afternoon, and the 
postman will tell you on other occasions he has delivered 
letters in the same buff-coloured envelopes. We now 
come to the critical day, the 31st May. Mrs. Crisp, 
48 



MX** fmi<uW* 



|0 



*V* CUL***^ f 
itcru* 







The Letter of Assignation 



Opening Speech for Prosecution. 

Mr Dickens 

who was Eose Harsent's mistress, took in this, which was 
addressed to the girl in this buff envelope, and put it on 
the kitchen table. She took it in at a quarter-past three, 
and in the ordinary course put it on the kitchen table, 
where the girl could see it. It was found in the girl's 
room after she was dead, and it is a letter which we shall 
ask you to say, when you compare it with letters in the 
accused's handwriting, is undoubtedly in the accused's 
hand. It is a letter of the greatest consequence, and you 
will appreciate how important it is when I read it to you. 
It is as follows: 

" Dear E, I will try to see you to-night at twelve 
o'clock at your Place if you Put a light in your window 
at ten o'clock for about ten minutes. Then you can take 
it out again. Dont have a light in your Room at twelve, 
as I will come round to the back/' 

You will now appreciate the importance which I 
attached to the position of the two houses, and to the 
fact that going outside the accused's house in the middle 
of the road you can see a light burning in Eose Harsent's 
room. I am not going to stop at the present to give any 
comparisons of handwriting; that will come later. This 
is a carefully written letter. It is a letter written very 
straight, very carefully spaced, and the only real 
difference between that and letters which the accused 
wrote on business from Paris is that he wrote the latter 
with a fine pen, and apparently hurriedly in a sloping 
style. When you compare that letter with these written 
from Paris, and also with a letter which was wj&tten from 
prison, and which was asked for on the last occasion for 
further comparison, we shall ask you to come to the 
conclusion that you have no doubt that this letter is in 
the accused's hand. It has a very great peculiarity. 
There is a very peculiar thing about it that he puts 
capital letters in the middle of sentences, especially his 
" P's." ec I will try to see you to-night at your Place " 
D 49 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickens 

capital " P." "If you Put a liglit in your window " 
capital "P " at "put " " Dont have a light in your Room 
at twelve" capital "R." I will say no more of the 
letter at the present time, except that the case for the 
Crown is that that letter is in the accused's hand. Mrs. 
Crisp went to bed about a quarter-past ten. Her husband 
is a very deaf man, and when she went to bed, she, I 
think, saw the girl in the kitchen. A candlestick was 
used for the purpose of going up to her bedroom, and 
a lamp with an ordinary well for paraffin oil was kept 
for use in the kitchen. During the night a storm arose 
a very violent storm, and Mrs. Crisp was awakened by 
the storm, and went downstairs. She saw the door 
leading into the kitchen was open, that is to say, from 
the lobby. There was no light ; no one was stirring ; and 
she went to bed again. She was awakened very suddenly, 
hearing a suppressed scream and a thud as of something 
falling. She made some observations to her husband, 
who seemed to think it was nothing, and she did not go 
downstairs again. She first of all, before the Coroner, 
said that she thought she went downstairs the first time 
between twelve and one, and that she heard the thud 
between one and two, but it is clear that she had no 
reason for knowing what the time was. She did not see 
the clock, and heard no clock strike, and what the time 
was she will not be able to give you any evidence about. 
The question is whether the accused at any time during 
that night went into the house and killed the woman. It 
is impossible for the Crown to satisfy you as to any 
particular time of the night at which this murder was 
committed. 

Harry Burgess, a bricklayer, is the next witness, and 
carries the case a little further. Remember the letter, 
" Put a light in your window at ten o'clock and leave 
it there ten minutes " that was to be the signal that 
she would expect him at twelve; and it is a remarkable 
thing that about that time the accused was in front of 
50 



Opening Speech for Prosecution. 

Mr Dickens 

his house, and I do not think it will be disputed that 
he walked out of the front o the house, as we suggest 
having regard to the terms of the letter, and having 
regard to the time for the purpose of seeing whether 
that light was burning or not. Burgess will tell you 
that, walking on as he did after leaving the house, he 
noticed that a light was burning in the top window of 
Providence House, looking down the street. It appears 
that in consequence of the storm, a neighbour of theirs 
of the name of Mrs. Dickenson, who was a nervous 
woman, and who was apparently frightened by the storm, 
asked the accused and his wife to go in and keep her 
company; and, according to her, the wife came in some- 
where about half-past eleven; that the accused came 
somewhere about midnight, or some little time afterwards ;; 
and that they stopped in the house until half-past one. 

We now come to a very important bit of evidence, 
which is given by a man named James Morriss. James 
Morriss is an assistant gamekeeper, and James Morriss 
will tell you that on that Sunday morning of the 1st of 
June he was out at five o' clock in the morning. Of 
course, he knew of the scandal which had taken place 
with regard to the girl and the man, and he saw leading 
from the accused's house right away up to the gate of 
Providence House footmarks, not of ordinary boots, but 
of india-rubber shoes, with bars across; and before he 
knew of the murder, having regard to his suspicions 
with respect to them, he made some observations to his 
assistant gamekeeper about it. Of course, h v e did not 
know of the murder till much later, and he saw not 
only those footmarks leading to Providence House, but 
footmarks returning to the accused's house. You will 
find there is a very remarkable thing about this. The 
police did not know of this fact until about the 6tt of 
June, when they received some information, and then 
they spoke to this man with regard to what he had seen ; 
and although, they had had certain articles of clothing 

61 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickens 

handed to them by the accused's wife, at that time no 
one knew for a moment that the accused had such shoes 
in his possession. But after this story had been told 
they found that the accused had shoes exactly correspond- 
ing to the marks seen on that night, and when this man 
was examined before the Coroner, I think it was the 
foreman of the jury who drew the sole of a foot, and 
asked him to mark upon the paper what kind of bars they 
were. The witness then marked the paper with broad 
lines across, corresponding to the soles of the accused's 
shoes. Therefore, you have on that night, if Morriss is 
telling you the truth and there is no reason why he 
should not some person, who must have had some very 
strong object in going to that house with shoes some- 
what unusual to wear at that hour of the night, exactly 
corresponding with the accused's, and leading directly 
from the accused's house to Providence House, stopping 
there and returning in the opposite direction. 

The next morning a man named Herbert Stammers 
will tell you at half-past seven he saw the accused in 
his backyard go to the shed at the back, where there was 
a fire in the copper. He will tell you that it was 
unusually early for a fire to be lit. Of course, what 
was done with that fire we don't know. At about eight 
o'clock on the Sunday morning William Harsent, the 
father of the girl, who was in the habit of taking her 
clean clothes on the Sunday morning, went as usual and 
found the vinery door open, and the girl lying dead in 
the kitclien in her nightdress. The floor was covered 
with blood almost entirely, curiously enough, on one 
side, the left side of her, and she was dead. Her feet 
were lying out into the room, and her head against the 
stairs* The door had evidently been violently opened, 
because a bracket behind it was broken by the door 
being slammed against it. The poor father, of course, 
at once raised an alarm, and Eli H"unn, a police 
constable, came in about a quarter to nine. IsTunn will 



Opening Speech for Prosecution. 

Mr Dickens 

describe to you exactly what he saw, and it is of very 
great importance you should have this picture well in 
your mind. Against the window near the part looking 
out into the conservatory he found on the inside, pinned 
up with a fork, a wrapper belonging to Mrs. Crisp, 
which she had seen herself on the previous day. This 
was hung up obviously to prevent anybody seeing 
a light in the window. Nunn found the girl dead, and 
found which is an important element to bear in mind 
that the man, whoever it was, had committed the 
murder with such care that there was not the slightest 
appearance of any trampling in the blood. Whether 
the man who committed the murder took his shoes off we 
don't know, but, however he did it, he left no trace of 
his footmarks, either in the blood, or bloody footmarks 
on the kitchen floor, or outside. An attempt had been 
made to burn the body, and it is remarkable that the 
burning should be about the abdomen and buttocks, for 
there was no doubt the girl was enceinte. 

Now we come to a very remarkable part of this 
case. By the body on the floor, first of all, was 
the candle used by the girl to take her to her 
bedroom, having burned itself out. On the floor, 
close to the body, was a paraffin-oil lamp. Nearest 
her head was the foot or stand of the lamp; next 
to that was the glass of the lamp unbroken ; and next to 
that was the oil well, half-filled with paraffin oil. If 
you know these oil lamps, you will realise that if you 
pour out the oil with the wick in it, it only comes out 
drop by drop. That an attempt was made to burn the 
body by paraffin was beyond all question, for there was 
paraffin mixed with the blood and about her nightdress 
and body. On the floor, too, was found a broken bottle, 
and by the fireplace, where it must have rolled, was 
found the neck of a bottle with a cork tightly jammed 
in. So tight was it that you could not get it out, but on 
that part of the bottle was found a label giving instruc- 

53 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickons 

tions as to the doses to be given to Mrs. Gardiner's 
children. The doctor will tell you that that was a bottle 
which he gave to Mrs. Gardiner for her children some 
little time before, and what we suggest took place was 
this that the murderer, whoever he was, with that 
cold-blooded, brutal premeditation, had gone there with 
the object of meeting the girl and getting rid if he could 
of all trace of her shame by burning the body. Tor that 
purpose, we suggest, he took with him the bottle filled 
with paraffin oil, but in putting the cork in, with a view 
of putting it in in such a way that it was not likely to 
come out, he put it in so tightly that when the murderer 
took the bottle from his pocket he could not move the 
cork. He thereupon tried to get the oil out of the lamp, 
as was suggested by the way the lamp was found taken 
to pieces, but not being able to get the top off he broke 
the bottle in order to obtain the paraffin. In breaking 
the bottle the accused forgot he was leaving behind the 
label, and which we suggest is damning proof against 
him. It is for you, gentlemen of the jury, to say whether 
the man who murdered that woman brought the bottle 
or not. If that is your view, then the label shows that 
that bottle must have been brought with the oil in it by 
the accused. 

"Upstairs we find in the girl's room (holding a letter) 
this letter making an appointment. It was enclosed in 
a buff envelope. There were also found two letters 
which were written by the accused to the girl upon the 
occasion of the scandal of May, 1901. There were also 
found letters and poems of a grossly indecent character, 
which were not written by the accused. Of course it 
was obvious that it was necessary to trace the writer of 
those letters, to see whether the writer had anything to 
do with the murder. The writer was a young man named 
Davis, who must be heartily ashamed of the beastly 
letters and poems he gave to this young girl. But it 
will not be suggested that the young man Davis had 
54 



Opening Speech for Prosecution. 

Mr Dickens 

anything to do with, or took any part or share in, the 
murder of this unfortunate girl. If that be so, it still 
remains that some one had a motive to get rid of the girl. 
Some one came there that night with shoes like the 
accused's; and some one was brought into rout act with 
the medicine bottle, which must ha"ve come at some time 
or other from the accused's house. Some one came there 
that night who had written that letter, wliich we suggest 
was the accused's, and it is certain the some one who 
came there had a direct object in getting rid of the 
girl and her body. It is unfortunate that any one 
should have -entertained the astounding idea that the 
jj'irl had committed suicide. She had two wounds in 
her throat, either of which would have been fatal the 
jugular vein was severed and the windpipe was severed. 
Either of them would have been fatal, and if one had 
been inflicted there would have boon no possibility for 
the person to inflict another iipoxi herself. Ho weapon 
was found near tho body nor iu tli room, anil the roHult 
of that was, that in eon soqu-Mice of this astounding 
theory that it was a case of suioiclo, tho aecusod wa not 
arrested till Tuesday, the 3rd of Juno. So from Saturday 
till Tuesday morning tho police had taken no slept* what- 
ever, and the accused was not arronted till that day. 

The super inton dent of police at the timo when there 
was the suggestion of suicide, aaw the accumxl, and I 
think he saw him on tho Monday, the 2nd of June*. The 
accused then said that " ln#t Sattwlay I left tli house at 
2.30, and got home at 9.30. 1 Lad my supper and, 
because of the storm, was looking out of the front door. 
1 went to Mrs. Dickenflon's and stopped there till 1.30." 
The superintendent then pointed out to the accused the 
extraordinary resemblance of the handwriting. Tie 
accused admitted the resemblance, but denied the letter 
was his* 

Dr. Charles Lay BUW the body at 8,40, and lie will 
describe the wounds* As far an one could judge, there 

56 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickens 

-was a kind of upward wound which showed that 
the instrument with which the deed was done was 
sharp in blade and at the point. There were signs 
of injuries on the hand also. Apparently what must 
have happened was this : whoever murdered the 
girl came into the room ready to kill her. The 
poor creature opened the door leading into the room, 
and the person must have at once rushed at her, slammed 
the door against the bracket, and then got behind her, 
cutting her throat in this way. Of course, as the doctor 
will tell you, it is very difficult to say, symptoms of 
rigor mortis having begun to appear, the exact hour 
that life ceased to exist. That she had been dead some 
hours when found was undoubted. You will also have 
described to you the nature of the charring of the body, 
and of the attempted burning. There is another small 
matter on which I do not place too much reliance, and 
that is that a copy of the East Anglian Daily T vines was 
found underneath the body, also charred. Mrs. Crisp 
never took that paper in, but young Harsent, the brother 
of the murdered girl, used to take it to the accused every- 
day, and he took it to him on the previous Friday. Tho 
contents of the charred paper, when compared with other 
copies, showed that it was of Friday's issue. You musi 
not pay too much attention to this one small matter; 
there are many others of greater importance. 

Dr. Stevenson, the well-known analyst, analysed thosa 
things which were given up, and, with regard to th< 
man's clothes, no blood was found on any of them. They 
were given up from time to time. Whether all were 
given up, it is impossible for the prosecution to say. 
Time elapsed between Saturday and Tuesday before tbts 
accused was arrested. A double-blacled penknifo was 
found belonging to the accused, and the blatlew wore of 
such a character that they could have inflicted tho 
wounds found upon the woman's body. Dr. Stevenson 
will tell you that undoubtedly the knife had boon 

56 



Opening Speech for Prosecution. 

Mr Dickens 

recently cleaned, and not only recently cleaned but 
recently scraped and scraped inside. Although it 
had been scraped I think Dr. Stevenson saw it on 
the 9th June he found inside the knife traces of 
recent mammalian blood, which could not have been 
more than a month old. Mammalian blood may be of 
human creatures or of animals. That there were traces 
of recent blood, and that the knife had been recently 
scraped and cleaned, is beyond all question. He dis- 
covered nothing else except a tiny piece of cloth, and 
no stress can be laid on that, either on one side or the 
other it was such a very tiny little piece of fluffy stuff, 
on which the Crown place no reliance. 

On Tuesday, 3rd June, Gardiner was arrested, and 
certain clothes were given up from time to time, but no 
blood was found on them. It was on the Gth Juno that 
they first learned the story of Morriss about the mark- 
ing of the shoes. The police then went to the house 
again they had had a pair of boots given them before 
and then these shoes were produced, and there were 
no traces of blood on them. That, of course, you must 
take with this consideration, that whoever committed the 
murder had been careful not to trample in the blood, 
and did not, in fact, trample in it. Therefore, he must 
either have taken his shoes off, or have been so careful 
in what ho was doing as not to trample in the blood at 
all. As to there being no blood upon the clothes, it is 
a curious thing that this blood must have all spurted 
out from the jugular vein on the left-hand side. Of 
course, to that extent you must take it as in favour of 
the accused that no blood was found on the clothes given 
up, and none on his shoos; but if the r-est of tho evidence 
is overwhelmingly strong, and points to the one con- 
clusion, that the accused committed this deed, then the 
fact of no blood being found should not have undue 
weight with you against the rest of the evidence, if you 
believe it conclusively shows the accused's guilt. 

67 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickon* 

That is the evidence we shall call before you, and I 
merely wish before calling that evidence to summarise 
it again. First, there is the scandal between the girl 
and the man in May, 1901. Then the inquiry held and 
the conversation between Mr. Guy and the accused, in 
which Gardiner said he would have nothing more to do 
with the girl. Then in February, 1902, he is seen at 
nine o'clock at night, walking with the girl away from 
home in the dark. Next, the expostulation by Mr. 
Eouse, the acknowledgment that he had been with the 
girl, and the promise that he would never do it again. 
Again, no action taken. Then the indelicacy observed 
in the chapel, and the letter written by Mr. Rouse. 
Some other letters passed between the girl and the man. 
Then there is the girl in the family-way six months 
gone. Some one in Pea&enhall must have had an interest 
in getting rid of the girl, because no one can suggest 
that this murder was committed for gain or for robbery 
or for jealousy. It was for the object of getting rid of 
the girl, and if possible of destroying the body. Then 
there is the letter written: "Put your light in the 
window at ten o'clock." The accused is outside his door 
about that time, and the light is burning. A storm takes 
place in the night. It is impossible for him to go home 
at the time, he said, in consequence of having to keep 
Mrs. Dickenson company. But that night some one in 
india-rubber shoes, barred in the way already described, 
walked from the accused's house to Providence House and 
back again. On that night some one committed the 
murder, with an instrument such as you might expect to 
be represented by a knife such as the accused had. By 
the body is found this medicine bottle, under the circum- 
stances I have detailed, and with the label on it, " Mrs. 
Gardiner's children two or three doses/' and in the 
woman's possession is found the letter making the 
assignation, showing that whoever wrote that letter know 
well the character of the house, and knew well that the 
58 



Opening Speech for Prosecution. 

Mr Dickens 

girl was, as it were, isolated in that house, and that the 
writer was some one who was going in by the hack door. 
That letter, as we suggest, was written by the accused. 
Gentlemen, you will have narrowly to watch the 
evidence, and say whether it is of such a character that 
you can thoroughly rely upon it, and whether the 
suggestions made by the prosecution are well founded. 
If not, then dismiss any suggestion I have made from 
your minds. If there is a real doubt in the case, the 
point is not merely that the accused as entitled to the 
benefit of it. That is not a fair way of putting it. If 
there is a real doubt in this case, the accused is entitled 
to acquittal, because the Crown have to prove to your 
satisfaction that the accused is guilty. We only ask for 
justice; we are bound to see that it is done; and it is your 
duty to bring home to your minds reasonable conviction. 
If you are reasonably convinced, taking the evidence as 
a whole, then according to your oaths, and according to 
the duty you owe lo society, you are bound to say that 
he is guilty. If we have not proved it, you also owe it 
not only to the oaths you have taken, but in your duty 
to the accused, to acquit hiia upon this most grave and 
serious charge. 



Evidence for the Prosecution. 

W. II. BROWN, examined by the Jlon. JOHN ws 
- I am an architect at Tpswioh, and I produce plans of 
Providence House, and also oJt the street in which 
accused resklod. The distance from the Doctor's Chapel 
to Providence House is about L95 yards* The chapol 
stands about 30 yards back from the road. 

Have you looked from the road in. front of the house 
in which the accused lived to Bee whether the top window 
of Providence House is visible from that point? Tes. 

And could you see itf Quite easily. 



William Gardiner. 

W. H, Brown 

[Witness gave further details with regard to the plan 
of the house, and the examination continued.] 

There is a path from the gate on the north of the lobby 
to the house? Yes. 

There is another path leading from the house. Have 
you marked that? There is another path leading from 
the front path to that gate. 

I do not think you have marked that? It is not marked 
here, but there is a footpath. 

Leading to the west? Yes. 

What sort of a path is that leading to the west? An 
ordinary gravel path. 

And does that go right round the house? It comes 
into the backyard, a continuation of the gravel path. 

Round by the door of what is called the conservatory? 
Yes; it leads round it. 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWBANCB It goes round two sides of 
the house? Yes, on the north side and on the west side. 

Examination continued It is a pebbled path there ? 
Partly pebbled and partly gravelled. 

Where you come into the conservatory, is there a door 
leading into the kitchen? From the conservatory. 

And in the corner of the kitchen is there another door 
leading into some stairs? At the bottom of the staircase. 

And does that staircase go up to the room where Hose 
Harsent slept? It leads up to her bedroom. 

And except for that communication from that point, is 
there any other communication with the rest of the 
house? No communication. 

You have also made a drawing of the Doctor's Chapel ? 
Yes. 

Is that also drawn to scale? Yes. 

I see you have marked two ventilators? Two venti- 
lators on the south side, and two also on the north on the 
plan. 

On the south side, is that where the fence is? The 
south side is against the path which leads into the road* 
60 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

W. H. Brown 

And these ventilators, what are they? Composed of 
perforated zinc with wood casing inside. 

You mean covering the zinc inside? Wood casing 
with the flaps to open and shut, as required. 

That is the ground plan of the inside? That is so. 

Showing the reading-desk? Yes. 

The fence that was in front of the chapel on the south 
side, how far away from the chapel does that stand? 
Between 8 ft. and 9 ft. from the centre. 

Eight or nine ft. from the chapel? From the chapel 
to the centre of the fence. 

I see you have marked it as being 2 ft. 9 in. high. Is 
that correct? Yes. 

Do T understand you, the fence is 2 ft. 9 in.? 2 ft, 
9 in. from the top of tie bank. The fence is on the top 
of the bank. 

What is the total height from the ground? About 6 ft. 
from the path to the top of the fence. 

Cross-examined by Mr. WILD Dealing first with the 
Doctor's Chape], the ventilator is what is known as the 
" Hopper " ventilator? Yes. 

That is a boxed-up ventilator? Yes. 

The sound would have to pass round two corners to get 
to the ears of anybody outside ; it would go through the 
casing and over the box, and round that way? Not 
necessarily. In this case the flap is on the top. 

I suggest it opens in the ordinary way? Yes. 

The ordinary Hopper ventilator? Yes. 

It would be more difficult to hear from that ventilator 
than from an ordinary open ventilator? Certainly. 

I suppose you did not make any acoustic -experiments 
in the Doctor's Chapel? I did not try. 

With regard to the fence, you have told us the fence 
is on a bank about 6 ft. high? That is the top of the 
fence. 

By Mr, JUSTICE LAWBANCE There is a path in front 
of the chapel? That is on the south, side of the chapel. 

61 



William Gardiner. 

W. H. Brown 

Are you speaking of the fence there? Of the fence on 
the south side. 

Cross-examination continued Do you go down the 
path to get to the chapel? Yes. 

And does this hedge you pointed out run alongside the 
chapel? In front of it. 

If you go opposite the south-west window to the chapel, 
can you see into it? Yes. 

Against that window, inside, there is what is called 
the rostrum, is not there? A reading-desk, I think. 

There is a bench which goes round the rostrum and runs 
underneath the window? Yes, it is a moveable bench. 

But that bench under the window is fixed, surely? 
Fixed to the wall, I think. 

The casement is firmly fixed, is it not? It is an 
ordinary three-light window. 

It is a well-built window? It is an old-fashioned 
window, with lead glazed panes. 

It doesn't open? No. 

The ventilator is shown in the photograph against the 
side of the window? Yes. 

You have shown in your plan Smyth's works prac- 
tically opposite the entrance to the chapel? Some 
portion of it is. 

Do you know where Smyth's stables are? At the back 
of the ironworks, farther from the road. 

And if you went from Providence House to the stables, 
you would have to pass the chapel to do so? Yes. 

And are there a number of houses on the other side? 
Yes, between the ironworks and Providence House. 

What is the length of Peasenhall Street? Nearly a 
mile? Or more, it is a very long street. 

And between Providence House and Gardiner's house 
there are a considerable number of houses on both sides? 
Several private houses. 

Take Gardiner's side, is not there a whole line of 
houses? Yes, from the corner. 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

W. H. Brown 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE Nine different buildings on 
the plan. 

Mr. WILD I think some of those buildings on the plan 
represent rows of cottages. Gardiner's house is under 
the same roof as Mrs. Pepper's, and that is only marked 
as one building. (To witness) I want to ask you a 
question about Gardiner's house. Did you go into it? 
I did not. 

So you can't tell us about the staircase? Wo. 

Did you go to the wash-house? I did not. 

Who was with you when you made that plan ? I took 
a friend of mine with me. 

Are there houses alongside the open yard of the wash- 
house, shown in grey on the plan ? Yes. 

Supposing you were walking from accused's house to 
Providence House, you would walk along a hard road? 
Fairly hard road. 

Does the north gate to Providence House open inwards? 
It opens inwards. 

Is there from that gate to the door ordinary white York 
pavement? Part of the width. 

Is there a large step in front of Gardiner's house? A 
white stone step with a scraper. 

Can you toll me the dimensions of the kitchen at Pro- 
vidence House? About 10 ft. 6 in. by 8 ft. G in. 

You were shown the broken bracket? Yes. 

That is just behind the staircase? Yes; the staircase 
door would open on. to it. 

There is no other way up to the girl's bedroom except 
through the kitchen? Except through the kitchen. 

It is not a very large house? It is a fair-sized house. 

The house is semi-detached? It is semi-detached. 

Do not Davis's people live in, the other paart of the 
house? I could not tell you the name of the occupiers. 

There is an entrance from the backway of Davis's house 
to Providence House? There is an ordinary gateway in 

the fence. 

63 



William Gardiner. 

W. H, Brown 

The fence is not very high? Above 5 ft. 

Re-examined by the Hon. JOHN DE GREY Peasenhall 
Street is a macadamised road, and on each side of the 
brook running through it there is a certain amount 
of grass. There is no gravel path; it is practically 
all road the whole width. 

GEORGE ANDREWS, examined by the Hon JOHN DE GREY. 
I am a police superintendent of Halesworth. I took 
the photographs of Providence House. On the east front 
is the room in which Rose Harsent slept. The room 
underneath is Mrs. Crisp's bedroom, and underneath that 
is the drawing-room. To the left there are two other 
windows the breakfast-room and then there is a lobby 
leading to the door. The window above the breakfast- 
room belongs to a bedroom, and I am inclined to think it 
belongs to the next house. In regard to the north front, 
there is the main door leading into the lobby, and from 
the lobby, right and left, the dining-room and drawing- 
room. On the west aspect, the photographs show the 
entrance to the conservatory and the entrance to the lobby 
into the other side of the house. I also took the photo- 
graphs of the Doctor's Chapel at Peasenhall. 

GEORGE WRIGHT, examined by the Hon. JOHN DE GREY 
I am a wheelwright, living at Peasenhall. 

Do you know the Doctor's Chapel at Peasenhall P Yes. 

Were you near the chapel on 1st May, 1901? Yes. 

At what o'clock? About 7.30. 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE At night? Yes. 

Examination continued Did you see Rose Harsent on 
that evening? Yes. 

Where was she? She was coming down the Rendham 
Hill. 

Where did she go? Into the chapel gate. 

Can you say whether she went into the chapel or not? 
BTo. 

64 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

George Wright 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE Where is the chap-el gate? 
Mr. DICKENS On the Rendham Road. 

Examination continued Where were you standing? 
I was coming down the Rendham Hill. 

What was the next thing you saw? I met Gardiner 
after I had passed the chapel gate. 

Did you see where he went? He went past the chapel 
gate, up the road. I did not notice where he went to, 

Did you know where he went to after that? He came 
down the road again. 

How long after was that? About five or ten minutes; 
I cannot say exactly. 

Where did he go then? Down the street^ towards his 
house. 

Very well; where did you next see him? He came up 
the street again on to the corner. 

What corner? Where the street and the Rendham 
Road meet, the four cross-ways. 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE The corner of Providence 
House? Yes. 

Examination continued Where did he go then? He 
went up to the chapel ; he spoke to me then. 

What did he say to you? He asked me how long I had 
kept a dog. 

Did he have any more conversation? "Well, he said 
he thought we were going to get some rain. 

He stopped talking? Yes, he came and spoke to me. 

After that did you notice where he went? He went up 
to the chapel gate. 

Do you mean the gate leading into the path that goes 
to the chapel? Tea. 

Did you see where he went then? No. 

You did not see him go through the gate? Yes, I saw 
him go into tie gate. 

You mean through the gate? Yes, through the gate. 

You know Skinner; was he with you at the timeP 
No, he was not with me at the time. 

u 65 



William Gardiner. 

George Wright 

Did you go after Alphonso Skinner, after you had seen 
Gardiner go into the chapel? Tea. 

Where was Skinner? He was at his lodgings when I 
left. 

Did you and he go back towards the chapel? Tea. 

How near to the chapel did you get? About 8 or 9 ft. 

Did you go by the path? Yes, we went by the fence. 

While you were there what did you hear? I heard a 
voice say "Oh, oh!" 

Where did the voice come from? Inside the chapel. 

Did you know whose voice it was? It was Hose 
Harsent's voice. 

You knew her voice? Yes, I knew her voice. 

Did you hear anything more? I heard some rustling 
about. 

What did you do then? I went into the road, leaving 
Skinner behind. 

What happened afterwards? After a while I went 
back to Skinner. 

Did you find Skinner where you left him? Yes. 

Did you hear anything more? I heard Hose Harsent 
say she must be going. I was sure it was her. 

That was from inside? Yes. She either said, " I 
must be going," or " You must let me go." 

What did you do then? I left Skinner again. 

Did you see either Rose Harsent or Gardiner again? 
I saw Gardiner again. 

Where did you see him? On the Mill Road. 

How long after was that? Some little time from when 
I first went to the chapel. It was ten minutes after Rose 
Harsent said she must be going. 

Did you see Rose Harsent again that evening? No; I 
never saw her again that evening, 

In regard to this matter, was an inquiry held by Mr. 
John Guy? Yes; we went to Sibton OhapeL 

That was on the Saturday night? I do not k&ow 
exactly the day we went down. 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

George Wright 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE How long after? A week 
after. 

Examination continued Before that inquiry did 
Gardiner send for you to go to his office in the works ? 
He asked roe to go to his office in the works. He was 
foreman, and I was under him. 

How long after the chapel incident was that? I think 
it was a week after. 

You went? Yes. 

Did Skinner go with you? Yes, I went with Skinner; 
we boih went together. 

When you got to the office, what took place ? He asked 
us what we had been saying, and we told him. 

The same as you told us to-day? Yes. 

What did he say to that? He told us if we did not 
give him a written apology he would go further into 
the matter. 

You would not give him an apology? No. 

Did you afterwards receive a letter from his lawyers? 
Yes, from Mr. Mullens, of Halesworth. 

At the inquiry at the chapel, did you and Skinner give 
your evidence? Yes. 

Did Gardiner ask you questions? No, I do not think 
te asked any questions. 

Did Mr. Guy ask you questions? Yes. 

What was the result? We never stopped to hear the 
finish; we came out after we had been questioned. 

It was after that inquiry you got the letter from Mr* 
Mullens? Yes. 

Mr. Denman, clerk of arraigns, then read the letter, 
which was as follows: 

" Halesworth, 
" Suffolk, 15tt May, 1901. 

" Sir, Mr. Wm. Gardiner, of Peasenhall, has con- 
sulted me with reference to certain slanderous statements 
which he alleges you have uttered and circulated con- 

67 



William Gardiner. 

oeming him and a young woman. I have to inform you 
that unless you tender my client an ample written 
apology within seven days from this date, legal process 
will be forthwith commenced against you, without 
further notice to yourself.- Tours, &c., 

" HAROLD A. MULLENS." 

Cross-esamined by Mr. WILD How old are you? 
Twenty-two now. 

At this time you were twenty? Tes. 

Were you in receipt of 12s. a week? Tes. 

Were you living with Skinner? Tes. 

In the same room? Tes. 

And sleeping in the same bed? Tes, sometimes. 

Were you not at that time a fellow-lodger and bed- 
fellow of Skinner? Tes. 

And a great personal friend? No; I do not think that 
I was. 

During that time Mr. Gardiner had been your fore- 
man? Tes. 

Had he had occasion to reprimand you for your work? 
Six weeks after this job at the chapel. On 25th June 
he reprimanded me. 

Did anybody else reprimand you? Mr. Smyth. 

How do you know it was 25th June ? They looked in 
the books and told me. 

They kept the record of your reprimand? I suppose 
so. 

I put it to you : you were found fault with before this 
matter? I was not. 

Do not you know? I was not in any serious matter. 

Were you reprimanded in your work at all? Neither 
Mr. Gardiner nor Mr. Smyth had told me anything 
about it. 

Were you found fault with in your work? No ; not by 
Mr. Smyth. 

Mr. Gardiner? No. I don't think I was. 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

GeowWrifht 

Ton don't know one way or the other? I feel 
perfectly sure. 

You feel a little surer as you go on? (Laughter.) 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWEANCE If there is anything like 
laughter, I will have the gallery cleared. People must 
remember what it is at which they are present. 

Cross-examvination continued First of all you are 
sure, then you are surer, and now you can swear it ? Yes. 

Did you like Mr. Gardiner? Yes. 

Did you give your evidence first of all on 19th June 
before the magistrates? Yes. 

Did you tell the magistrates the truth, the whole 
truth, and nothing but the truth? Yes. 

You told them everything? There may have been a 
word or two missed out. 

Did you or did you not tell the magistrates the story 
you have told to-day? I have told a little more 
to-day. 

The first time you left out several things? Yes. 

Did you leave out about speaking to Gardiner before 
he went into the chapel? I might have done; I do not 
recollect word for word what I said. 

Did you leave out about hearing Rose Harsent say 
" Oh, oh! " and hearing the rustling noise? Yes, I left 
that out. 

Why? Because it did not come into my mind; there 
was a long time between. 

But there is a longer time between now P I have been, 
over it since. 

Oh! Who have you been over it with? I have with 
you. 

Did you also leave out about going away and leaving 
Skinner, and hearing her say, " I must be going "P 
Yes, I left that out. 

[At counsel's request the clerk of arraigns read the 
depositions of the witness Wright's evidence before the 
magistrates at the first hearing of the case.] 



William Gardiner. 

George Wright 

Cross-examination continued Were you examined 
before -the Coroner on 30th June? Tes. 

Between that time had you been talking it over with 
Skinner P "Well, we had mentioned it to one another. 

When you went before the Coroner you told them some 
more? I forget -exactly what I said. 

Were you standing on the Rendham Road when you 
first saw Gardiner? I was going down the Rendham 
Road. 

You saw him three times before he went to the chapel? 
I can't say. 

Where did you pass him first? Against Church Lane, 

So he saw you? Tes. 

You were loitering about? No; I was going down 
the road. 

When did you see him the second time? He came 
down the road. 

He saw you then? Yes. 

And the third time, too? Yes, he spoke to me. 

He must have seen you all the time? Yes. 

And must have known you were about? Yes, ho spoke 
to me. 

Do you represent that, knowing you were about, he 
went into the chapel, and behaved in the way you state P 
Well, he did. 

You worked round the field with Skinner? We walked 
up the path into the field. 

You had to climb up a hedge? Yes. 

Did you get opposite the south-west window of the 
chapel? Yes; juet against a hurdle about opposite the 
window. 

Yes, that is where you and Skinner were? Yes. 
What did you say to Skinner when you went to call 
him? What did I say? 

That is what I asked you? I told him that Gardiner 
and Rose had gone towards the chapel f 

70 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

George Wright 

And you said, " Here's a lark/' I suppose? No, I 
did not say that. 

You thought you were going to see something indecent? 
No, we could not see anything because it was getting 
dark. 

You thought you were going to hear something 
indecent ? Yes. 

That is what you expected? There was not much 
expecting about it. 

Did you young men go along that hedge expecting to 
hear something indecent? We did not expect to hear a 
sermon. 

Is that meant to be a joke? Did you go along -expect- 
ing to hear something indecent? Yes. 

And expecting to hear it, did you hear it? Yes, we 
did hear it. 

I put it to you, you are lying from start to finish? No. 

And it is impossible to hear as you said you heard. 
Did you hear a rustling? Yes. 

What was the rustling like? Well, moving about in 
the chapel. 

What do you mean by rustling? Well, anybody 
moving about. 

You heard this rustling noise and you assumed that 
misconduct was taking place? Yes. 

You heard " Oh, oh! " about that time? Yes, before 
I heard the rustling about. 

Did you hear any other conversation? I heard a 
laugh. 

How many people were laughing? There was only 
one laugh. 

Was it a man or a woman laughing? I thought it was 
a woman laughing. 

Are you sure? I feel sure it was her laughing. 

How much did you know of this girl? I had seen her 
several times. 

You knew her to speak top Yes. 

71 



William Gardiner, 

George Wright 

Ton tad asked her to walk with you? No, never in 
my life. 

You knew her very well? Yes. 

You knew Davis? Yes. 

Did you write any of the indecent verses that Davis 
had? ETo, never in my life. 

You knew Rose Harsent? Yes. 

How well did you know her? I had been to the house 
several times. 

And spoke to her? Yes. 

What did you go to the house for? I used to do odd 
jobs. 

And you were friends? Of course I was sure to speak 
to her when I went. 

Coming back to the incident in the chapel, were they 
speaking quite loudly? So as I could hear. 

Quite in an ordinary voice? Yes. 

That had got interesting to you when you heard the 
"Oh, oh!" and the rustling and the laughing? I 
thought then they were coming out. 

You went there to hear what you could, and when you 
heard it, and it was not interesting, you came away? 
Yes. 

Will you tell us what made you think they were coming 
out? Was the door open or shut? I cannot say; I 
think it was shut. 

You were then within 3 yards of that door? Yes. 

Is it a fact you cannot say one way or another whether 
that door was shut? I cannot say. I did not notice 
whether it was or was not. 

How long were you there? I cannot say. 

How long do you think? I cannot say. 

When you went away, just at the interesting part, 
where did you go? "Up the Rendham Road. 

And you came back again? Yes. 

What made you come back? To see where Skinner 
was. 

72 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Geor* Wright 

You came back, how long after? Twenty minutes, L 
should say. 

And they were still there? Yes, they were inside. 

Therefore, you say Skinner was there by himself for 
about twenty minutes? Tes, about that time. 

And you stayed and listened some more? Yes. 

And then you went away and left Skinner there? Yes. 

How long after you saw Skinner? About a quarter of 
an hour. 

You spoke about this in the works? Yes. 

And then it was that Gardiner sent for you? Yes, 
we had spoken to him about it before, and he sent for 
us. 

Did he ask you what you meant by telling such lies 
about him? Yes, I think that is what he said. He asked 
us what we had been saying. 

Did you say you were not the only one? I told him 
in one of the shops that I was not the only one. 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWEANCE The only one about what? 
About knowing what I did and what I had spoken 
about. 

Cross-examination continued Did you say if you 
apologised you would be hooted? No, I do not think so. 

Did Skinner? I did not hear him. 

When he threatened proceedings, did you say " We 
have only got what we stand up in, so you can't do us 
any harm "? I did not say '* You can't do us any 
harm '*; we only said we only had what we stood up in, 
and we didn't care, for we knew we told the truth, and 
were not ashamed to own it. 

You went to the Chapel inquiry on tho llth of May ? 
Yes. 

Was it a long inquiry? We were there some little 
while. 

I put it to you, this inquiry lasted some three hours? 
We met at either seven or half-past, and it was past ten 
when we came out. 

73 



William Gardiner. 

George Wright 

Is it not a fact that Gardiner asked you questions? 
I do not think he did. 

You said last time he did? He might have done so. 

Did he suggest that your times did not agree? I do 
not think so. 

Did he say then that he had been down the road to see 
after his master's horses? Yes, he told the Bev. Guy so. 

That on his way back the girl asked him to help her 
to shut the door? Yes. 

That they stood outside the chapel for about five 
minutes and that he never went inside the chapel? He 
said he never went into the chapel. 

And he said that was all that took place? Yes. 

Did you hear it mentioned that your story and 
Skinner's did not agree together? Yes, but not at the 
inquiry. 

That was what was said in the village afterwards? 
I heard one or two young chaps say so. 

Of course your stories agree now? So they did at 
first, "We only said what we knew. 

That is why you did not tell the magistrates the whole 
story? They asked me questions at Saxmundham, and 
I simply answered what they asked. 

Is this the first time you have made a charge against 
a woman and a man? Against Gardiner. 

No, any man or woman? Well, seven years ago. 

I am talking about Cady, and I put it to you that the 
incident was only five years ago? I think it was more 
than that. 

Did you say you saw Oady go into an orchard with his 
young woman? Yes, he went into my mother's orchard. 

And you talked about it? Well, we laughed about it. 

Who is " we " Skinner? No, Skinner did not live 
with me then. 

Who was your partner then? I do not know; there 
were several of them. 

74 



Evidence for Prosecution, 

George Wright 

You knew Cady was engaged to this young woman ? 
Yes. 

What were you doing? Gathering apples, I think. 

You think I Before you said you were ? Well, I must 
have been for I was up a tree. 

What did you see? I saw Cady and the young woman 
in the orchard. 

Did they do anything improper? I do not know; I 
never saw them. 

And you thought that was wrong? No. 

You thought something was up evidently? No, there 
was precious little said about it. 

Did Cady's mother come to you to know what you had 
been up to? She came and spoke to me about it, and 
told me to <( hold my row " or something like that, and 
there was no more said about it. 

What had you been saying about these people? I 
said I saw them in the orchard together. 

Why did you talk about them? They were in my 
mother's orchard, and they had no business there. 

I put it to you, that is the way you go about spreading 
scandal? No, I don't. 

Re-examined by Mr. DICKENS With regard to the 
suggestion that you were reprimanded on the 25th of 
June, was that about a job of wheelwright work? Yes; 
a drill went to the show, and when it came home the 
box was loose in the wheel. 

Was that drill on exhibition at Colchester? It was 
at the show. 

Did any one else have to do with that wheel? Yes, 
Mr. Mayhew. 

Who was he? One I was put under* 

What was said to you about this wheel? Well, they 
told me if I did any more like it I should lose my place* 

Who told you? Mr. Smyth; Mr. Gardiner pointed 

it out to him* 

75 



William Gardiner. 

Georet Wright 

Now, apart from that, have you been reprimanded by 
Gardiner? Only that time. 

Had you any feeling against him? No, he had put 
me in a good position. 

Was it Mr. Gardiner who put you in that good 
position? Yes. 

"When was that? 29th April, 1900. 

What position ? Wheelwright. I had been using one 
of the steam saws before. 

Had you known him before? Yes, I had been working 
under him. 

How long was it before he put you in this good 
position P I went to work there on 8th July, 1898. 

Did you remain under him until he put you in this 
good berth? Yes, under him all the time. 

Have you ever found him harsh against you? No. 

Always treated you well? Yes. 

Now, with reference to your depositions, you did not 
say she said " Oh, oh," but you said you heard laugh- 
ing and talking? Yes. 

Mr. Wild has suggested that from where you were 
standing you could not hear what was said inside the 
chapel. Do you remember that in July last Mr. Burgess, 
Eli Nunn, the police constable, with Skinner and your- 
self, went to the chapel? Yes. I could not say exactly 
what night. 

Did you point out where Skinner was standing? Yes. 

And Eli Nunn stood outside? Yes. 

When you were inside the chapel, what did you do? 
Talk to one another. 

After that, did somebody else go outside? No, I 
think not. 

By Mr. WILD The people inside on the occasion of 
that experiment were you, Skinner, and Burgess; and 
Nunn was outside? Yes. 

And Skinner repeated the language about the 38th 
chapter of Genesis? I think so. 
76 



Evidence for Prosecution, 

George Wright 

Do you not remember? "Well, I did not take much 
notice as to that. 

ALPHONSO SKINNER, examined by Mr. DICKENS 
I am a fitter employed in Peasenhall Works, and I have 
been employed there for four years. I was not under 
the accused. I had to take orders from him at times, 
but the accused was not my foreman. In May, 1901, I 
was lodging at the same place with the witness Wright. 

You remember the 1st of May going to the Doctor's 
Chapel? Yes. 

Had Wright said something to you before you went to 
the chapel? He had. 

What time was this? About eight. 

Where did you go? We stood on the other side of the 
fence, about 3 yards from the Doctor's Chapel. 

Were you and Wright together? Yes. 

Tell us what you heard? First of all we heard laugh- 
ing. 

Where did the laughing come from? Prom inside the 
chapel from the west end. 

What did you hear then? Then we heard a rustling 
about, and the window shook. 

Did you hear anything else besides the laughing? 
We heard a voice call out " Oh, oh! " 

Was that a man's or a woman's voice? A female's 
voice. 

Did you recognise it? MTo, I would not swear to it. 

After you had heard " Oh, oh ! " did Wright remain 
with you or not? No, he went away* 

After Wright went away, what did you do? I 
remained. 

Did you hear any conversation come from the chapel? 
I did. 

Tell us exactly what you heard P I heard the female 
say, " Did you notice me reading my Bible last 

Sunday? 

77 



William Gardiner. 

Alphonio Skinner 

Did you recognise the voice or not? No, I could not. 

What else did you hear? I heard another voice say, 
(e "What were you reading about? " 

Was that a man's or a woman's voice? A man's. 

Did you recognise it? I did. 

Whose voice was it? William Gardiner's voice. 

Was any answer made? Yes; " I was reading about 
like what we have been doing here to-night. I'll tell 
you where it is. 38th Chapter of Genesis." 

What else did you hear? I heard the female's voice 
again. 

What was the answer? " It won't be noticed/- 

Did you hear anything more said inside the chapel? 
I heard the female say : " I shall be out to-morrow night 
at nine 'o'clock. You must let me go." 

Had Wright returned when she said that or not? 
Wright had returned then. 

What did you do after she had said that? We left; 
Wright went just before. We went down on to the 
Rendham Road. 

Did you see anybody come out of the chapel? I saw 
the female come oxit. 

Who was it? Rose Harsent. 

Did you know her personally? Yes. 

Did you see anybody else come out? Yes, I saw the 
man come through. 

Who was it? William Gardiner, 

How far were you from the gate? Not many yards. 

When they came out, what did the girl do? She went 
towards Providence House. 

What did Gardiner do? Gardiner came through the 
gate and tiptoed across to the other side of the road, and 
then went on. 

What did you do? I went and overtook him. 

When you overtook him, had he got up to Providence 
House? Not up to Providence House. 

78 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Alphonso Skinner 

When you overtook him, what had become of the girl? 
I never saw any more of the girl. 

When you overtook hum, what did you do? I walked 
level with Mm for about 20 yards. 

Did you have any conversation with Lira? No, I never 
spoke, nor did he. 

Where was it he left you? At the cross-ways. 

Where Providence House is? Yes. 

In which direction did he go? He went towards the 
road known as the Mill Road, but in the -direction of his 
home. 

Whereabouts did you lodge ; was it clem to Providence 
House? It would not be far from Providence House. 

Did you go home? 1 went home. 

Where would your lodgings be? In Hackney Hoad. 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE You go "by Providence 
House to get to your lodgings? Yea. 

Examination continued That was the la,st you saw of 
Gardiner that night? Yes, 

Now, Skinner, tell ine if you ever hoi any quarrel 
with Gard iaer ? Never . 

Have you over had any ill-feeling towards Gardiner? 
No. 

Have you had any reason for having any ill-feeling 
towards him? No reason whatever. 

Now I think the next thing you kad Lo do in regard 
to this matter WUH when Gardiner askei YOU to go and 
see him at his office in Smyth's works? Tea. 

Jut tell us shortly what took place oa that occasion, 
on 8th May, i think? I think that was the 8th May, 

About a week afterward 8? Yes, he asked what it was 
all about, and what 1 had sot afloat. I told him what I 
had hoard. 

What did he sayP llo denied every thing. 

Did he say anything more? He said I tad made it 
all up out of old stuff. 

Mr. DXCKKNS Perhaps I should put in a word of 

79 



William Gardiner. 

Alphonso Skinner 

explanation about the expression " old stuff/- because 
at the last trial the judge was under a misapprehension 
as to its meaning. It was thought to mean that there 
might have been slander before. The true meaning of 
"old stuff" is "rubbish." 

Mr. WILD A pack of lies. 

Mr. DICKENS It gives one a wrong impression. (To 
witness) Did he say anything about an apology? He 
demanded an apology. 

Did you give him one? No. 

I think the next thing you knew of this was that you 
were asked to go to a meeting at the Sibton Chapel, 
when Mr. G-uy was there? Tes. 

Did you tell your story ? I told him. 

And did Wright tell his story? Tes. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE Who else was there? 

Mr. DICKENS I thought Mr. Guy would tell us better, 
(To witness) There were a good many you did not know 
who were there? Yes, that was so. 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWBANCE The accused was there ? 
Yes. 

Was Hose Harsent there? No; I don't know. 

Examination continued Mr. Guy was presiding, and 
there were several members of the church there? Yes, 
several were there I did not know. 

When you told your story, were you asked questions 
by several gentlemen? Yes. 

Did the accused ask you questions or not? Yes, I 
think he asked some. 

I think you did not remain till it was ended? When 
you had given your evidence and Wright had given his, 
you did not remain, but were asked to leave? Yes, we 
were asked to leave. 

I think after the inquiry you got a letter from the 
accused's solicitor, similar to that received by Wright? 
,Yes, sir. 

Did you make any apology? No apology. 

80 



Evidence for Prosecution, 

Alphomo Skinner 

And did the matter end there so far as you were con- 
cerned? So far as I was concerned. 

Do you remember on 28th July going to this chapel 
with Mr. Burgess, Eli Nunn, the policeman, and 
"Wright? Yes. 

In the first instance who went inside the chapel? 
Burgess, Wright, and myself. 

Before you went inside had you pointed out to Nunn 
the place where you stood when you heard what you 
have told us? Tes. 

And when Nunn was outside and you inside, did you 
and Wright hold a conversation? Yes. 

And then did Burgess go out or not? No, we all went 
out together. 

Cross-examined by Mr. WILD With regard to the 
chapel inquiry, how many were present? Several. 

Twenty? I do not know whether there would be 
twenty. 

Over a dozen? I should say so. 

Mr. Guy in the chair? Yes. 

How long were you in the room? Two hours. 

And when you were examined, were you not asked 
questions by various members? Yes. 

And Mr. Guy asked you questions? Yes, 

And Gardiner asked you questions? Yes. 

And Gardiner gave his account, did not he? Yes, he 
did. 

Do you remember what his account was? I remember 
him saying something about going to see after a horse, 

Did you tell me last time you did not remember what 
he said to you? I said I did not remember all. 

Tell the jury what his account was, will you? He 
said Rose Harsent couldn't shut the door, and he went 
up to lock it for her. 

You knew the door went stiff, did not you? No, I did 
not* 



William Gardiner. 

Alphonso Skinner 

Have you been there before? Yes. 

"WTiicli is your religions community ; which church do 
you attend? I go to the church when I do go. 

Tell me. They did not believe your story, did they? 
(3S"o answer.) 

You know the result of it was that Gardiner kept his 
appointment as Sunday school superintendent and class 
leader? I heard so. 

And you and Wright were hooted by the people of 
Peasenhall for your disgraceful conduct? We were not. 

Gardiner was outside foreman at the works, was not 
he? He was foreman; I do not know about outside 
foreman. 

You said something about having to take your orders 
from him sometimes? As regards machinery I fre- 
quently had to take orders from him. 

He was not a very popular foreman, was he? I do not 
know about being popular. 

He was a teetotaller and a religious man? I do not 
know about that. 

Do you swear you did not know that? Yes. 

Did you know he took a high position in his congrega- 
tion? I heard so. 

And he was not very popular, was he, especially with 
the younger men? I do not know about that. 

Were the doors and the windows shut at the chapel 
when you were there? Yes, I should say they were ; they 
were closed. 

Have you any doubt about it? No. 

Yes or no, were they shut? 

Mr. DICKENS My lord, I object to this form of cross- 
examination. The witness has already said the door was 
shut, and it is not fair to treat the witness in this way. 

Mr. WILD If I am to be interrupted in this way, I 
will leave Mr. Dickens to conduct the case himself. I 
understood the witness expressed a certain amount of 

82 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Alphonso Skinner 

doubt. (To witness) Were the doors ishut? Yes, they 
were. 

And the windows? Tea. 

Were you on the outside of the hedge against that 
hurdle? Yes. 

Where were you when Wright came to fetch you? 
I was at my lodgings. 

What did he say? He said he had seen Rose Harsent 
and Gardiner go towards the Doctor's Chapel. 

Did you go to play private detective? 'No, i did not. 

What did you go for? It looked rather suspicious. 

You expected to see the fun? I do not know that we 
expected to see any fun. 

You crouched behind the hedge? Yes. 

Could you see into the window? Not well enough to 
see what was going on inside. 

You told us you heard the windows rattling? Yes. 

Do you know the window is so firmly fixed that it 
cannot rattle unless you regularly shake it? It required 
very little to shake it. 

Wright went away, you know why? I know now. 

Is it not the fact that you swore last time you did 
not talk it over? No, I did not. 

Did you say, " I've not talked it over with Wright 
between the two trials "? I did not say I had not dis- 
cussed it with him. 

You have talked it over with Wright since the la$t 
trial? No, we have not. 

Not a word? I'll not say we have not said a word 
about it. 

Since the last trial in November, 1902, have you not 
talked it over? Very little. 

You sleep together, do you not? I dare say we might 
have done in November. We don't now. 

Do you mean to tell us you do not know whether you 
were bedfellows in November? Yes, we were then. 



William Gardiner. 

Alphono Skinner 

"When did you cease to live together? We live to- 
gether now. 

And occupy the same bedroom? Yes, 

And the same bed? *No. 

And yet you have talked this over very little since the 
last trial? Yery little. We had no occasion to talk it 
over. 

I want you to repeat the conversation which you say 
you heard in the chapel? I heard the female say : " Did 
you notice me reading my Bible last Sunday? " Then 
I heard the man say : " What were you reading about? " 
She said: " I was reading about like what we have been 
doing to-night. I'll tell you where it is: 38th chapter 
of Genesis." I then heard her say: "It won't be 
noticed," and " I shall be out to-morrow night at nine 
o'clock. You must let me go." 

You have got that very nicely. You have learned it, 
have not you? Well, I know it so that I can repeat it. 

Were you left alone by Wright? Not many minutes. 

Would it be twenty? Ten, perhaps. 

WTiere did Wright go? I do not know. 

Did they say this in a nice loud voice ? In the usual 
way. 

You went on 28th July, with ISTunn, and you went 
inside the chapel. Where did you stand? Towards the 
lower end. 

Was it against the rostrum? Yes. 

(The witness having examined a small .sketch handed 
to him by counsel, said he stood not far off the rostrum. 

Mr. Justice Lawrance here passed to witness a plan 
of the chapel, and witness marked on it the spot where 
he stood.) 

Cross-examination continued Was it close up to the 
window? Yes. 

Did you make the window rattle? No, I did not try 
that. 

84 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Alphonso Sklnntr 

What did you say then ? What I heard them say that 
night. 

What you have just repeated from the ? Tes. 

[The passage referred to was here repeated by witness 
at Mr. Wild's request, in the tone he used on the 
occasion.] 

Nunn told you what to say in the chapel, I suppose? 
Tes. 

Did you take any note of the conversation 'on 1st May, 
1901 P Yes, I did. 

Show me your notes? I have not got them. 

Did you write that down at the time? Will you 
speak up, Skinner? I wrote it down that night or the 
following day, I do not know which. 

Did you swear on the last occasion that you did not 
write it down at the time? 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWBANCB He said three times, " I 
wrote it down that night or the following day, I did 
not write it down then/' 

Cross-examination continued I want to know when 
you wrote it down? I can't say whether it was that 
night or the following day. 

Have you got the note you made of it? I have not got 
it here. 

You could, I suppose, if necessary, repeat the verse. 
I shall not ask you, but you can? Itepeat the verse, of 
course I cannot. 

What was in the verse? No, I could not read the 
verse. 

Wright came back, did he not, after you had been 
there about ten minutes? Yes. 

And then did you leave together, or did you not? 
Wright went a little before me. 

Did you say before the Coroner and the magistrates 
these words: " We then left "P~ 1 said I left, 

No, did you say " We then left "? (No answer.) 

First of all, you gave your evidence before the Coroner 

85 



William Gardiner. 

Alphonao Skinner 

on 30th June. Ton said " Then Wright came back, and 
I heard her say ' Ton must let me go now/ and we left 
then." And on the 3rd of July yon gave your evidence 
before the magistrates. Tou said, " I heard her say 
* Tou must let me go.' We left then." Did you not 
say at the preliminary investigation that you two left 
then ? And was it not when I had cross-examined Wright 
about saying that you remained behind that you now 
trim your evidence accordingly? I said I left. I do 
not remember saying we left. 

Tou don't ? Then I ask his lordship to see the deposi- 
tions. I ask you this. Tou say you were at the other 
side of the Bendham Road when Gardiner came out of 
the chapel? Tes. 

And Gardiner tiptoed across. He must have tiptoed 
almost into your arms? No, he did not. 

He came right across. Where were you? Not many 
yards off. 

Carry your mind to the time when Gardiner first 
taxed you with this .slander. Gardiner had you up to 
him? Tes, at his room. 

And did he say it was a lie? Yes, he said it was a 
made-up affair. 

Did he ever deny he was at the chapel P Tes; he did 
there. 

He did not deny he was against the chapel? He did. 
He said he was not there at all. 

I put it to you, he isaid all along what he said at the 
inquiry? He did not. 

Did he say he would bring an action against you? 
He said he should unless I gave an apology. 

Did you say you had only what you stood up in? 
No. 

Tou gave your next evidence at the chapel inquiry? 
Tes. 

Then you had no occasion to remember this from the 
S6 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Alphonso Skinner 

llth. May, 1901, until you gave your evidence before the 
magistrates on the 19th June, 1902? They put it down. 

Where is the paper you put it down on? 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE Who do you say put it 
down? They wrote it down on the following day. 

Cross-examination continued Have you the paper? 
Yes. 

Is it in existence; has it ever heen mentioned before 
to-day? Yes, it has. 

Ke-examined by Mr. DICKENS You have been asked 
as to whether you have not told the same story. Let us 
see how many times you have told it. You told it before 
the Coroner, and before the magistrates? Yes, 

Did you tell it at the last trial? Yes. 

So to-day is the fourth time you have told it? Yes. 

As regards talking to Skinner, you have told exactly 
the same story you told in substance on the last 
occasion ? Yes. 

JOHN GUY, examined by Mr, DICKENS I used to live 
at Halesworth, and up till last July was superintendent 
minister of the Wangford Circuit of the Primitive 
Methodist Church. Sibton Chapel is one of the chapels 
in the circuit, and as superintendent it was my duty to 
go to different chapels from time to time for the purpose 
of preaching and organisation. 

What position did William Gardiner hold in the 
church? He was superintendent o the Sunday school, 
assistant sbciety steward, class leader, and treasurer and 
trustee of the Sunday school, 

Was Eose Harsent a member of your church? Yes, 
she was a private member j she held no official position. 

Did William Gardiner preach in the chapel? Not at 
all. 

Is it true to suggest that Gardiner was in a higher 
position in the church than Rouse was P In the distinc- 

87 



William Gardiner. 

John Guy 

tive society he might be, but speaking as to the circuit 
he was not. 

Did you know Gardiner well? Tes. 

Were you on good terms with him ? Very good terms. 

You remember the scandal in reference to the alleged 
conduct of Gardiner with Rose Harsent? Tes. 

An inquiry was held on llth May? It was. 

How did that inquiry come about? I received a letter 
from Mr. Rouse, stating that there were certain rumours 
in relation to Mr. Gardiner, and it was thought best 
amongst them at Sibton that a meeting should be held 
to inquire into the truthfulness or otherwise of the report. 

Did Mr. Rouse preach in the chapel? Tes. 

A meeting was held at Sibton Chapel? Tes, I was in 
the chair. Gardiner and both Wright and Skinner were 
present. Rose Harsent was not present. 

I think at the 'outset you made a mistake, and said 
she was present? Tes, I thought so, but I was corrected 
afterwards. 

Were there other members of the church present as 
well? Tes, I should say nearly a score. 

Tell us the substance of what took place? The young 
men each told their story. I asked questions of them, 
and several other members put questions to them, as well 
as Gardiner. 

As a result qf the questioning, were they shaken in 
their story or not? 

Mr. WILD I must object to that, my lord. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWBANCE Tou can have what was said. 

Examination continued Were they shaken in their 
evidence? They were not. 

Did Gardiner give his evidence? He did. The young 
men were present. 

Was he asked questions? I cannot recall that. 

What was the upshot of it all? We came to a dead- 
lock. There was no corroborative evidence either on 
Mr, Gardiner's side or on the side of these young men. 
38 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

John Guy 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWBANCE That must be so in all 
cases? We had no one else to call in, my lord. We 
could not get beyond what was stated. 

Examination continued Therefore no conclusion was 
come to one way or the other? No conclusion at all. 

Was any formal report made to any other meeting? 
None whatever simply a reply to a question at some 
of&cial meeting afterwards. 

Supposing Gardiner had been found guilty of the 
charge, would a report have been made to the quarterly 
meeting? We must, because of his official position. 

As he was not, would it be in accordance with the 
rules to report? No, our rules did not provide for it. 

The result was that Mr. Gardiner kept his position 
in the church? He did. 

You saw Rose Harsent on the matter? I saw her on 
the same day in company with her mother. She denied 
the story before her mother. 

Have you given us the substance of what took place 
at the inquiry? I have. 

After the inquiry, did you see Gardiner privately? I 
did, at my bwn house. 

Will you tell us, please, what took place between you 
and him when you saw him at your house? First of all 
we spoke about him paying a visit to Lawyer Mullins at 
Hales worth. 

What was said about that? He said he had been 
advised that, as it would be expensive, and that the pro- 
ceedings would be protracted, it would be well to let 
the matter drop. 

Yes? And accordingly he decided to do so. I ex- 
pressed regret that the occurrence had ever happened at 
all, and said to him, as his minister and spiritual adviser, 
that he had better be very careful in the future. I said 
I hoped it would be a life lesson for him. He promised 
he would b.e careful in relation to y'oung people in 
general, and he promised to keep clear of Hose Haraent. 

39 



William Gardiner. 

John Guy 

He admitted he tad been indiscreet. I did not press him 
as to the nature of that indiscretion, but he admitted that 
he had accompanied Rose Harsent home at times. He 
also said that he would do his best in future, or words 
to that effect, to redeem his position, and restore confi- 
dence, and that was all the sum and substance of what 
took place at the interview. 

What he said in regard to Bose Harsent, are you sure 
he said those words of keeping clear of Bose Harsent? 
Of course he did, I have not imagined them. 

After that had you any reason to believe he was not 
keeping his word? None whatever, I trusted him fully. 

Cross-examined by Mr. WILD How many times have 
you given evidence? On three occasions. 

Have you ever admitted Gardiner said he accompanied 
Bose Harsent home at any time? I cannot recall that. 

Yes or no, have you ever said it? I cannot recall it. 

Tour memory is not very good? It is as good as most 
people's. 

Were you put on your oath before the Coroner on 30th 
June, on the first occasion that you gave evidence in 
this case? Tes. 

Did you then swear that the reason you could get no 
further was because you were in a dilemma owing to 
Bose Harsent and Gardiner, who were absent, saying bne 
thing, and the two young men saying another? Quite 
so. 

Did you swear that Bose Harsent was present at an 
inquiry at Sibton? I did, because I thought she was 
present, but I was corrected afterwards. 

You gave your oath, then, to something that was not 
a fact? I had made a mistake. 

When it was pointed but to you that you had told what 
was untrue owing to indiscretion you corrected it at the 
next hearing? Tes. 

Tou swore to what you thought? I did not say that. 
90 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

John GUT 

Gardiner held high positions in the Sibton Chapel? 
He did. 

He could not hold a position of much greater trust than 
superintendent o the Sunday school? Quite so. 

You realised how essential it was people charged with 
the care of children should be above suspicion? Quite 
so. 

Therefore it would not be merely a question with you 
whether there was a doubt that you would not desire 
to have anybody in a high position like that against 
whom anything could be said? Quite so. 

If there was any evidence in this story Gardiner 
would have been speedily asked to resign, or summarily 
ejected from his position? Undoubtedly. 

That he was allowed to remain as choirmaster, Sunday 
school teacher, and hold other offices, showed there was 
no credence placed in the story? No. 

Surely you have just admitted it? You said that I 
did not. 

You told us the morality of your congregation is this 
that if a story is told against a man in the position 
of Gardiner, which is not distinctly proved, you desire 
him to continue in that position? It was not a question 
for me to decide ; it was a question for the officers. 

As a matter of fact Gardiner did resign his offices for 
some time? No, he offered to resign. 

He was suspended ? No, he was not. 

Did you report to the leaders at the quarterly meet- 
ings, and they desired him to continue in his offices ? 
No, I did not. 

When is the election? It varies. For certain officers 
not until an official resigns. 

Did he resign his stewardship? Not to me; he did 
not resign at all, but offered to resign all his offices. 

Mr. DICKENS The witness lias explained that that 
body could not accept resignations; they had not the 
power. 

91 



William Gardiner. 

John Guy 

Cross-examination continued I suppose the man had 
p'ower to resign? That lay with the leaders, and Official 
Court. That was not an Official Court. 

At all events, William Gardiner took up the position 
he was prepared to resign? Yes. 

And no steps were taken by anybody to accept his 
resignation? We could not take steps at that meeting. 
Mr. Gardiner could have said he was dissatisfied with the 
result of the meeting and have desired an official meeting. 

At all events he was never requested to resign? No. 

I think you told me before he still superintended the 
Sunday school? Tes. 

And does so at this moment ? I cannot say ; I am not 
on the station. 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE Have you left the dis- 
trict? Yes, my lord, since last July. 

Cross-examination continued That meeting waa a 
sort of a preliminary inquiry? Yes. 

If it was considered there was a case to be answered it 
would go to the quarterly meeting? No, sir; to the 
next meeting of leaders, and there are very few brethren 
eligible for that meeting. 

What meeting is that? The minister, circuit 
steward 

At all events there is a body to whom a report is made, 
supp'osing a prima- facie case is made out? Just two. 

Supposing a pnma-facie case is made out, where does 
it go to? To the circuit committee and then to the 
quarterly meeting. 

So it has to be sifted by four different bodies? 
Exactly. 

The fact that you did not report shows that there was 
not a yrimarfacie case? I do not say that; we were at 
a deadlock. 

Where? You had two men on bne side and Gardiner 
on the other. Anyhow you called no leaders' meeting? 
Of course not, because the accused, myself, and the 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

John Guy 

circuit steward would have been all the members of the 
meeting. 

You might have gone on to the quarterly meeting? 
Exactly. 

Nothing was done ? Mr. Gardiner did not desire any- 
thing to be done. 

Nor did you? No. 

What reason had Gardiner to be dissatisfied with the 
Sibton meeting? No report was made, and what more 
can you have than to have a magisterial inquiry dis- 
missed ? This was not in the same sense as a magisterial 
inquiry; we inquire into matters affecting the spiritual 
condition of the church. 

There could have been no matter more affecting the 
spiritual condition of the church than this? Exactly; 
but we have rules and cannot go outside them. 

You mean to say you have no machinery by which 
that man can be removed? No one expressed dissatis- 
faction at the result bf the meeting. 

Do you know Mr. Tripp ? Yes. 

Is he a local preacher of your body? Yes. 

And do you know Mr. Goddard? I do. 

And is he a gentleman high up in your body? He is 
a local preacher. 

Did you meet them on the day following this inquiry 
at Sibton? No. 

Did you walk home with them? Never. 

When did you meet them? I do not know. 

Did you say to Mr. Goddard you made inquiries into 
Gardiner's case, and that so far as you could gather 
it was a trumped-up affair and a fabrication of lies? 
I have no recollection of that. 

Will you swear you did not say so? I can swear it. 

You heard Mr. Goddard swear it on the last occasion? 
I did, but my word is as good as his. 

Perhaps. You said Rose Harsent was at the inquiry? 
I cbrrected myself, and would correct myself in this 

if I were wrong. 

a 93 



William Gardiner. 

John Guy 

Did not you say to Mr. Goddard and Mr. Tripp, on 
the road to "Wangford, that it was a trumped-up affair 
and a fabrication of lies? I never used the word 
" trumped-up." I do not remember making any com- 
munication at all on that occasion. 

Were you present at the ensuing quarterly meeting? 
I was. 

Was Mr. Noah Etheridge there? No. 

Was Mr. Goddard there? Yes. 

Did you report to that meeting that you were perfectly 
satisfied about Gardiner, and that there was no truth 
whatever in the statement made by Skinner and Wright? 
I have no recollection of those w'ords. 

Do not tie me down to the words. Remember the spirit 
of the thing? I do not romember anything of the sort. 

Do you mean to tell these gentlemen that you, a 
minister of the circuit, having the right of inquiry into 
a matter of such horrible importance do you, having 
held this inquiry, tell these twelve gentlemen that when 
your elders me I in the following June, you never said a 
word about it? I cannot remember whether it was at 
that meeting or the following one. I was asked a ques- 
tion, and simply gave a verbal statement that we had 
settled the matter. 

Will you tell me the effect of the words ? I have told you. 

You have told me, and you are not going to try again. 
Remember Gardiner is on trial for his life. Answer my 
question in the ordinary way? I have answered you. 
I will not answer it again, 

Did you make any communication to the quarterly 
meeting? I have told you. I cannot remember which 
meeting it was. 

What was the effect of your communication? We had 
several meetings. 

If Etheridge and Tripp are prepared to eay what I 
put to you, do you deny it? Mr. Etheridge was not 
present. 
94 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

John Guy 

Mr. Goddard, I mean? I can prove Etheridge was 
not there. 

On the last occasion, I think you said Etheridge was 
present at the two meetings? BTo, I did not. 

I put it to you that at the quarterly meeting you said 
there was nothing whatever in it, so far as you could 
make out? I do not remember using such words. 

What was the nature of the communication you made 
to the quarterly meeting? Simply that we were in a 
dilemma, and had proved nothing. 

Gardiner was cross-examined at the meeting, was he 
no t P Yes. 

How long did the inquiry last? Till ten o'clock at 
night. Then Skinner and Wright were dismissed, and 
I gave the advice as a minister that the matter should 
be let rest, and that the sooner it dropped out of con- 
versation the better. 

It was a careful investigation ? Of course it was. 

And subsequently Hose Harsent confirmed Gardiner's 
denial? Tes. 

Can you remember the exact words Gardiner used when 
he came to your house? I cannot remember the exact 
words. 

Was this what happened: first of all Gardiner said 
to you that ho had decided to clrbp legal proceedings 
because of his lawyer's advice? Tes. 

He never for a moment admitted he was guilty of the 
conduct imputed to him? Oh^ no. 

He always denied that he had been into the chapel 
at all? He did. 

You do not mean to suggest that he ever admitted 
that there was any truth in what the men said? Oh, no. 

The reason he gave you for letting the proceedings drop 
was because of the expense, and because there was no 
independent witness? Tes. 

Tou said you hoped it would be an experience to him? 
Tes. 

95 



William Gardiner. 

John Guy 

But why, if that was all lie said? We gather up 
lessons from any circumstances in life. 

With regard to going home with her, he admitted 
walking with her? Yes. 

There is nothing very wrong in that? No. 

That was the amount of indiscretion he admitted? 
Yes; I did not press him for anything more. 

On the strength of what he told you, you think you 
were justified in drawing the deduction that he had been 
indiscreet? I did not necessarily draw that deduction. 

Whose word was "indiscreet"? His word. 

In your spiritual capacity, if you thought there was 
anything more in it you would have pressed him? I 
cannot say as to that now. 

If you thought a man had been indiscreet with a girl 
would you allow him to remain superintendent of a 
Sunday school? I do know this by experience, that cer- 
tain things can be misunderstood in a man's conduct, 
and as I was friendly with Gardiner I wanted to Help 
him and hear no more of the matter. 

You realised how easy it is for a man to be attacked ? Yes. 

I believe you said on the last occasion that you have 
had a personal experience reflecting on your own con- 
duct? Yes. 

Some one attacked you? Yes. 

You were more discreet in consequence? I was on my 
guard. 

You were less indiscreet than before? I had not been 
indiscreet. 

You gave Gardiner the advice of a man of the world 
as well as a man of religion? Yes, that he had better 
not be seen walking with the girl. 

And he promised he would not? Yes. 

Since then he has done his work well, and as a 
Christian man ? I know nothing to the contrary. 

Be-examined by Mr. DICKENS I said to accused : ( ' I 
should steer clear of Eose Harsent," and he said he 
96 




Mr. H. F DIcKens, K,C. 



Evidence for Prosecution, 

John Guy 

would. I did my best to conduct the inquiry with 
impartiality; I went into the meeting with a perfectly 
open mind. I did not know the nature of the case to 
be laid before me. 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE When you were before the 
Coroner two other names were put before you Fiddler 
and Potter? They were. 

You then said: " I did not state to Messrs. Fiddler 
and Potter that I believed it to be a trumped-up case "P 
Yes. 

HENBY BOUSE (73), examined by Mr. DICKENS I am 
a labourer at Sibton. 

Are you a member of the church at Sibton? Yes. 

Have you resided for a long time at Sibton? Two 
years last Michaelmas. 

Did ybu preach in the church? Yes, when I was 
appointed. 

Did you belong to the church before you lived at 
Sibton? Yes. 

How long have you been a member? Two years before 
I came to Sibton. 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWBAJSTCE Four years altogether? 
Yes. 

Examination continued Have you preached in the 
chapel from time to time ? Yes, sir. 

I suppose you have been a member of the Primitive 
Methodist Church longer than four years? At least 
thirty-five years. 

"Was it a part of your duty and position in the church 
to preach? Yes. I was what they call a local preacher. 

Did you know William Gardiner, the accused? I 
know William Gardiner, the accused. 

Very well? Yes, I have known him for two years from 
the time I lived at Sibton. 

And on what terms have you been with Mm? Very 
good terms. 

G 07 



William Gardiner, 

Henry Rouse 

You remember this scandal which arose in May, 1901, 
with regard to his conduct with Eose Harsent? Yes. 

Mr. Guy told us it was you who communicated with 
him suggesting an inquiry? I did. 

Were you present at the inquiry yourself? Yes. 

I do not think it is necessary to go through all that 
again. Do you remember in the February following, 
last February, 1902, one night when you were going 
home? Yes, I met Gardiner and Eose Harsent, as I was 
going home from Yoxford. 

In which direction were they going? They were walk- 
ing towards Yoxford. 

"Was that away from their home? Yes. 

And about what time was this? I should think about 
a quarter to nine or something like that. 

At a quarter to nine in February. Therefore it would 
be dark? Yes. 

Were they walking together? They were walking by 
each other's side. I suppose there was a foot or two 
between them, as far as 1 could see. I could not see 
exactly. 

Was anything said by you or them? I bid them good 
night, but neither of them spoke. 

Did you speak to Gardiner about this afterwards? 
I did, and so I did that night. 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWBANCE Do you know what day 
of the week it was? I cannot say, my lord. 

Examination continued' I saw them go back to the 
N"ew Eoad, as they call it, which leads up to Yoxford 
Road. I heard that Gardiner was going about with this 
girl after this first scandal was set forth. 

You must not tell us what you heard. I want to know 
what you said to Gardiner when you had seen him walk- 
ing about with this girl after nine o'clock at night? I 
spoke to him and called him by name that night, and 
neither of them spoke then. 

When you passed them good night, did you mention 
98 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Henry Rotute 

his name? I said, " Good night, Gardiner; good night, 
Eose/ 3 

And you got no answer? No. 

Tell me, when was it you spoke to Gardiner about 
walking about with this girl? It was on a "Wednesday 
night. I know it was Wednesday night because we had 
a prayer meeting on Wednesday night in the chapel. 

How many days after you had seen them would it be? 
Nine days. 

Please tell us what you said to Gardiner on that Wed- 
nesday night when you saw him at the meeting? I 
touched Gardiner on the shoulder when he came out of 
the chapel, because I did not wish to expose him to the 
congregation. I said : "I want to speak to you, if you 
please." He came up the road to my house a little way. 
I said to. Gardiner : " I am somewhat surprised that you 
should continue to walk about with that girl. There is 
so much talk, and it will do the chapel a great deal of 
harm. 1 " 

What did Gardiner say? Gardiner said: " Have you 
said anything about it? " I said: "No, I have not 
even told my wife." He said : " If you do not say any- 
thing about it, it shall never occur again." I told him 
the c'onsequence of his being about with this girl, and 
the harm it was doing to God's cause. He never told his 
own wife of what had occurred, and no one else, because 
he expected he would be a different man in the church. 

You never said a word about it when he promised it 
should not occur again? No, not till what I afterwards 
saw in the chapel. 

This was in February? After that did you notice some- 
thing while you were preaching in the chapel? Yes, I 
did. 

Tell us what you noticed? I saw Gardiner have his 
feet on Rose Harsent's lap. You gentlemen know what 
I mean by the lap of a person. I ceased to speak, with 
the intention of telling one of them to walk out of the 

99 



William Gardiner. 

Henry Rouse 

chapel, but something seemed to speak to me not to 
expose them there. Then I did not speak, but I made 
a pause. 

Did you write him a letter? Yes. 

Just look at the letter and tell me if it is your letter 
(Counsel handed the witness a letter) ? Yes. 

Whose handwriting is it? This handwriting is my 
wife's. 

Did your wife write that letter at your request? She 
wrote it according to my desire. I asked her to take a 
copy of the one I had written. 

You did not put your name to that it is anonymous? 
No, I did not. 

Why did you write that anonymous letter? I thought 
if I sent the letter without signing any name, it might 
make a change in the man's conduct in life. 

The letter was then read by the Clerk of Arraigns as 
under : 

" Mr. Gardiner, I write to warn you of your conduct 
with that girl Hose, as I find when she come into the 
chapel she muat place herself next to you, which keep the 
people's minds still in the belief that you are a guilty 
man, and in that case you will drive many from the 
chapel, and those that would join the cause are kept 
away through it. We are told to shun the least appear- 
ance of evil. I do not wish you to leave God's house, 
but there must be a difference before God's cause can 
prosper, which I hope you will see to be right as people 
cannot hear when the enemy of souls bring this before 
them. I write to you. as one that love your soul, and 
I hope you will have her sit in some other place, and 
remove such feeling which for sake she will do." 

Cross-examined by Mr. WILD Are you a labourer? 
Yes. 

How long have you lived at Sibton? Two years last 
March. 
100 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Henry Roust 

Did you come straight to Sibton from Brampton? I 
was at Ringsfield. 

Before that you were at Wrentham? Tea. 

Do you know the first notice we had of your evidence was 
the 1st of November ? I did not know when you got it. 

Tou did not give evidence either before the magis- 
trates or the Coroner? Ifo. 

When you gave your evidence on the last occasion, 
did you say one word about Gardiner's saying, if you 
said nothing about it, such a thing should not occur 
again? I think I said that in Court. 

I suggest to you, you did not? I think I did. 

I suggest you have added in your evidence to-day 
about Gardiner saying that if you told nobody, he would 
not allow such a thing to occur again? I do not know 
that I have added one word, but I do not suppose that 
I have spoken word for word on each occasion. 

I suggest to you also that you never said before about 
" Good night, Gardiner," and " Good night, Bose "P 
I did say so. 

This story of yours is. a lie from beginning to end, and 
a concocted story ? I say like this : when I met Gardiner 
neither he nor Rose Harsent spoke. I said " Good 
night/' and neither of them replied. 

Mr. WILD I do not want any preaching. 

Mr. DICKENS When a gentleman says another is tell- 
ing a concocted story, the other person is entitled to 
explain matters. 

WITNESS I want to explain matters. I passed him on 
the right as I was coming from Sibton, and neither of 
them spoke. I had been told that Gardiner was walking 
about, and I thought I would see for myself. I went 
back, and they stood in the mouth of the new road, and 
I went between them. I spoke to Gardiner and said 
" Good night, Gardiner," and " Good night, Rose," 
and they never spoke. And that is what I have said 

before. 

101 



William Gardiner. 

Henry Rouse 

Cros.s-eaamination continued Is this the first occasion 
on which you have brought accusations against people? 
Yes. 

Try and think. Have you not for the greater portion 
of your life been bringing false accusations against 
pe'opleP It is false. 

You remember we got your evidence on 1st November. 
Do you remember when you lived at Brampton and 
Wrentham ? Yes. 

How long were you at Wrentham? Fifteen years. 

When did you leave? Ten years last Michaelmas. 

Were you then a farm steward? No; I farmed for 
myself. 

You remember having a fire? I do. 

Was there a lad by the name of Burrell there? Yes. 

Was he about twelve? About thirteen, I should 
think. 

I suggest you brought a charge of arson against that 
, little boy? I did not. 

You laid information against him? I said I thought 
it was through the boy the fire 'occurred. 

Was the barn which was burned your property? It 
belonged to the farm I hired. 

Was the barn insured by you? The barn was not 
insured by me. 

You took the lad before the magistrates on a charge of 
setting fire to the barn? The police took the lad; I 
never gave the boy in charge. 

You told the policeman you believed the boy set fire 
to the place, making an absolutely reckless charge? 
The boy was the only person about the place at the time. 

Was the case at once dismissed? The magistrates 
asked me if I could swear the boy set fire to it, and I 
said no, because I did not see him. 

You still believe it was the boy? I do believe it now. 

Let me ask you something else. You were the victim 
of a scandal at Wrentham, were not you? No. 

102 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Henry Rouse 

I do not want to mention names: read this? (Wit- 
ness looked at a paper) It's Gooch there. 

Was not your name connected with Mrs. Gooch for 
immorality ? No. 

Never heard that? I never heard anything to do with 
Mrs. Gooch. 

Was not there a scandal? It was said they thought 
I went backwards and forwards to Gooch's. 

As a farmer, you had ample accommodation for pigs? 
Like other farms. 

Had you a labourer by the name oi Gooch? He was 
a horseman. 

Did he live about a quarter of a mile off the farm? 
About half a quarter. 

And did you induce him to let you keep your sow at 
his? No, he had one he bought from me. 

And did not you visit this sow under the pretence of 
visiting Mrs. Gooch? No. 

What did the people .say? It was like this: when I 
went backwards and forwards to Gooch's, Gooch had 
professed to become a God-fearing man, and I went to 
see him when he was at home, not when he wasn't. 

Never when he was away? I cannot say I never was 
at the house when he was away. 

I put it to you, you paid visits to that sow under cover 
of seeing your labourer's wife? I say it IB false. 

What happened to the sow? The man fatted it and 
sold it. 

You removed the sow after the scandal, did not you ? 
I did not. 

What was the scandal about it? No man can prove 
it. Why did the man who started it beg my pardon? 

Look at this name: don't read that out? I do not 
know it. 

It commences with a " B." Have you heard the 
name? Oh, yes, plenty of times. 

I suggest to you, you misbehaved yourself with this 

103 



William Gardiner. 

Henry Rouse 

lady? You nor any otter person can bring it forward; 
if they did, I would bring them forward to prove it. 
I never heard of any scandal with regard to this person. 

You left Wrentham to live at Brampton? I did. 

How long ago was that? Four years last Michaelmas 
since I left there; I was there six years. 

Were you farming there on your own? No, I was 
steward for Mr. Charles Nash. 

You have given evidence in another murder case, have 
not you? Yes. 

In the case of Edna Carter? Yes. 

You were atill living at Wrentham? Yes. 

Did you give evidence before the magistrates? Not 
till I came to Hales worth. 

In that case you did not give evidence till you got 
to the Assizes, did you? I did at Hales worth as to 
what I heard. 

I suggest to. you you waited till two days before the 
assizes, and said you heard a child scream? It was 
more than two weeks before the trial. 

Will you swear you gave your evidence in that case 
before you came before the judge at the Assizes? Yes, 
at Halesworth. 

Now, with regard to Brampton, did you know a man 
named Snelling there? Yes. 

Did you know he had a wife and six children? Four 
daughters and one sou, I think. 

Did two of them come home from service? Yes. 

Did you know Mr. Curtis, the vicar? I know him 
quite well. 

Did you go to him and tell him something about 
Snelling? No. 

On y'our oath? No. I know what I am talking about, 

Did you see him and tell him that Mr. Snelling's 
daughters encouraged young men in the house * I did not 

And that Snelling was keeping a bawdy house? T <lid 
not; I never aaid such a thing to Mr. Curtis in my life. 

104 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Henry Rome * 

Ton swear you never mentioned to the vicar anything 
about Snelling? I do. 

Did Snelling charge you with it to your face? No. 

Now, be careful? I am careful. 

Did he say to your face in the presence of a man 
named Redgrave that you said itP No. 

And did you refuse to go before the vicar and have it 
out? No. 

That is all untrue? Tes. 

Not a bit of truth in the suggestion? Not a bit. 

Never heard about Snelling's daughters? Not a word 
about them. 

What? Well, I heard they were wild sort of 
girls. 

Of course, you did not mention it? Never said any- 
thing to any one. 

Not even to your wife ? I never said anything to any 
one about it ; it was not my place to make a disturbance. 

I put it to you that you refused to have it out in 
the presence of Mr. Curtis? Any one who says so is a 
false man. 

Did you also keep back the wages of the men when 
you were at Brampton? Never. 

I put it to you that there was a rise of 2s. a week to 
be given to the men by order of the master, Mr. Nash, 
and when Snelling asked for it, you first of all said 
you had given it to him, then that you had given it 
to the wife, then that you had not had it at all, and that 
then, when Snelling threatened to tell Mr. Nash, you 
admitted you had been lying? No; it is not true. 

Did not you lay things about the place and try to lay 
traps for people, to make them thieves? No. 

That was your reputation, was it not? I say it is 
false. 

Now let us bring you to Sibtoa Chapel. You tell us 
you saw this man Gardiner put his legs on Rose Ear- 

sent's lap? I did, 

105 



William Gardiner. 

Henry Rouse 

Did I not ask you this question: " He put them right 
up so that a great many people could see if they 
looked? " ; and did not you answer " Yes "P I did not 
understand you to say " a great many people." I said 
" some people/' 

[Witness explained by means of the plan handed him 
by counsel the interior arrangements of the chapel.] 

Who do you suppose could see the incident ? Any one 
sitting in the front pew could see it. 

Anybody sitting in the choir could see it? Tes. 

Who was in the choir that night? I cannot tell you; 
I did riot take much notice. 

Was Miss Fiddler there? I do not know a Miss 
Fiddler. 

Does Miss Fiddler sing in the choir? Mr. Fiddler has 
not a daughter, so far as I know. 

I beg your pardon. It is my mistake. I ineau Miss 
Walker? I feel sure she was there. 

You lave spoken to her about" it? I do not remember 
I ever did. 

Since the last trial, I put it to you that you had Miss 
Walker there, and tried to make her remember it? I 
never spoke to Miss Walker since the last trial. 

Were you not with the policeman? Never. 

How many others were in the choir? There might 
be two or three more. There were seven or eight in the 
choir altogether. 

All of them could have seen? They could, if they 
had looked. 

People in the front benches could see? Yes. 

You were in the rostrum? Yes. 

What were you preaching about? The works of 
Christ. 

I suggest anybody in the chapel could have seen it 
had it happened? They could not flee; only those sitting 
in front. 
106 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Henry Rouie 

How many could see that improper act? I suppose 
about twelve or thirteen. 

Why did you not stop and rebuke them? I did stop, 
but I did not rebuke them at the time, because I thought 
it would do harm to God's cause. 

How long did you wait before you wrote the letter to 
Gardiner? About nine or ten days, or a fortnight. 

When you had seen him merely walking out with the 
girl, which might have been quite harmless, you thought 
it important enough to rebuke him personally? I did. 

Having seen a grossly indecent thing in the chapel 
it was grossly indecent? It was in God's house. 

Did y'ou not think it sufficient to talk to him of an 
indecent act like this in the very choir itself? I did 
think it was. 

Then why did you not do it? Because I had spoken 
to Gardiner about other failings, about this, that, and 
the other being with the girl and this time I thought 
I would write, thinking he would heed what I wrote to 
him. I had spoken to him before, and it was quite right, 
when a man scandalises the Church. 

Db you mean the Skinner and Wright episode? I 
mean what Skinner and Wright said. 

Tou had spoken to him of that? I stood there for 
Gardiner, spoke for Gardiner, because I had not been 
there long and thought that the tale the young men 
represented must be wrong. Gardiner knows I spoke 
for him. 

Tou did not believe the story? I did not seem as 
though I could believe it. 

Tou believe it now? So I did when I saw him with 
the girl at an hour when he ought not to have been. 

Having seen this thing in the chapel, why did not 
you speak to him as man to man? I did not speak to 
him because he had not paid any heed to what I had 
said about it. 

107 



William Gardiner. 

Henry Ronse 

When did you first mention it to any living soul? 
When he continued to go on in the way that he did. 

What do you think of the man who writes an anony- 
mous letter? I think the way I wrote the letter I wrote 
as a friend. I did not wish to expose him. I thought 
he would take it as some one else writing to him, and 
would turn from the ways he was walking in, and become 
just the man he professed himself to be. 

Can you write? I can. 

Why did not you write the letter yourself? I did. 

But you got your wife to copy it? Tes. 

So that he should not know whom it came from? So 
that if there should be anything said to the contrary of 
what I had put in the letter, I should have it to defend 
myself. 

You wrote the letter that was read to-day? I did 
write the letter. 

You got your wife to copy it? Yes. 

I put it to you, your object in doing that was to stab 
Gardiner in the dark, and not let him know who stabbed 
him? It was to bring Gardiner to the truth. 

Can you account for this fact, that having seen, as 
you say, the man put his legs on the girl's lap, you 
did not fr'om start to finish in that letter mention it? 
I did not mention it, I think, about his putting his feet 
on the girl's lap, but I cautioned him about his. mis- 
conduct, and told him what he was doing to the church. 

[Mr. Wild read over the anonymous letter sent by 
witness, commenting upon certain passages, and repeated 
his question as to his reason for not alluding to the 
alleged misconduct during the service.] 

WITNESS I wrote it because I thought it would start 
Gardiner thinking, and whilst thinking, acting. 

Wero you preaching in your regular order? I was. 

According to the plan? No. I was filling another's 
place, because they had taken mine when I was not 
well. 

108 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Henry Rouse 

Will you tell me in the place of whom you were 
preaching? I cannot tell. It is some time back, and 
I do not make a note of these things. 

Re-examined by Mr. DICKENS You know this gentle- 
man has suggested that you have simply concocted this 
story against Gardiner on this charge of murder against 
him. Have you ever had any quarrel with Gardiner in 
your life? Never. 

Have you ever had any ill-feeling towards him in your 
life ? Never. 

Has he ever shown any ill-feeling to you? For the 
last five or sis weeks Gardiner did not seem to be so 
friendly as he had been before. 

What five or six weeks? The five or six weeks before 
he was taken away for this murder charge. 

But I am speaking now of the time of the Sibton 
Chapel inquiry. At that time you were on perfectly 
friendly terms, with him? I was. 

And do I understand from you that you took his part 
then? I did. I believed him to be an innocent man. 

Did you speak in his favour? I did. 

Up to the time that you met them walking together 
on that February evening, had you ever seen anything 
wrong between him and Rose HarsentP No. 

When you saw them walking together on this night 
in February, was that the first time since the inquiry 
that you had any reason of your own knowledge to sup- 
pose anything was wrong? It was. 

Why did you not bring it before his Church P Because 
I did not wish to do the man any harm, or even make 
any talk about it. 

When you spoke to him privately, did he attempt to 
deny that he had been with the girl? No. 

When he told you that it should not occur again, did 
you believe him? I did. 

Was the next thing you noticed with regard to himself 

109 



William Gardiner. 

Henry Rouse 

and Itose Harsent what you have told us you saw in tJie 
chapel where you were preaching? Yes. 

Did you think it was any good speaking to him pri- 
vately again? I did not think so. 

Why did you act write in your own name ? Because I 
thought he would be thinking about il, and wondering 
who it came from, and that he might alter his whole 
course of lio. 

How long ago was that fire? It was straw in the 
bullock yard. 

At what time in the day did it take place? I cannot 
say. T was ploughing at the time. It was ten o'clock 
in the morning. 

Why did you think it wu the boy "Barrel!? Because 
there wan no other person I knew who wus at work there. 

Had yon other men working for you? Yes, But 
nowhere hi the yard. 

An<l you thought, righily or wro<rl\ we ure not deal- 
ing with that now- I hut he hud wi, fire to this place. 
l)id you toll the police? I went and spoke to the boy 
first, and then I told the police. I thought he was the 
boy, booauae I found a piece of cane, such as boya nmoke, 
lying iu the bullock yur<l. That hud been lit, because I 
could HOC, and so could the p'olice. 

Th lx>y was discihargod they could not take any 
charge agaitmt him?- JIc wan dincburgecl. 

With regard to your giving vi<Ionc-c against Carter: 
where was it you #avo evidence before tho judge? At 
Norwich. 

That wan whcro the trial wiwP Ves, 

Sho waa churned with murder P Yen. 

She wa convicted? Yen, 

And yoxi wer^ one of the witneBsen against herP Yes. 

And you bad previously givea evidence against her 
at Halesworfch P Ye,a 

Now, with regard to thin auggoation of Beatukl with 
Mrs, Gooeu, you say yoti went to Gooeh'B hbuse because 
110 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Henry Route 

he said lie was going to be a God-fearing man, and he 
wanted you to go there. What were you to go there for? 
I read portions of Scripture to them, and unfolded 
them to the best of my belief. 

You were then doing the work of the Church? I was. 

How often did you go to the house? I went several 
times. 

There was a sow. Whose was it? He bought it of 
me. 

The man who started the scandal begged your pardon. 
What took place in regard to it? Some one started the 
scandal about you and Mrs. Gooch. How did it end? 
It ended that they were false people. 

With regard to this question of Snelling, you have told 
us that you knew they were n wild kind 'of girls. Did 
you make any statement yourself with regard to them? 
No. 

IN there any truth in the suggestion that you kept 
back any of the wages from Mr. Nash? I never did. 

Did you keep any of the wages from Snelling? He 
has had pounds from me to help him on, and without 
it he would not have had a piece of bread to eat. 

By Mr. J CTSTTCE LAWRANCE How long have you been 
a local preacher? Somewhere about twenty-five or 
twenty-six years, my lord. 

HAJUIY H ABSENT (fourteen yearB of age), examined by 
the Hon. JOHN DE GREY Are you the brother of Rose 
HarsentP Yes. 

Are you employed at the Drill Works, Peasenhall? 

Yes. 

You know the accused Gardiner? Yes. 

Ha* he at any time given y'ou a letter to take to your 
sister "Rose? Yes. 

How often has that been ttie case?- Not very often. 

How often do you think : more than once? More than 
once. 

ill 



William Gardiner. 

Harry Harsent 

In what year? I took some in June, 1901, first. 

When you took the letter in June, 1901, what kind of 
envelope was it in? A blue envelope. 

You took letters m'ore than once from him to her in 
1901? I took two br three in 1901. 

And in 1902 did you take any letters from him to 
her? Yes. 

How often? Not very often: once or twice. 

Have you ever taken letters from your sister to him? 
Yes. 

In 1901? Yes. 

How many do you think? I do not know exactly how 
many. 

About how many? Two or three. 

In last year, do you remember taking any there? 
Yes. 

How often did you take them? Once 'or twice. 

"Was it part of your business to take the East Anglian 
Daily Times to Gardiner? Yes. 

And used you to do so every day? Yes. 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE From wEere? Prom the 
newspaper shop. 

Examination continued To his office at the works? 
Yes. 

Whose shop was it? Mr. Bmmott's. 

Do you remember the day your sister died? Yes. 

Do you remember the Friday, the day before you 
took the East Anglian Daily Times to Gardiner? Yes. 

Cross-examined by Mr. WILD In giving your evi- 
dence at the last Assizes, did you say Gardiner had 
given you a letter some time in June, 1901? I cannot 
say how many I took, I took two or three. 

You said you had not taken any letter from Gardiner 
to Rose in 1902? I do not know what I said. 

Is it a fact beyond the two letters you took in June, 
1901, from Gardiner to your sister, you took any others? 
112 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Harry Harsent 

Do you remember taking any others? Yes; but I do 
not know when. 

Did Mr. Nunn help you to remember? No. 

Who asked you about it first? Staunton did first. 

When you swore before Mr. Justice Grantham that 
you had not taken any letters from Gardiner in 1902, 
was that the truth? I suppose so. 

I won't press you. Was Emmott's shop nearly oppo- 
site Providence House, and where the young man Davis 
was engaged? Yes. 

The East Anglian Daily Times you obtained there is 
the paper all Suffolk reads; it is the daily paper? Yes. 

You used to take one to Mr. Smyth? Yes. 

And the name of the customer used to be written on 
the back, did not it? Yes. 

FBJGDERICK HENBY BBEWER, examined by the Hon. 
JOHN DE GBEY I am a postman at Yoxford, and it is 
my duty to collect and deliver letters at Peasenhall. I 
delivered the letter produced at Providence House on 
the afternoon of 31st May, from three to a quarter past. 
It was addressed " Miss Harsent, Providence House, 
Peasenhall, Saxmundham." 

Look at the postmarks on that envelope. Can you say 
what time it was posted at Peasenhall? Between half- 
past six on the Friday night and 10.55 the next morning. 

You have noticed the kind of envelope. Have you ever 
delivered letters to Eose Harsent in a similar envelope? 
i Yes; three or four. 

Mrs. GEOBGINA CRISP, examined by Mr. DICKENS I 
am the wife of William Crisp, of Providence House, 
Peasenhall. 

Eose Harsent was your servant? Yes. 

Before the 31st of May, about a fortnight before she 
was killed, did you. discover that she was in the family 
way? Yes; I accused her of it, and she denied it. 

iShe slept in the bedroom over your bedroom? Tee., 
H 113 



William Gardiner. 

Mrs Georgina Crisp 

And to get to it she had to go up the stairs by the 
kitchen? Yes. 

"What time did you go to bed that night? At a 
quarter-past ten. 

In the afternoon of that day did you take a letter from 
the postman, at about a quarter-past three? I took a 
letter, and laid it on the kitchen table. 

A letter like this? Yes. 

You went to bed at a quarter-past ten. Did you see 
Rose before you went to bed? Yes. I bid her good 
night. 

Where was she then? In the hall. 

Did y'o.u go straight up to bed? Yes. 

In the kitchen was there a lamp for the use of Rose 
Harsent? Yes, and a candlestick to take up to her 
bedroom. 

You have seen the lamp that was found on the floor 
after the girl's death. Was that the one used in the 
kitchen ? Yes. 

Was it an ordinary paraffin lamp? Yes, 

In the course of the night did a violent storm arise? 
Yes, a storm arose. 

Did it wake you up? I looked to see if the rain was 
coming in at the windows. 

Did you open the door leading to the lobby of the 
conservatory? No. I did not open that door, but I 
found the kitchen door open the one leading into the 
dining-room and I shut it. 

Did you then go upstairs again to bed? Yes. 

Did you go to sleep? Yes. 

Did anything wake y'ou? Yes, I was awakened by 
some one screaming, and I was startled. I was going 
downstairs, but Mr. Crisp would not allow me. He 
thought if our servant was nervous she would come to 
us, as I had told her previously to do. I did not go 
into the room the kitchen until the Sunday evening 
at 9.30, and the body Had been taken away. 

114 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Mrs Georgian Crisp 

There is a window looking out of the kitchen into the 
conservatory ? Tea. 

Was anything fastened against that window? Yes; a 
black wrapper was fastened to it, oyer the curtain, with 
a metal fork. 

Was it a wrapper of yours? Yes. 

Where was it usually kept? In a tin box. 

When had you seen it last ? On the Saturday morning 
between 11.30 and twelve o'clock. 

Do you take in the East Anglian newspaper? No, 
not on a Friday. 

Ocas-examined by Mr. WILD Why not on Friday? 
Because we have the Chromcle on the Friday; there* 
fore we do not require a daily newspaper. 

By Mr. DICKENS I forgot one question : is your hus- 
band a deacon of the Doctor's Chapel? Tes. 

You attend the Doctor's Chapel yourself? Yes, once 
a fortnight. 

Before the 1st of May, 1901, had you heard there was 
anything wrong with the door of the chapel? No, I 
had never heard anything wrong about it. 

Cross-examination continued You knew nothing 
about the door at all last time? No. 

Have you not heard that the door was eased? No. 

Have you now? I have not heard anything about it 
being eased at all. 

Have you heard about it being painted where it was 
eased? I know it has been painted (with a laugh). 

You seem to think it is a great joke? I am not 
joking, Mr. Wild. 

Would you mind not addressing me by name? Just 
answer the questions, please? My lord, Mr. Wild and 
Mr. Leighton came to my house yesterday three weeks. 
I have given you every opportunity to come to our house, 
and I do not know why you should doubt my word. 

Did you tell me on tlie last occasion that the door 

115 



William Gardiner. 

Mrs Georgia* Crisp 

was painted where it had been eased? I know it was 
painted. 

"Whether or not it was eased, you do not know P No, I 
do not know. 

Is your husband here? Tes, he is, and he can tell 
you more about it, seeing that he has been connected with 
the chapel forty years, 

Tour husband has not been called in these proceedings 
at all? No, he has not. 

Is he very deaf? Not so deaf that he can't speak to 
you. He can answer you better about the chapel than 
I can, Mr. Wild, 

Do you mind not addressing me by name? Answer 
my questions? Of course, I will do so, but I can't 
answer for what I do not know. 

In regard to the girl, you were very particular about 
the class of girl who was your servant? Of course I 
was. 

Tou would not desire that anybody but a strictly 
moral young woman should continue in your service? I 
did not know; she was respectable and well conducted 
in the house. Of course I require a respectable servant, 
but you don't know. 

And you were more particular because of a previous 
occurrence in your house? Tes. 

A servant had to leave because she was enceinte? 
Tes; that was three or four years ago. 

That made you more particular in regard to servants? 
Tes. 

If y'qu had believed this girl was an immoral young 
woman, you would not have kept her? No, I should 
not. 

Now, as to the 31st of May, did you give evidence 
before the Coroner on Tuesday, 3rd June? Tes. 

That would be within forty-eight hours, practically 
of the occurrence? On the Tuesday. 

Tou were upon your oath, of course? I was. 
116 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Mrs Georgina CrUp 

Did you tell the Coroner's jury tlie truth? Well, Mr. 



Wild- 
Will you answer the question and not call me Mr. 
Wild? Did you tell the Coroner's jury the truth? I 
did. 

Was the evidence read over to you and did you sign 
it? I did. 

And was it true? I cannot answer about everything 
at the inquest. 

You said then: " I went downstairs between twelve 
and "one." Was that true? I was guided by my hus- 
band as to the time. I did not look at the time. 

The time you gave was the time he told you? Tes. 

Then you go on: " Between one and two I thought I 
heard a thud, sounding from downstairs, and shortly 
afterwards a slight scream." That was true? I heard 
a thud, but I would not say positively the time. 

Then why did you swear it before the Coroner? I 
swore it. 

(At this moment, the proceedings were interrupted by 
the witness's husband, who was sitting on the Bench, 
and who rose with the exclamation, " May I speak? ") 

Mr. JUSTICE LAW&ANCE Sit down; be quiet. 

Cross-examination continued Is this the deaf gentle- 
man? That is my husband. 

Is that Mr. Crisp, who is 'on the Bench here to-day? 
It is. 

You said on 3rd June that you first came down between 
twelve and one, and that you heard the thud and scream 
between one and two? Yes, I believe that was what I 
said. 

You were swearing to the best of your belief? Yes. 

Later in the depositions she is recalled, my lord, and 
on the 16th June before the O'o.roner, you say this, Mrs. 
Crisp: ct I believe it was between one and two a.m." 
You did believe it? Yes. 

You said previously: " I think it was in the middle 

H7 



William Gardiner. 

Mrs Georgina Crisp 

of the storm " : is tliat true? I cannot say it was in 
the middle of the storm ; it might. 

Before this happened I believe you heard the clock 
strike twelve. Did you hear the clock strike twelve? 
I did not. 

Then why did you swear it on your oath? I suppose 
it was imagination. 

Is it not more likely to be imagination what you say 
now than what you said then? "No. 

At all events it was dark? It might be; I forget; 
it is such a long while ago. 

Have you not sworn it was dark at the time? (No 
answer.) 

I call your lordship's attention to the depositions taken 
before the magistrates on 19th June. Did you say this 
then, Mrs. Crisp : "I had not been asleep, and could not 
say at what time I heard the thud " ; it was dark then? 
I believe it was. 

Therefore, whatever time it was, it was in the dark, 
was it not? Tes. 

You do not try to go back on that? "No. 

You told me you thought you had a conversation with 
your husband as to whether Rose was frightened at the 
storm ? Yes. 

And I also said to you at the last hearing : " I pre- 
sume the storm was still raging? " and you said: " I 
suppose so >? ? Yes, it passed off after a time. 

Most storms do? It was not such a violent storm. 

You told me the storm was still raging? I might 
do so. 

Did you tell me so? I cannot say whether I did so 
or not. I said to my husband: " I wonder whether she 
was frightened," and asked whether I should go down; 
and he said : " No ; if she is frightened she will come 
to us." 

You thought she was screaming because she was 
frightened at the storm? Yes. 

118 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Mrs Georeina Crisp 

It must have been enough to frighten anybody, then? 
Yes, I suppose so. 

Was it a loud scream? No. 

Heartless not to. go to her ? It was a moaning scream. 

That is why your husband made you keep in bed? 
Yes; she could come to our room. 

How long an interval elapsed between the thud and 
the scream? I do not think there was any interval; 
there might be a second or so. 

Previously you said you heard a thud downstairs, and 
shortly afterwards a slight scream? "Well, yes. 

A minute or so? Yes. 

You are the only person who can give any light as 
to the time the murder was committed. Now, how soon 
after the thud did you hear the scream? About a 
minute. 

You realise it was. dark? Yes. 

You realised the girl was frightened? I thought if 
she was frightened she would come to us. She was not 
a nervous girl at all. 

The reason you gave the time was because you talked 
it over with your husband. Is that the explanation you 
give about giving the Coroner the time? My husband 
said nothing about it. 

What was said about the time? You have it down 
there. 

What you have said about the time was what you 
believed yourself, and arrived at after conversation with 
your husband? Yes, I had no conversation with him 
except about going downstairs. 

You swore on a previous occasion that it was between 
one and two, and that it was because you spoke to your 
husband? Mr. Crisp thought it was. 

[Mr. Dick-ens pointed out to his lordship that witness 
said : " I neither heard the clock strike nor looked at it. 
I think the storm had abated when I went tb sleep; I 

119 



William Gardiner. 

cannot remember whether the storm was raging at the 
time 1 heard the scream/'] 

Mr. WILD Does your lordship allow counsel's notes 
to be given? 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWEANCE The proper way is to put it to 
her. 

(The Court adjourned.) 



120 



Evidence for Prosecution. 



Second Day Thursday, 22nd January, 1903. 

HARRY BURGESS, examined by the Hon. JOHN DB GREY 
I am a bricklayer, living at Peasenhall. On Saturday 
evening, 31st May, I saw Gardiner at five minutes past 
ten in front of his house. 

How far from the door? About a yard or two. I 
spoke to him, and was with him about a quarter of an 
hour. 

Did you notice the top window of Providence House? 
Tea, as I was going up home. I noticed a light there. 
Before that I remembered the scandal there was about 
the Doctor's Chapel. I also remembered the inquiry, 
and, after that, myself, Wright, Skinner, and Nunn 
went down to the chapel. 

What occurred? Skinner, Wright, and myself went 
inside, and Nunn stayed outside. Skinner and Wright 
were by the window, and spoke. 

The experiment was after accused had been committed 
for trial? Yes. 

What was said? I cannot tell you all that was said, 
because I cannot remember, but I heard them say " Oh, 
oh, oh." 

I think you told us before most of the Peasenhall 
people were at their doors on the evening of 31st May? 
Yes. 

And Gardiner was out, like the others, looking at the 
weather? Yes. 

BOS.ANIU DICKENSON, examined by Mr. DICKENS I 
live at Peasenhall, and keep an ironmonger's shop, next 
to Mrs. Gardiner's. On Saturday, 31st May, there was 
a thunderstorm in the evening, and I was very nervous. 
Mrs. Gardiner came in from eleven to half-past. 

121 



William Gardiner. 

RoB&nna Dickenson 

What time did her husband come in? Aa near as I 
can possibly tell, some time about twelve. 

Then did they remain in your house till half-past one P 
Tea. 

Did the storm cease at that time P Yes, it was getting 
over. 

I think you said Gardiner came in shortly after his 
wife? Yes. 

You did not notice the time? No. 

So that it might have been a quarter to twelve? Yes, 
it might have been. 

As a matter of fact, I think they had been with you 
the night before? No; I was with them the night 
before, as there was a storm then. 

Did Gardiner seem to be quite himself ? He was quite 
calm and collected. 

What shoes had he on that night? Carpet shoes; one 
dropped off, and I n'oticed it. 

What time did they leave? Half -past one. He said : 
" You won't mind now; it is only an hour and a half 
till daylight." 

JAMES MOKEISS, examined by Mr. DICKENS I am 
assistant gamekeeper of PeasenhalL The name of my 
head gamekeeper is Redgrave, and he has a brother, a 
gardener, living in PeasenhalL I remember the 1st of 
June of last year. That morning about five o'clock I 
was out in Peasenhall Street, and my way took me past 
Gardiner's door. I was walking in the direction of 
Providence House, The rain had ceased at that time. 
I noticed footprints representing india-rubber shoes with 
bars across. The footmarks, started from Gardiner's step 
and went right to Providence House gate on the 
Hackney Eoad. They also returned to Gardiner's house. 
I had heard of the scandal about Gardiner and the girl 
before this. 

Before you heard that Rose Harsent had been mur- 
122 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

James Morris* 

dered, did you make an observation with, regard to 
what you had seen to Bedgrave? Tes, I spoke to Ked- 
grave about it at a quarter to six the same morning, 
and I first heard of the murder at half-past eleven. The 
police spoke to me about it on the 6th. At the inquest 
one of the jurymen drew the shape of a foot, and I made 
lines across representing the bars. 

At the time you did that, had you seen Gardiner's 
shoes? No. 

Cross-examined by Mr. WILD Did you ever look for 
the footmarks again? No. It is not true that between 
twelve and one o'clock I was near Providence House look- 
ing for them. 

Did you see any 'other footmarks that morning? Tes, 
half a mile from there. 

Those were the marks of hobnailed boots? Tes. 

"Were they distinct impressions? Tes. 

Did you see any hobnailed boots against Providence 
House? No. 

Do you think if there had been, you would have seen 
them? I think so. 

Tou did not see any marks on Gardiner 's step? No. 

Was it very wet that morning? Tes. 

Is it ordinarily a hard-metalled road ? In dry weather 
it is solid. 

Did it rain after you saw the footmarks? Not that I 
am aware of. 

In what part of the r'qad were the footmarks? About 
3 yards from the houses. 

Were the footprints leading to and from Gardiner's 
house side by side? They might be in some places. 

Did you not go back to Gardiner's house? No. 

If the footmarks were 3 yards from the houses, that 
would take them well into the road? No. 

Why did not you speak to the police when you heard 
of the murder? I don't know why I didn't. 

123 



William Gardiner. 

James Morris. 

At all events, you never did apeak to the police till 
they came to you? No. 

Do not you know any reason why you didn't? It was 
very important in your mind, was it not? Tes, it was. 

How many bars did you notice in the footprints? 
I did not notice how many. 

A point has been made that you filled up the paper 
with bars across; did you ever see a pair of shoes where 
the bars did not go that way? No. 

The reason you gave before as to why you did not 
mention the matter to the police was because you were 
busy? I never said so. 

If the police had not come to you, you would never 
have mentioned it? Very likely not. 

Re-examined by Mr. DICKENS I had no reason to 
follow the footsteps to Providence House; I had no 
doubt in my mind that they started from Gardiner's 
house, 

HERBERT STAMMERS, examined by the Hon. JOHN DE 
GREY I live in Peasenhall, and my house looks on to 
the yard where Gardiner lives. I remember Sunday 
morning, the 1st of June. I saw Gardiner that morning 
about 7.30. I saw him go towards his wash-house. 
There was a very large fire in the wash-house. I noticed 
before he got there that he was on his way towards the 
wash-house. I thought it was a very large fire, larger 
than I had seen there before. I had seen fires there 
before, but not so early as that on the Sunday morning. 
I had never seen a fire there before half-past eight or 
eight o'clock bn other occasions. 

Cross-examined by Mr. WILD I did not give evidence 
before the Coroner or before the magistrates. 

When did you first give evidence ? I first gave evi- 
dence at the last trial in November. 

Why did you not give evidence at the preliminary 

124 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Herbert Stammer* 

inquiries? When they came to me, I told them what I 
knew. 

When did they come to you? I did not take notice 
of it, but it was not a very long while before the last 



How long before the last Assizes? I cannot say. 
Police Constable Nunn called upon me and he can tell 
you. 

Will you swear it was more than a week? I cannot 
swear to that. 

Did you at the last Assizes, when you first gave your 
evidence, simply say: " I noticed there was a fire 
inside "? Yes, I did. 

It was not until the learned judge asked the question : 
" Was there a great fire? " that you said you thought it 
was an excellent blaze? No, the judge did not. He 
said: " What sort of a fire? " After I gave my evi- 
dence, he said: " You mean a large fire? " and I said 
" Yes." 

I put it to you that you never suggested it was a 
great fire until the words were put into your mouth by 
the judge? After he asked what sort of a fire I told 
him. I told Police Constable Nunn it was a large fire. 

It was nothing uncommon for Gardiner to light wash- 
house fires, on Sundays? I have seen him at chance 
times do it. 

You did not stop tp watch? It is in front of my 
door; I cannot help seeing it. 

They boil the kettle there for breakfast? I have lived 
there for twelve months, and it is not a usual practice 
for fires to be lit there on Sunday morning. 

Re-examined by the Hon. JOHN JOE GREY The fire 
was lit before Gardiner came out of the house. There 
was a great body of fire. The fire was alight before I 
saw Gardiner in the yard, because I saw smoke issuing 
from the chimney when I was in my bedroom. 



William Gardiner, 

John Samuel Rickarda 

JOHN SAMUEL RICKABDS, examined by Mr. DICKENS 
I live at Peasenhall, and am secretary to Messrs. Smyth 
& Sons, of Peasenhall. William Gardiner was in the 
employ of that firm, and was foreman over the carpenters 
and over the rough timber department. Wright was 
employed in the wheelwrights' shops, and Skinner was 
among the blacksmiths in the fitters' shops. I know 
Gardiner's handwriting. These letters (produced) are in 
the accused's handwriting. 

Mr. DICKENS These are marked " H " and " I," my 
lord. 

Mr. JTJSTICE LAWEANCE Are these letters from the 
Paris Exhibition P 

Mr. DICKENS Yes; they are purely for comparison. 

Examination continued, The buff envelope produced is 
similar to what is used at the works, and the blue one 
is also similar. The buff envelopes are kept in open 
pigeon-holes in my office, Gardiner would be in and 
out of that office at different times. The blue ones are 
kept some in the pigeon-holes and some in packets in 
small cardboard boxes. Gardiner could pick them up if 
he wished to do so. Wright was what I may term 
especially reprimanded about 25th June in connection 
with some defect in a wheel or a drill that I had under 
my care at the Colchester Show. Strictly the man over 
him was the man in fault, a man named Mayhew. He 
should have done the work that Wright was reprimanded 
for. On the Monday morning after the Saturday on which 
Rose Harsent was killed, Gardiner came to the works 
as usual. He stayed until the police came, and they 
remained with him in his office until one or two 'o'clock. 
I went to dinner between one and two o'clock, and when 
I came back I found he had left tie works. He did not 
come again the same day, nor afterwards. 

Cross-examined by Mr. WILD Gardiner was Wright's 
foreman, was he not? Tes. 
126 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

John Samuel Rickarda 

I suppose every reprimand is n'ot entered? We do not 
enter them at all that I am aware of. 

Did the matter specially come Tinder your notice? 
Tes; an ordinary reprimand would not come under my 
notice at all. Gardiner, in addition to being foreman 
over the wheelwrights, was also expected to speak of 
anything he saw amiss outside. 

How long had he been connected with the firm? 
About twelve years. He began as an 'ordinary workman 
in the shop, and has worked his- way up to foreman and 
outside man. He has been foreman about four years. 

As far as you can judge, was he a steady, respectable 
man? Yes. 

A rather strict man in habits, and so on? Tes. 

With regard to these envelopes, you do n'ot suggest 
there is anything out of the common about them? I do 
not know there is anything out of the common. 

How much do you give a thousand ? I have not looked 
up the price, but I think about 3s. a thousand. 

Did not Captain Levett-Scrivener (foreman of the 
Coroner's jury and also a committing magistrate) make 
a remark that he used the same kind of envelopes in 
his office? Yes. 

There would be a number of people coming through 
the office in the daytime? Of course, workmen might 
occasionally come into the office, but it is not usual. 

Anybody who happened to come in could pick up an 
envelope? They could do such a thing. 

You keep no record of the number of envelopes ? ISTo, 
it is out of the question. 

All you say is, Gardiner might have picked up one 
or he might not? Well, I think if he wanted one, he 
knew where to get one. 

WILLIAM EABSEOT, examined by Mr. DICKENS 
I am the father of Ro.se Harsent and am employed at 
Peasenhall Drill Works as a carter. I remember the 

127 



William Gardiner. 

William Haraent 

day of my daughter's death. I was in the habit of going 
to see her every Sunday morning to take her new clothes 
and clean linen. On this particular Sunday morning 
I went to Providence House at eight o'clock. I went by 
the back way and found the door open that leads into 
the kitchen. I went in and saw my daughter lying 
with her head near the bottom of the stairs leading to 
the bedroom. She was in her nightdress and stockings, 
and the nightdress was burned on each side. I covered 
her up with a rug. Her throat had been cut. Mr. James 
Crisp came to the side dobr. I moved the top of the 
lamp the iron part that was lying by Her side; but 
I moved nothing else in the room, I only just moved 
that on one side. 

Cross-examined by Mr. WILD That was about eight 
o'clock? Yes. 

Who is Mr. James Crisp? A shoemaker, brother of 
the other Mr. Crisp. 

What was he doing there? I suppose he came the 
same as other people. 

Did you say there was a pool of blood surrounding 
your daughter's head? I did not say so. 

[Mr. Wild here read from witness's evidence before 
the Coroner on the 3rd June the words, " A pool of 
blood surrounded her head."] 

WITNESS I did not say that at the last trial. 

Cross-examination continued Is it true that a pool 
of blo'od surrounded her head? I do not remember. 
There was a pool of blood close by. 

Was the blood all about the place? No. 

Did you say before the magistrates that the floor was 
covered with blood, and that blood was on her left side? 
Tea. 

Was she lying with her right side against the scullery 
wall, and was there blood on her left side? Yes. 

Did you feel her arm? Tea. 
128 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Constable Nunn 

Constable ELI NUNJST, examined by the Hon. JOHN DE 
G&EY I am a police constable, stationed at Peasenhall. 
On Sunday, 1st June, I went to Providence House at 
twenty minutes to nine in the morning. When I went 
into the kitchen I saw the body of Rose Harsent, who 
was quite dead. She was lying on her back, with hex 
feet towards me as I went in. Her head was close up 
to the stairs that lead up to her bedroom ; and the stairs 
door was open. I noticed a broken bracket the bracket 
supporting the shelf that runs over the door. It looked 
as if the door had been thrust back forcibly, and had hit 
the bracket. In regard to clothing, the body had only 
part of a nightdress on the remainder had been burned 
away. Deceased was lying quite flat on her back with 
her feet towards the door. The nightdress was all 
burned, barring the part round her throat and chest. 

Was any part o.f her body burned? Chiefly on her 
right side and arm in the middle of the body. 

Was this on both sides? Chiefly on the right side. 

Was there some burning on the other? Tes. 

I think the hair had not been burned at all? I do 
not think so. 

Was her hair up or down? Loosely done up. 

Did you see any traces of burning elsewhere than on 
the body? The tablecloth the edge of it nearest her 
shoulder was burned. I noticed that a copy of the 
East Anglian Daily Times, dated Friday, 30th May, 
1902, was under her head. Some of the paper was 
charred, but I read the date on an unburned portion 
(produced). 

You said this paper was under her head? Yes, at 
the back of her neck and shoulders. Her throat was- cut 
nearly from ear to ear, and there was a large quantity 
of blood about. It had evidently spurted out on the 
left side. 

Was there in any part of the bedroom any trace of a 
bloody foot, or any trampling of blood ? None whatever, 
i 129 



William Gardiner. 

Constable Nunn 

Did you notice a trace of paraffin? Yes. 

Could you smell it? I could smell a good deal of 
paraffin I saw a candlestick, but the candle was burned 
out. This was on the left side of the head, about a 
foot away. I noticed a lamp on the floor. (These were 
produced.) The globe was broken. 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWR.ANCE How near were they to 
the body? A very few inches off. 

Examination continued The stand was next to the 
candlestick, then the globe upside down, and broken, 
and then the well, which was half-full of oil, and with 
the wick in it. Then came the chimney. On the edge 
of the table I found some charred portions of dress ; this 
was where the table-cover was burned. 

By Mr. DICKENS Did you find any pieces of broken 
bottle? Yes. 

Where did you find them? About a foot from the 
girl's head, on her left-hand side. 

They are pieces of a medicine bottle, are not they? 
Yes, 

Did you find the top of the b'ottle where the cork was 
in? Yes. 

It was rather tightly in, was not it? Yes. 

Mr, DICKENS I understand, my lord, Mr. Stevenson 
took it out afterwards, and it was more tightly in than 
we see it now. 

(To witness) Where was that lying? Two or three 
feet farther away, against the fireplace. 

Did you find a label on it? There was a label, but 
the doctor tbok it and kept it for safety. 

Is this the label (produced) ? Yes. 

[This was read by the Clerk of Arraigns as follows: 
" Two or three teaspoonfuls, a sixth part to be taken 
every four hours Mrs. Gardiner's children."] 

Examination continued Did you find any instrument 
which could have caused the injuries you found on the 
girl? No. 
130 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Constable Nunn 

Did you notice anything on the window looking out of 
the vinery? I found a woollen shawl (produced) 
fastened against the window by a fork. I went upstairs 
into the girl's bedroom, and found the letter " A " and 
envelope " B " there on the lid of a box by the side of 
her bed. The letter was in the envelope. I also found 
letters " C " and " D "those to the girl about the 
episode in May. I also found a large number of letters 
from relatives, and so forth, and a bundle marked 
" U V W X T Z "the indecent missives. I arrested 
accuse J on Tuesday evening, the 3rd June, at half- 
past eight at his house. I read the warrant to him, and 
cautioned him. He said: " I am not guilty." I took 
some clothes at that time. 

That was the first time the police had visited the 
house? No, we had 

I mean the first time after the man had been charged? 
Yes. 

What clothes did you get? A coat, an undervest, a 
dirty shirt, and trousers. 

In the tr'ousers he was wearing was there a w&ite, 
two-bladed knife? Tes. 

Of course, all these things went afterwards to Dr. 
Stevenson ? Tes. 

Did you go to the house again on Wednesday, the 
4th? Tes. 

What did you get then? I got a pair of boots and 
a pair of carpet slippers. 

On the 6th did you take a statement from James 
Morriss? Tes. 

Before you went to see James Morriss, had you seen 
the brother of Redgrave, the gamekeeper? Tes. 

In consequence of what he told you, did you go to 
Morriss? Tea. 

Before you received any statement from Morriss, did 
you know accused had india-rubber shoes? No. 

131 



William Gardiner, 

Constable Nunn 

In consequence of his statement did you go to the 
house again? I did. 

Were you given something? I was given a pair of 
india-rubber-soled shoes, a black coat and vest. 

Therefore, all you received in three visits were two 
coats, two vests, a pair of trousers, one undershirt, and 
one shirt, a pair of boots, carpet slippers, and the india- 
rubber shoes? Tea. 

What did you ask for when you went first? I asked 
for his clothing, and went afterwards because I thought 
he had some more* 

On 6th June was a light placed in the window of 
Rose Harsent's room? Yes. 

Did you go to the accused's house to see if you could 
see it? I did. 

If you stood in the doorway could you see the light? 
No, I had to go about 2 yards straight out, or to the 
right or left. I remember going on 28th July with Wright, 
Skinner, and Burgess to the Doctor's Chapel. I stood 
where Wright and Skinner told me they stood, and the 
others went inside. 

Cross-examined by Mr. WILD What was said in the 
chapel? Wright and Skinner went inside, and I told 
Skinner to take the part of the woman and Wright of 
the accused. 

You told them what to say? I told them to talk on 
the subject of what they had heard. 

They succeeded in making you hear? Certainly they 
did; so could anybody else. 

Please answer me properly ; don't answer me in that way. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWJLA^CE (to counsel) I do not think 
you ought to complain of him, Mr. Wild. You draw 
an answer of that kind. You ask him did he succeed, 
and it is a matter of observation afterwards. I am sure 
you will allow me to say this. It will make any witness 
turn roimd. 
132 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Constable Nairn 

Mr. WILD I did not mean to do anything of the kind, 
my lord. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWBAJSTCE I am quite sure you did not, 
but you put it offensively to him, and then blow him up 
if he makes an observation. It is not fair to any witness. 

Cross-ea&amination continued Did a pool of blood sur- 
round the dead girPs head? Tea. 

Had her bed been slept inp No. 

The body would be lying alongside the scullery wallP 
Tes; about 18 in. from that. 

The head against the staircase? Tes. 

There is no exit by way of the scullery? Not out- 
side, no.. 

The person who committed the murder would have 
to go out by the kitchen door? Tes. 

Was there any charring observable upon the scullery 
wall or the wainscot? I did not see any. 

The principal part of the burning was on the side 
which was next to the scullery wall? Tes. 

Was some of the burning upon the small of the girl's 
back? I cannot say. 

The blood was principally on the left the side on 
which the man must have gone out? No, on the opposite 
side. 

Had the blood spurted out 2 ft. from her feet? Tes, 
there was a slight spurt out towards the door. 

How near was the blood to the door? It would reach 
some way. 

Was the newspaper burned up? Nearly. 

The head and shoulders were lying on that? Tes. 

Was her hair singed? No, I did not see any singeing. 

When you gave evidence before the magistrates I sug- 
gest the shoes were lying on the table, so that they 
were visible to Morriss? I do not know whether they 
were or not. 

I suggest that all you were prepared to aay before the 
magistrates was : " There was not, I think, any signs 

133 



William Gardiner. 

Constable Nunn 

of the blood haying been stamped about "? I say there 
were no signs. 

As a matter of fact, was any search made for foot- 
prints? Yes; I searched around most minutely. 

Then why did you say: "I think"? It might have 
been the way the question was put to me. 

Was not the first theory that this was a suicide ? It was. 

Did you see blood on the two bottom steps of the 
stairs? I did. 

Did you see splashes of blood on the staircase doorP 
Yes. 

How far did the blood go up the staircase? A few 
steps. 

You afterwards searched the girPs bos? Yes. 

And you found some letters? Yes. 

At counsel's request the Clerk of Arraigns then read 
the following letters, which witness stated he found 
amongst the deceased girl's possessions: 

" Dear Rose, I was very much surprised to hear this 
morning that there is some scandal going the round about 
you and me going into the Doctor's Chapel for immoral 
Purposes so that I shall put it into bther hands at once 
as I haye found out who it was that started it. Bill 
Wright and Skinner say they saw us there but I shall 
summons them for defamation of character unless they 
withdraw what they have said and give me a written 
apology. I shall see Bob to-night and we will come 
and see you together if possible. I shall at the same 
time see y'our father and tell him. Yours, &c., 

" WILLIAM GARDINER/' 

" Dear Rose, I have broke the news, to Mrs. Gardiner 
this morning, she is awfully upset, but she say she 
know it is wrong, for I was at home from -| past 9 o'clock 
so I could not possibly be with you an hour so she wont 
believe anything about it. I have asked Mr. Burgess 
to ask those too Chaps to come to Chapel to-night and 
134 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Constable Nunn 

have it out there however they can stand by such a tale 
I dont know hut I dont think God will forsake me now 
and if we put our trust in Him it will end right but its 
awfully hard work to have to face people when they are 
all suspicious of you but by Gods help whether they 
believe me or not I shall try and live it down and prove 
by my future conduct that its all false, I only wish I 
could take it to court but I dont see a shadow of a chance 
to get the case as I dont think you would be strong 
enough to face a trial. Trusting that God will direct 
us and make the road clear. I remains, yours in trouble, 

" W. GARDINER." 

Mr. WILD I would suggest to your lordship that the 
course adopted last time should be adopted now. The 
jury were then allowed an extra quarter of an hour to 
read the letters themselves. It is very important to the 
jury, but I quite realise that they could not be read in 
open Court. 

Cross-emmvnation continued Have you seen Mrs. 
Gardiner on several occasions? Yes. 

Has she given you information in answer to every 
question you put to her? Tea. 

And produced everything you asked for? Tea. 

The first visit you paid was between ten and eleven on 
Monday, 2nd June? Tes. 

Was she asked what time her husband left home on 
the Saturday? Tes. 

And did she give you an account of her husband's 
movements until they went to bed? Yes, 

The second interview was about one o'clock the same 
day? Yes, about that time. 

Was that whilst Gardiner was in practical custody at 
the office? -Yes. 

He was kept at the office while you went to the wife? 
We left Sergeant Scarf with him while we went to 
Mrs. Gardiner, so that the two should not get together. 

135 



William Gardiner. 

Constable Nunn 

You thought it right to question the wife? We 
thought it right. 

Did you go to the house a third time on the Monday? 
I only went twice on the Monday. 

I suggest that you went with these other police officers, 
and that is what I call the bottle interview? I did not 
go any more on that day. 

Was there any interview at which the bottle was dis- 
cussed? It was discussed. 

Have you a notebook? Yes, I have a notebook, and 
have down what she told me about the bottle. 

You did not take notes of what she said? No. 

Will you show me your notebook? I did not take any 
notes. 

Is there any note? There is no note about the con- 
versation. 

Did you take a note about the bottle? Yes. 

May I see the note about the bottle? I ask your lord- 
ship whether I shall produce the book. 

By Mr. DICKENS There is no reason why you should 
not? I don't trouble. 

[Witness then read from his notes as follows : "I 
offered to give Rose Harsent camphorated oil, but I am 
not sxire whether I gave it to her or not."] 

Cross-examination continued There is no date to this ? 
No. 

First of all the note reads : " Mrs Gardiner states 

I ," and then there is something which I suggest to 

you was the word " gave/' which has been rubbed out? 
I have rubbed nothing out. 

Do you know when this interview took place? It was 
on the 2nd of June. 

On the Monday? Quite so. 

Was Staunton present? Yes. 

Did Staunton say to Mrs. Gardiner: " Can you tell 
me anything about the medicine bottle? "? Yes. 

Did she say: " What medicine bottle? "? Yes. 
136 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Constable Nunn 

Did lie say: "Did you have a sister staying with 
you a .short time back who was ill, and had medicine 
from Dr. Lay?"? Yes. 

Did she say: " Tes "? Yes. 

Did he say what name was bn that bottle? Tes, 
something like it. 

She said Mrs. Cullam? She mentioned the name. 

That was the bottle that the sister had had? Tes. 

Did he say : " Can you get the bottle? " ? Tes. 

Did she go and come back and say : "I cannot find 
the bottle with the label on "? Tes. 

She did find two bottles with labels? I did not see 
them; she said she had got them. 

Did she tell you that Rose Harsent, somewhere about 
the preceding Easter, had had a bad cold? Tes, she 
spoke about it. 

Did she tell you she was a believer in camphorated oil, 
and prescribed it for her? She spoke about camphorated 
oil. She said she offered it to Rose Harsent. 

Did she say she took some from her own bottle and 
put it in a medicine bottle? She said she must have 
put it in. 

I put it to you that what she said was that she had 
her own bottle, and put some of it into another? I do 
not remember, but I will not swear she did not. 

That was for Rose Harsent 's cold? She told me she 
offered it to Rose Harsent. 

Did Superintendent Staunton say: " Did she take it 
away? " and did Mrs. Gardiner reply: " She must have 
done " ? No ; that was not said. She said she could 
not remember whether Rose Harsent took it or not. 

Staunton said to Mrs. Gardiner: " Are you sure she 
took it away? " ? He might have said it. 

Mrs. Gardiner said she must have done? I do not 
remember it. 

Then Staunton turned to you and said : " Put it down 
that Mrs. Gardiner states she gave her some camphorated 

137 



William Gardiner. 

Constable Nutxn 

oil in a medicine bottle which may have been taken 
away " ? If he told me to write anything down, then 
what is in the notebook is what he told me. 

You have nothing down in the notebook except what 
you have- got there? Not relating to this matter. 

I suggest to you that you paid a fourth visit to the 
house on the evening of Tuesday, 3rd June, at 8.30? 
When I arrested the accused. 

Have you any note of that? Yes. 

Did you ask her to get her husband's clothes and 
shirt? Clothing, I said. 

Did she bring the clothing, and say that was what he 
was wearing on the Saturday? Yes (holding up a 
parcel) ; this is what I received. 

Then the question was put if anything had been 
washed? Yes. 

She said: " No "P Yes. 

She said that she washed once a fortnight, and that 
her washing-day would be a week hence? Yes. 

As a matter of fact the shirt and undervest presented 
no sign of having been washed? No. 

Then I think the accused fainted? Yes. 

And subsequently Mrs. Gardiner fainted? That I do 
not know. 

Was not a brandy bottle got from the cupboard? 
Something was got. 

Was it brandy ? I do not know. 

Was it given to Gardiner to restore him? Yes. 

Did you go again on the Wednesday, the 4th June? 
Yea. 

Did you ask her for her husband's boots and shoes? 
Yes. 

Did she give you a pair of boots and the carpet slippers 
that have been produced? Yes. 

And when did she give you the old black coat and 
vest? The same time I had the india-rubber shoes. 

She gave you these? I asked for them. 
138 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Constable Nutm 

She told you he was not accustomed to wear them? 
Yes. 
You had then seen Morriss on the Friday, the 6th? 



And you asked for rubber shoes, and she at once pro- 
duced them? Yes. 

She has always produced what she has been asked for? 
I have always said so. 

Did you go again on Sunday, the 8th June? Yes. 

Did you then ask her for a letter her husband had 
written to her from the gaol? Yes. 

Did she say she did not like to part with the letter? 
She gave it to me, but she had allowed me t'o read it a 
day or two before. 

She did not care about parting with it? Yes. 

Do you know what became of it? No. 

Do you know how long it was in the custody of the 
police authorities? A few days. 

Was it a week? I should not think so. 

Do you know whether it was submitted to anybody for 
examination? You have heard nothing about it? I 
do not think I have. 

In about a week's time you handed her husband's 
letter back? I should not think it was a week. 

Did you, in the girl's box, where you found these 
indecent letters, also find an indecent book? Bo. 

Did you find a pamphlet about ? There is a 

pamphlet there. I do not know what it is. 

[Mr. Wild here put in a pamphlet which he said he 
had forgotten to put in. It was found in the girl's 
box.] 

Cross-examination continued Did you, to put it 
shortly, discover a considerable amount of correspondence 
in the girl's box? All the letters I fo.und are here. 

There was a great number of letters ? Several letters. 

What do you mean by several? Were there a score? 
They are all here. I should think there is. 

13d 



William Gardiner. 

Constable Nunn 

Re-examined by Mr. DICKERS With regard to this 
letter tliat you got from the wife on 8th June, do you. 
know, as a matter of fact, that it was wanted simply 
for the purpose of comparison with the handwriting in 
the first instance? I believe that was what it was for. 

As a matter of fact, it was not used for that purpose, 
and was returned to the wife ? I returned it to her. 

And do you remember that at the last trial the foreman 
of the jury said they would like to have that letter before 
them, and then it was fetched from the residence of 
the accused? Yes. 

Did you ever search the house of the accused at all? 
No. 

You took whatever was given you? Yes. Well, I 
looked in a cupboard or two in the house. 

But you made no search? 

[Mr. Wild objected to the form of the question.] 

Re-eaamznation continued Did you make a search? 
I cannot call that a search. I was simply looking for 
the letters in the cupboard. 

When you asked on the first occasion for the husband's 
clothing, and she brought what he was wearing on the 
Saturday, what did you ask for? I asked for his cloth- 
ing. I thought that would include alL That is what I 
meant. 

You told us what she gave you; how came you after- 
wards to ask for more? I thought she had got more. 

When you asked for more, she gave you the 'other lot 
of clothing? Yes. 

When you made your search and investigation of that 
room, had you any reason to suppose at that time it 
was a suicide? I had my doubts about it from the very 
first. 

As to what? At first I thought it was naturally a 
suicide. I did not think of anything else. Of course, 
after seeing the wounds and finding the letter, it made 
me think of something else. 
140 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Constable Nunn 

So when you saw the wounds I understand you tad 
your d'oubts? Tes. 

And having your doubts in your mind, did you care- 
fully search the room to see if there was any trace of a 
murder? I did; I examined it thoroughly. 

In reference to your conversation with Mrs. Gardiner, 
you say she said: " My husband left home about half- 
past two, returned home at 9.30, had his supper, went 
with me to Mr. and Mrs. Dickenson's, and stayed there 
until 1.30, went to bed, and did not leave home till 
8.30 next morning." Did she say to you what took place 
that night after they had gone to bed? No, I do not 
remember anything. 

Did she say anything about being awake all night? 
I do not remember her saying anything. 

Or getting 1 up to get brandy? No. 

By Mr. WILD You told me that she answered all the 
questions that you asked her. You did not ask her 
what took place in the night? No. 

It was then supposed the murder had been committed 
between twelve o'clock and one o'clock, as the assignation 
was made for twelve o'clock, was it not? Tes. 

Superintendent GEOBGE SIDNEY STAUNTON, examined 
by the Hon. JOHN DE GREY On Monday, 2nd June, I 
went to Smyth's works at Peasenhall and saw Gardiner. 
I showed him the anonymous letter, marked " A," and 
asked him if it was in his handwriting. He said : " It 
is not my writing. I did not write it." He showed me, 
at my request, some of his writing in a book. I showed 
him words in the bo'ok and words in the letter "A," and 
he said : " There is a similarity, but it is not my writ- 
ing." I showed him the letter marked " D," and he did 
not say anything. I pointed out the similarity of two 
words in that letter and the letter " A." I am not 
certain that he said anything. It might have been on 
that occasion he said: " There is a similarity, but it 

Hi 



William Gardiner. 

Superintendent Staunton 

is not my writing." I showed him two envelopes, say- 
ing, " Those are like envelopes you use at the works." 
He said: " I don't use them." I asked him as regarded 
his movements on the Saturday. He said: " At half- 
past two I drove Mr. Rickards to Kelsale. I got home 
about 9.30, had my supper, and stayed at the front door 
because of the storm. We went into Mrs. Dickenson's 
about eleven o'clock. I left Mrs. Dickenson's with my 
wife about half-past one, went to bed, and did not get 
up until half -past eight the next morning." He might 
have said I think he said: " Go out until 8.30." 

Have you ascertained in whose handwriting the in- 
decent letters are ? A young man named Frederick Davis. 

Whose son is he? He is the son of Thomas Davis. 

Where does he live? Next door to Providence House, 
with his father. 

When was the first interview you had with Mrs. 
Gardiner? Directly after I left Gardiner. It would be 
about a quarter-past one on the Monday. 

Who went with you? Nunn and Inspector Berry. 

What was the conversation you had with Mrs. 
Gardiner on the first occasion? The accused was not 
present. 

Please answer the question? I asked Mrs. Gardiner 
first to tell me where her husband was from the time he 
left work on Saturday until after eight o'clock on the 
Sunday morning. I did not take down what she said; 
but the effect of what she told me was to cause me to 
believe 

No, say what was the substance of it? I believe her 
story agreed with the accused's with this exception, that 
accused said: " We went in together," while his wife 
said: "I went in first, and he came shortly after." 

To Mrs. Dickenson's, you mean? Tes. 

When did you next have an interview with Mrs. 
Gardiner? After I heard of a label on a bottle. It was 
probably about four o'clock on that afternoon. 
142 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Superintendent Staunton 

Who was with you then? Did you go to her house 
again? I think Nunn did. 

"What conversation did you have with her on that 
occasion? I asked her to give me a hottle which con- 
tained medicine for her sister, supplied by Dr Lay about 
Easter, a bottle having on the label " Mrs Gardiner's 
sister." She looked, and said she could not find it. 
Then she said : "I offered to give Rose Harsent some 
camphorated oil, and I may have put it in that bottle ; 
I am not sure whether she took it away." 

Cross-examined by Mr. WILD Whatever you have 
questioned she has answered? Tes. 

You used the word "together" when you gave the 
evidence just now as to accused's statement. You said : 
"We went into Mrs. Dickenson's together"? I 
emphasised "we." 

You swear he used the word " together "? (Witness 
hesitated.) 

Are you prepared to pledge your oath that he used the 
word " together "? No. 

Did you say at the first interview you had with Mrs. 
Gardiner: " Of course, you are aware there has been 
a scandal about your husband and this murdered young 
woman," and did she not say: " Yes, sir; but I know 
that it is false "? I do not think she said that. 

Do you deny it? I deny it. 

You took no notes of this interview? No. 

Is not this rather irregular? Probably in some cases, 
yes. But it was not thought to be a murder case then. 
If I had thought it was murder I should have questioned 
Gardiner or the wife. At that moment I believed it 
was suicide. When I saw Mrs. Gardiner the first time, 
I supposed it was suicide, but when I saw her the second 
time my opinion was changing. 

Do you still think it right to question the wife of a man 

143 



William Gardiner. 

Superintendent Staunlon 

whose husband you had, I believe, temporarily, in cus- 
tody? Well, he was sitting in his office at my request. 

With two policemen to look after himP Tes. 

Was he present at this b'ottle interview? I do not 
think he was. 

I suggest to you that when you went to talk about 
the bottle accused was present? I do not remember his 
being present at that interview. 

You knew that Dr. Lay had prescribed for Mrs. 
Gardiner's sister and children? I did not know that 
then. 

Did you put it to her that her sister had a bottle 
from Dr. Lay? Tes, I went to see the sister. 

The question came up as t'o whether Eose Harsent 
had had a bottle from Mrs. Gardiner? Tes. 

Mrs. Gardiner volunteered the information that Rose 
had a bad cold, and she had prescribed camphorated 
oil, and that she should rub her chest? Tes. 

Did she say she had put some camphorated oil from 
her bottle into another? No; she seemed very hazy 
about it. 

Tou seem a little hazy about these matters, donH you? 
Well, it is rather a long time ago. 

The police visits went on, I believe, until the matter 
was put into the hands of Mr. Leighton, and then they 
ceased. One other thing I think you have made a mis- 
take in, and that is with regard to the letter " D "? 
He admitted that " D " was in his handwriting. 

He admitted that " C " and " D "the letters found 
in the girl's box were in his handwriting? Tes. 

" A " and " B "the disputed docximents he 
denied ? Tes. 

Tou asked him to give you some writing of his own ? 
Tes. He showed me a book. 

Then did you ask him about the envelopes? Tes. 

Did he say : " Tes, these are the envelopes used at 
the works, but I don't use them "P Tes. 
144 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Superintendent Staunton 

You first gave your evidence before the magistrates on 
19th June, and you had then not ascertained who wrote 
the filthy letters? No. 

Had you been making inquiries? Yes. 

Did you say: " I have asked the schoolmaster, and 
he could not tell me "f Yes. 

But on the 30th June you had ascertained? Yes. 

Have you made other inquiries about this matter 
inquiries at the Triple Plea public-house? Yes. (To 
Mr. Justice Lawrance) My lord, shall I tell you what 
was alleged? (His lordship did not reply.) 

Cross- exaimnation continued How far is the Triple 
Plea from Peasenhal] ? About 8 miles. 

Have you ascertained that a tramp came there on the 
Sunday morning, having travelled from Peasenhall? I 
do not think he was a tramp. He had some breakfast there. 

Have you found out who he was? No. 

He came to the Triple Plea and asked for some break- 
fast, having walked from Peasenhall? He said ho had. 

Have you also seen an anonymous confession of this 
murder? 1 have seen three. 

Have you seen one sent to the East Anglian Daily 
Times? 

Mr. DICKENS I object. 

Mr. WILD I shall submit this letter. I do not know 
any more about it than my friend, but I shall submit it 
for what it is worth. And I shall submit that it has 
some resemblance to the handwriting in lite disputed 
letter. I shall put it to the experts, and I think it only 
right to give the policeman this opportunity, 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWUANCE You can put all three con- 
fessions in, if you like. 

Mr. WILD I am searching about to find out if there 

is anything in it or not. One of the three " confessions " 

was sent to Police Constable Nnnn, one was "found," 

and the other was sent to the East Any lion Daily Times* 

K 145 



William Gardiner. 

Superintendent Staunton 

Cros$-exammation continued' I am asking about that 
sent to the East Anglian Daily Times. Was that shown 
to you by the people responsible for that journal? Tes. 
I got photographs of them on the 16th January. 

Have you made inquiries into the statements? Yes. 

Do you find there was such a man as the one described 
in the letter? Will you put it a little more plainly? 

Mr. DICKENS It is the letter marked " A " that I 
am talking about the disputed letter from which a man, 
if he chose, might copy. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE (to Mr. Dickens) If you 
wring this confession from me, I quite agree that the 
letter is strictly inadmissible ; but under all the circum- 
stances, I think it might be done. Of course you might 
get a letter out of the gutter, or from anywhere. 

Mr, WILD But if I could establish it by any simi- 
larity? 

Mr. DICKENS If Mr. Denman reads it, will he please 
read the misspellings right through? 

Mr. DENMAN The envelope is addressed, " P.S., 
Editor, East Anglian Daily Times." " P.S." is down 
at the bottom of it, and the postmark is " Burton-on- 
Trent, 6.30 a.m., December 31.'-' 

The Clerk of Arraigns then read the letter, which was 
in the following terms : 

" From My darling Rose Ann Harsent deveoted true 
lover but she has deceived me God only no both with 
Gardiner and Davis God only knows as clavis was the 
farther off her child as my own darling rose told me 
the night before i comitted this horrowble murder but 
i hope she is at rest bless her but i feel i cannot rest 
night nor day as she is haunting me every night and 
every minute but God is the farther of them both now 
and i shall sertingly swing for that davice for deceiv- 
ing me as i no she was not so by me and now i must 
confess as G is not the murder of my darling rose as 
146 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Superintendent Staunton 

i aiu l> al i ani not a supcrer nor a counter jumper, but 
i am a nialster chap, and have a mother to keep but 
sir i in ii s i comfess as i am to sharp for you all you are 
all delerible liers (query, deliberate liars) about G. 
wiring (wearing?) barred glossours tlie}^ was my malt- 
ing slices with barros across, and i must confess that I 
filled both shoes full of stones, so they was all blood 
and ti:cl a trick and but (put?) them in the water, so 
as no l.racjes could you get on them, and i must confess 
that i had them on and went from Peusenhall in my 
old malted shoes Crisp house so as yon would think G. 
had <!one it, but he is as meionont as Mr. Justiro 
GruiiUiiim i am laughing in my sieves to think you 
cannot fined me there is to of us who was thoro and JL 
was watching while I did it my darling Jtrose Gave me 
& for a last token i am sorrow for for poor Dad now as 

for old woman Crisp she is nothing but a nasty 

lier and that is swering to say that she came down staires 
at 12 o'clock. She did not as i was in the house at that 
tiinr and i did rite the letter to my p r )t lamb to tell hor 
to put the light in the window for me us it was not 
the first time i had been there at that time as i can 
go so far as to say i have had my darling iu my arms 
. . . and was on the sofor the night i did the murder but 
i can .SWOT as rose told mo sho had boon imfuithCul to me 
with I), and if a man can stand that tell mo all through 
we wus on the rug to Got hor bofor i killed her and us 
for lhi medesin bottle row Guvo HIO some whiskey in it 
the night before and T took the parufin in it from my own 
home at Hufiock And you must fined out the roflt aa i 
have been had malting to day and i cannot send you 
my name but nhall comiuitte HueHtde before long when 
we come back we shall Put old Crisp and his old woman 
through the mill worse than my rose and as for her 
saying she heard a noise she did not as i filled her mouth 
iull oft' my mufflur as i did in a cool blood, not hot as 
J know she would be deceiving me this season while i 

H7 



William Gardiner. 

Superintendent St&unton 

was away like last, but it was Harsent that said ray 
only love had been unfaithful to me by going with 
Gardiner and now i must confess that no one will act 
imorall with her again as ... before I killed her and 
Gr must thank God they was not sreved (served?) but 
they will do even my troues and shirt was drowned with 
brick end in side them, but shall not say were fined out, 
i have to take lodmun to inset (induce?) sleep as i cannot 
rest without my own darling pet had i not have took all 
my letters out of rose box i should be where G is, and 
had the rope now but go on let G have it, or else D 
he is the corse of this, he is been the ruin of my young 
life, and now i must conclude by saying it will be a 
good job done with, from H.B. the murder of my own 
darling lover i could not think of her having ... by 

that Davis i shall put a bullet straight through 

them as i shall be coming back in six months, now i 
am a murderer." 

Cross- examination continued Did you get a list of 
the names of the men working at the brewery at Burton, 
who came from Peasenhall? Inquiries were made at 
Burton, and it was found that the only maltster with a 
mother to keep was a man named Albert Goodchild, living 
at Badingham. I wrote to the police at Burton, and they 
sent me an envelope, written by him. The writing on 
the envelope did not seem to be like that in the anony- 
mous letter. 

Have you ascertained whether Goodchild was in 
Peasenhall on the night of the murder? 1 have not 
ascertained. He left Wickham Market and got to Fram- 
lingham, and then reached Badingham at seven o'clock. 
He might have got to Peasenhall afterwards. 

Did you realise it was obviously disguised writing? 
HTo, I d'o not think so. 

Don't you see the writing gets to be smaller? It gets 
smaller; it is written by a man who does not write very 

148 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Superintendent Staunton 

much ; there are characteristics all through, showing it is 
not disguised. 

He says in this letter : " I wrote the other letter )} ? 
He makes some small " i's," whilst ia the other letter 
there are capitals. 

Have you noticed on the fifth line he spells Davis in 
the ordinary way, and then 'on the 16th line he spells it 
with a small " d " " davice." Is that a sign of dis- 
guise? That shows he is illiterate. 

Where is Goodchild now? He is at Burton-on-Trent. 

Did you also find out he came home with Harsent, 
the deceased girl's brother? Yes, he came with him as 
far as Wickham Market. Harsent went on to Darsham 
for Peasenhall, 

He is not the boy called, is he? No, he is older. 

Is he a maltster? He is not now. 

Ho was at the time the murder was committed? Yes. 

He came home from Burton on the night of the 
murder, with Goodchild P Yes. 

With regard to the shoes, have you any malting shoes 
here? No, I have a description of them, and they had 
no bars across them. 

You have not troubled to get Goodchild or the malting 
shoes? No. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWBANCE He could not pursue every- 
thing ; he would be very foolish if he did. You are speak- 
ing as if he was wanting in his duty. He would be 
wanting in his duty if he had followed up these sugges- 
tions in this anonymous letter. 

He-examined by Mr. DICKENS Did you find out Good- 
child's movements at the time the letter marked " A " 
was posted? Yes; when the letter " A " was posted he 
was in the train returning from Burton-on-Trent. 

Could Goodchild have posted the letter at Teasenhall? 
No. 

Now another thing I want to ask you, was there such 

140 



William Gardiner. 

Superintendent Slaunton 

a tiling as a sofa in the kitchen or girl's bedroom? I 
never saw one. 

In the letter it says : " I was with her on the sofa on 
the night of the murder/' and he says : " My shoes was 
all blood." Did you see any traces or footprints in 
blood? There were no traces. 

Have yon in fact found that the maltster did not have 
barred shoes? Yes. 

Were they plain, leather-soled shoes? Tes. 

When did you first get this letter? I first got the 
photograph of the letter on 16th January of this year. 
I had been trying to get the anonymous, letter. The 
East Anglian Daily Times said they had not got it. Mr. 
Leighton spoke about it in the passage here. After he 
left I went to the East Anglian Daily Times., au<l they 
said they had it. On the 10th of December I asked Mr. 
Leighton for it, and he said he had consulted Mr. Wild, 
who had advised him to send it to the Treasury. On 
the 14th January he had a handwriting copy, which was 
practically useless except for words. He ultimately re- 
ceived it on the 16th January less than a week ago. 

Up to what time did you trace Goodchild's movements? 
Up to the time he got home on the night of 31st May. 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWBANCE "Where is Badingharn? 
It touches Peasenhall. The village part is 2 or 3 miles 
away from the village part of Peasenhall. It is west of 
Peasenhall. 

Re-examination continued Have you seen a reproduc- 
tion, a facsimile, of the letter marked " A " in one of 
the public papers? Yes. 

Not a mere print, but a reproduction of it? Yes. 

Mr. DICKENS (to his lordsbip) It is a very improper 
thing, my lord. 

Mr. WILD I have had nothing to do with it or my 
clients. 

Mr. DICKENS I do not suggest you had. (To witness) 
I understand you to say there were two 'other anonymous 
150 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Superintendent Staunton 

letters? Yes. One was on the leaf of a pocket-book, 
found in Devonshire by the police, and the other was a 
letter sent from London to Constable Nunn at Peasenhall. 
The witness then produced the letter on the leaf of 
the pocket-book, which was read by the Clerk of Arraigns. 
It ran as follows: 

" Dear wife, Can you see me at Stone Challenger to- 
night. I find the police has got Gardiner, who is said 
to have killed the servant. It was me. Excuse nie for 
breaking secrets of that sort. Please not tell anyone of 
the crime. I am your loving husband. " 

Re-examination continued* The third letter came from 
London ? Yes. 

This also was produced and read by the Clerk of 
Arraigns. The third stated : 

" I cannot keep silent any longer; mj thoughts are 
all 'of that terrible night. When I visited the one 
I love I cursed the day when first I knew the way many 

men would visit Rose Harsenl Oh ? that terrible 

night, I was desperate. Hose so would have screamed. 
What did I do. Wher.e did the knife come from. I was 
sorry afterwards I put Hose's nightdress over her head 
to stop the blo'od. I lifted her up, but she fell. I got 
the lamp to see if she was dead. Down went the lamp, 
but I put the flamo out. I walked out of Providence 
House down the street on the pavement, and then into 
the road. My rubber shoes that Rose admired so is wora 
out, like myself. I cannot rest. 3STo peace, I cannot 
work now, my mind is only of Hose. Oh ... Brother 
Gardiner, I never thought you would be charged with 
the murder of Rose Harsent. Rose said you were her best 
friend. No beastly talk from you. Must I give myself 
up to the law? I cannot. My beard is grown like 
Brother Gardiner's. I must wander on the sea. , . . 
Oh, Rose, I shall see you before God. Good-bye, I can. 

walk to the sea. Good-bye, I canno.t -write/* 

151 



William Gardiner. 

Superintendent Staunlon 

Re-examination continued The envelope had the 
London postmark, and was posted on 18th November, 
1902, at 9.15. 

Dr. JOHN CHARLES KYDER RICHARDSON, examined by 
the Hon. JOHN DE GREY I am a medical practitioner, 
and on 3rd June I made a post-mortem examination of 
the body of the deceased, Dr. Lay also being present. 
I saw the wounds in her throat. There was one extend- 
ing from underneath the angle of the right jaw, right 
across to the left angle, which completely severed the 
windpipe. From under the right angle of the jaw, and 
from under the commencement of this wound was another 
wound running upwards from underneath the chin. Be- 
sides this, above the junction of the angular bono and 
the breast-bone was a punctured upward wound which 
communicated with the big wound across the throat. 
Either of the two incised wounds would have been fatal. 

Look at this knife (accused's). Were the wounds such 
as would have been caused by that knife P Yes. 

"With regard to the punctured wound extending up- 
wards, must that have been caused by some instrument 
having a sharp point and blade P Yes. 

Such as this knife? Yes, 

Could the wounds have been self-inflicted? They 
could not have been. There was a bruise on the right 
cheek, and also a small superficial cut. There were 
numerous semi-circular cuts about her hands, most of 
which were caused by upward blows such as in warding 
off blows. 

Did you notice any marks of burning on the body? 
A considerable amount of charring. 

Where? Chiefly on the right side under both flanks, 
extending as the body lay upwards on to tho abdomen. 

Can you form any opinion as to whether the body was 
burned before or after death? After death, I should 
say. 

152 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Dr Richardson 

What was the cause of death P The cuts in the throat 
and the haemorrhage. 

Cross-examined by Mr. WILD If the wound straight 
across the throat had been caused first, the power of 
screaming would most certainly have been gone. 

Did you see any blo'od on the floor? It had been 
cleaned up when I was there. 

Was the body in a healthy condition? Tes. 

And the girl was strong? I should say so. 

Who was at the post-mortem? Mr. Lay, Mr. Chaston, 
Mr. Staunton 

And the reporter? There was another one, but I had 
my work to loot to ; I looked to Mr. Chaston as being the 
man in charge. 

Dr. CHARLES EDWARD LAY, examined by the Hon. 
JOHN DE GEEY I am a surgeon, practising at Peasen- 
hall. On Sunday morning, 1st June, I went to Provi- 
dence House and made a superficial examination of the 
body of Itose Ann Harsent. The body was almost cold, 
and rigor mortis had practically set in, but not in the 
lower extremities. 

Can you form any opinion as to how long death had 
taken place? Roughly, four hours at least. 

With regard to rigor mortis is it uncertain what time 
it seta iu after death? It is most uncertain. 

How long have you known it to be delayed? I believe 
it has been delayed as much as twelve hours. 

Did you notice a good deal of blood? Yea. 

Whore was that?- Almost on the left-hand side of 
the body. 

Did you see any paraffin? I saw what I believed to 
bo parailin on the chimney of tho lamp and on the broken 
pieces of bottle* 

Did you collect them? I only took ono piece on which 
I saw a label. I took it off. It is that now produced. 

153 



William Gardiner. 

DrLay 

Is part of that label in your writing? Yes. 

What is in your writing? The " two and three tea- 
spoonfuls " and " for Mrs. Gardiner's chdn." 

Did you supply that bottle to accused or his wife? 
Undoubtedly. 

To whom? Mrs. Gardiner. 

When? The latter end of March. 

Cross-examined by Mr. WILD Assuming the direc- 
tions on the bottle were carried out, it would not take 
long to consume the bottle? There are forty-eight tea- 
spoonfuls. 

So it would be finished in two or three days. Did 
you also supply a bottle of medicine to Mrs. Gardiner's 
sister? I did. 

Was the staircase smeared with blood part of the way? 
There were two places on the stairs, I believe. 

Which way do you think the blood went? I could uot 
say. 

Did you say on the 3rd of July before the magistrates, 
that the body was cold when you examined it? I believe 
I said s'o. 

Is that correct? It was cold, but it was not absolutely. 

Speaking as a medical man, you said before the magis- 
trates that the body was cold ? Yes ; I do not deny that. 

Is not it very difficult for you to form a definite judg- 
ment as to how long the dead girl had been dead? STes. 

The most you will say, it could not have been less 
than four hours? Yes. 

But it might have been more? Yes. 

Might it have been seven or eight hours? It might 
have been. 

You say rigor mortis, which is the rigidity of death, 
was not complete? It was complete. 

Can you not form any opinion as to how long the rigor 
mortis had commenced? I could not form a definite 
opinion. 

154 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Drtay 

It would be some considerable time? In all prob- 
ability it had been some time. 

It could have been two hours? Yes; it could not 
have been less. 

Does not it usually commence five or six hours after 
death? There have been cases where it has commenced 
immediately after. 

I quite agree there have been exceptional cases on the 
battlefield, but is the normal time from five to sis hours ? 
I do not think there is a normal time where there is 
such a variation. 

It is impossible for you to say whether the girl had been 
dead four or eight hours ? It is impossible to say positively. 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWBANCE Can you tell at all 
whether the deceased girl received her wounds while 
standing? Was there anything on the throat to show? 
There was nothing to show whether it was done in 
a standing position. 

Mr. DICKERS T am told that Dr. llichardson will 
give his view about that. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWKANCE It is a suggestion from one 
of the jurors. 

Dr. RiCHAitixsoN- (recalled), examined by Mr. DJCKKNS 
The wound right across the throat must have been 
done when she was lying down. The stab or oblique 
wound might have been done when she was standing up. 

By Mr. WITJ) Which wound Bpurtod, do you think, 
up the stairs? There would be a considerable amount of 
haemorrhage from both these wounds, and, of course, you 
would get most haemorrhage from the biggest wound. 

By Mr. DICKENS The-ro must have been a good deal 
of force used in regard to the oblique wound? There 
must have been force, and that would probably have 
caused her to reel backwards. 

The other wound, you think, was caused when she 
was lying down? Yes. 

155 



William Gardiner. 

Dr Richardson 

Can you say lie was facing the woman? I should say 
he was on the right-hand side. 

Dr. STEVENSON, D.M., F.R.C.S., Senior Official 
Analyst at the Home Office, examined by the Hon. JOHN 
DE GEEY On 9th June I received from Superintendent 
Staunton a number of articles which I examined and 
analysed. There was a grey coat, a grey waistcoat, a 
pair of cloth trousers, a cotton shirt, undervest, a pair 
of canvas shoes, a table knife, a purse with a sovereign 
in it, a double-bladed clasp knife, a mackintosh, blue 
coat and waistcoat, carpet slippers, boots, and broken 
glass bottle in paper. On the grey coat, grey waistcoat, 
and pair of cloth trousers, I did not discover any stain 
of blood or paraffin. The same applies to the cotton 
shirt. It was, however, stained in other ways (describ- 
ing). There was no blood on the undervest. On all the 
other articles there was no stain of blood or paraffin, with 
the exception of the knife, which I noticed had been 
recently scraped inside, and that the two blades had 
been recently polished. It was a little oily, and had 
evidently been freshly cleaned and sharpened. It had 
been scraped inside the haft. On examining the interior 
of the handle and between the metal and bone of the 
handle I found a minute quantity of mammalian blood. 
I should say the blood inside had not been more than a 
month there. With regard to another portion, I could 
not say what age that was, probably not a very long time 
either. I found the bottle in many pieces quite crushed, 
but the neck of the bottle was not broken when I had it. 
The cork was very low indeed three-sixteenths of an 
inch out of the neck. I c'ould not get the cork out with 
my fingers. With regard to the pieces of bottle, they 
were stained with blood and paraffin, the blood being 
like human blood. The bottle had contained paraffin, 
and some blood had flowed on to it. The broken edges 
were clean, and probably had been fractured by heat, 
156 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Dr Stevenson 

and some of the jagged fragments had from the mode in 
which they split. The whole bottle might have been 
shattered by heat. I also saw bits of a half -burned 
wooden match, and a very small piece of wo'ollen cloth. 
That was also stained with blood and paraffin. The cloth 
did not agree in colour or texture with the clothes, and 
I carefully searched the latter, and found no piece absent 
such as that piece. 

Cross-examined by Mr. WILD What is the normal 
period before rigor mortis commences? I should put 
it on an average in this climate about five hours. 

Is ther-e any normal period in which the body would 
cool? It varies a great deal according to the exposure 
of the body, whether clothed or unclothed, on a stone 
floor, or exposed to wind. It is very variable. 

Yery difficult to tell? I think you put the normal 
period, in your book, at eight to twelve hours? Quite 
that in summer. 

It would take longer in summer than winter? Yes. 

It would take longer in the case of a well-nourished 
body? I do not think it would make much difference. 

Do. you think pregnancy makes any difference? I do 
not know. I rarely have the opportunity of observing. 

With regard to this blood, mammalian blood can be 
the blood of a human being or the blood of a rat? Tea. 

It is difficult with a small portion of blood such as 
you take to judge of its age, within a week or two? It 
is difficult. 

It would become quite conjectural? I would not put 
it outside a month. 

You would not stake yo.ur professional reputation that 
it was not six weeks? Oh, no. 

With regard to this little piece of cloth (produced), 
I think you said it had the appearance of having been 
torn or hooked off? Yes, as if it had caught on a nail. 

And you looked very carefully amongst accused's 

157 



William Gardiner. 

Dr Stevenson 

clothes, and found nothing to correspond with it? There 
was nothing. 

Where did you find that little piece of stuff? It had 
dropped out of the paper containing the glass, which 
was in a small box. I did not find it during mj first 
examination, but a day or two after, when it turned out 
amongst the debris of the bottle. 

FREDERICK JAMES DAVIS, examined by Mr. DICKENS 
I am at present out of employment, and have returned 
to Peasenhall. My father's house, where I was living 
when Eose Harsent was killed, was next door to Provi- 
dence House. I wrote the letters (produced), and gave 
them to Eose Harsent by hand. She asked me to give 
them to her. I was assistant to a grocer and draper, 
and used to call at Mr. Crisp's house two or three tiniow 
a week for orders. When I called for orders, I gave 
her these letters. 

I hope you are heartily ashamed of them? I am. 

Did you ever have any immoral intercourse with her? No. 

Did you ever walk out with her? Never. 

On the night she was killed, did you sleep in the same 
room with your brothers? Yes, 

And you had to pass through your father's room to 
get to your own bedroom? Yes. 

Cross-examined by Mr. WILD When did the police- 
man first come to you about this case? A day or two 
after, I expect it might have been a week or a month 
after the murder. 

You did not give evidence until last Assizes? No. 

In the meantime you had left Peasenhall and gone to 
St. Paul's Churchyard. And now you have left there 
and returned to Peasenhall? Yes. 

When did you leave Peasenhall P On 6th September. 

Your house and that in which Eose Harsent was adjoin 
each other, and are built under one roof? Yes. 
158 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Frederick Davit 

You used to use the back entrance? No; only on 
Sunday, or when I called on business 

When you went there on business you delivered the 
filth to the girl? Yes. 

Have you got india-rubber shoes? Yes. 

Wiie^u did you buy them? When I was in London, 
during November last. I have not worn them yet. 

I suggest that you always did wear them? No, I 
never did. I used to wear cycling shoes. 

Tour ieet were bad, were they not? Yes. 

To get out of your bedroom you had to get through 
youi father's room. Who sleeps there? Father and 
mother. 

Who sleeps in your room? My brother. 

What time did you go to bed on the 31st May? 
About half-past ten. I had been at work until nearly ten. 

Is there a window in your room? Yes. 

How long had you known Kose Harsent before the 
murder? A year or two, I expect. It might be two 
or three 

How long had you known her before you commenced 
to write to her in this way? I could not say exactly. 

Was the first thing you wrote to her the letter be- 
ginning " My innermost yearnings have made me write," 
&c. ? I could not say. 

How did you c'ome to write to her first? Well, she 
asked me to. 

Aflked you to? Yes, asked me to. 

Asked you to write oat these indecent poems? How 
did she know of them? I do not know. 

I want to know h'ow this filth came to be mentioned 
between you two people? She asked me. 

Did she ask you to write that letter commencing " My 
innermost yearnings "? I wrote that in a sort of flirt- 
ing spirit. 

Do you tell these gentlemen that is a flirting spirit? 

Yes, mere sport. 

159 



William Gardiner. 

Frederick Davis 

Is that your idea of sport? Tes. 

I think you told me last time that these letters were 
written in September, 1901? About that time. 

I suggest to you that this letter was the first of the 
things you wrote to her? I could not swear to that. 

When did you write her the last of these things? I 
do not know. 

How long before her death? Some time in September, 
1901. It might have been before, but it was not after. 

Do you tell us you wrote all those verses? Tes. 

Do you know these* verses get more and more filthy 
as they go on? Yes. 

Do you realise that they are as filthy as anything that 
can be produced? I do, and I am heartily ashamed of 
them. She asked me for them. 

Do you mean that having no familiarity with the girl, 
she asked you for them? She did. 

Were not you shocked when she asked you? No. 

Were not you shocked that girls should want such 
filth? There are worse girls at the present day. 

Is that your parody bf the Scripture . . .? That is 
what I wrote, I am sorry to say. 

Are you the author of that ? I am. I wrote that after 
I wrote the poems, and she rejected it. 

Did you write: ** Read Proverbs chap. , v. "P 
Yes. 

Who made that up? It was nbt made up at all it 
was there. 

Then did you give her a medical book? I lent her the 
book; she asked me for it. 

When was that? I do not know. 

Will you swear it was not in December? I won't; 
I will swear it was not later. There were some useful 
recipes in it. 

What do you mean? It told how to cure chilblained 
feet and sweaty feet. She knew another fellow had it. 

Did you ever walk out with this girl? Never. 
160 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Frederick Davit 

Did you walk home with her from the watchnight 
service at Sibton Chapel? No. 

Who were the lads you copied out these verses from? 
All the lads in Peasenhall knew them. 

What? Do all lads in Peasenhall talk about these 
things? I suppose so, like in other villages. 

Have you talked so to Wright and Skinner? I do not 
think so. 

Do you tell us, having written these verses and letters 
to the girl, and giving her that book, that you are not 
the father of that unborn child? I swear I am no more 
the father of that child than you are. 

Mr. DICKENS Davis* s father is here, my lord, if he 
is required; but I presume, my friend, Mr. Wild, takes 
the same line as before, and does not suggest Davis had 
any part in the murder. 

Mr. WILD I know nothing about it. 

Mr. DICKENS You said in terms that you did not 
impute that in the slightest degree. 

Mr. WILD I should not be so wicked as to make any 
such suggestion. 

MOSES DTJMMER, examined by Mr. DICKENS I was 
formerly warder at Ipswich Gaol, and am now at 
Beading Gaol. I produce letter written by the accused 
from the gaol to his wife, which reads as follows : 

(< My dear Georgie, I am trying to write you a line, 
but God only knows how hard work it is, as I never 
thought it would be my lot to write from a place like 
this, as this is the last place I should have thought of 
ever coming to. It seems so mysterious, after trying 
to serve God all these years, that I should now be 
charged with this crime. But I will still try to trust 
God as long as He gives me breath, I could bear being 
here myself far a time if it was not for you and the 
dear little lambs at home. When I think of people 
looking upon you and them as a murderer's wife and 
L 161 



William Gardiner. 

Moses Dummer 

children my heart fails me. Try not to lose heart, and 
keep on pleading with God, and the answer shall come. 

" Dear Georgie, I hope you will not go to any expense 
about me as I know you have not got enough to do it 
with. Mr. Smyth cannot forsake me now as I have 
been a faithful servant to him all these years. I trust 
they will find out how it was done, for to be like this 
is something awful, and I don't know anything now, if 
they have any further suspicion of any one. Kiss all 
the dear little lambs for me. Comfort them with the 
hope that I shall shortly be with them again, and don't 
neglect to pray, for my sake, for your sake, and the 
children's sake. Tour loving husband, 

" WILLIAM GABBINER." 

THOMAS HENUY Q-URBIN, examined by Mr. DICKENS 
I am an expert in handwriting, and carry on business at 
58 Holborn Yiaduct, London. I Lave been in active 
pursuit of the business for some seventeen years, and 
have dealt with many hundreds of cases. In the present 
case I have had a number of documents placed before 
me, amongst others the letter marked " A " (making 
the midnight appointment), with its envelope marked 
" B," which I have compared with the admitted letters 
marked " H " and " I," written by accused from Paris. 
I have extracted several words and letters from " A " 
and " B," and against them have placed similar words 
and letters taken from the admitted " H " and " I "; 
the result of my work has been photographed, and a 
number of copies have been handed to the jury for 
examination. 

Have you made any selection of the words? I have 
taken them consecutively. 

Whether there are similarities or not? Yes; I 
have placed both, like and unlike. 

Mr. WILD Does your lordship think this is a con- 
venient way of giving evidence? 
162 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Thoma* Gurrin 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE What way do you propose? 

Mr. WILD I think the documents themselves should 
be used for all purposes of comparison, and not a photo- 
graph prepared by Mr. Gurrin. 

Mr. DICKENS It would take six times as long. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWKANCE Of course the photographs 
have been properly made. 

Mr. DICKENS At any time when any question arises 
about any word, we have not only got photographs of 
the originals, but the 'original letters themselves, so that 
we can always refer to any particular thing. 

Examination continued I cannot say that the letter 
" A " is in disguised handwriting, but I should say it 
is very carefully written. 

In what way do you say it is carefully written? It is 
written neatly and vertically, and the spacing is fairly 
uniform. The envelope, in the first place, appears to me 
to be undoubtedly in the same handwriting as the letter, 
but I should say the envelope is somewhat disguised. 

Do you think that letter c'ould have been written by 
an illiterate person? No, not absolutely illiterate, cer- 
tainly. In the letters marked " H " and " I " the 
writing is not so vertical. Portions of them are written 
vertically, but as a rule they are written on the slope. 
They are letters which do not show any great care in 
writing. They look as though they were written in 
the ordinary course of business perhaps under some 
difficulties. 

Do you think they are written with a different kind 
of pen? Yes, a fine pen. The document " A " seems 
to be written with a broader nib, and apparently with 
a better kind of ink. 

Do you notice a peculiarity iu " A 9) that the writer 
in that uses capitals in the middle of a sentence for 
instance, " place " with a capital " P," " put " with a 
capital "P," and " room " with a capital "R"? 
Yes. 

163 



William Gardiner. 

Thomas Gurrin 

Do you find that same peculiarity in letters " H " 
and " I "? Yes, capital " P's " especially. 

I want to direct your attention to the word " put/' 
which appears once in the incriminating letter. Tell 
us your views with regard to the capital cc P " ? The six 
" P's " I find in the letters marked " H " and " I " 
appear to me to be made on the same principle the same 
style of " P " in the incriminating letter, although some 
of them are much more carelessly made, and much larger. 

Take, for instance, one concrete instance: take the 
first capital " P " in " Peace of Peace." What do 
you say to that? It strongly resembles the " P " in 
" Put " in the incriminating letter. 

You have taken a good many capital " I's." In the 
incriminating letter you have taken two capital " I's," 
and taken a good many in the admitted handwriting? 
Fourteen, I think. 

In regard to the letters " I," although the " I's " in 
the letter ft A " are short, they ate made in two pieces? 
Each of the fourteen " Fa " I find in " H " and 
" I " are made in the same way as in the letter " A/' 
In the word " you " I find the " ou " in the different 
letters correspond, but there is not much resemblance in 
the letter " y." (The witness went on to indicate strong 
resemblance in numerous other words he had selected 
from the different letters.) 

Let us deal carefully with the word " take." Tell us 
with regard to that. You have taken " make/' " takes/' 
and " like " : why have you taken those three different 
words? Because they show instances of the letter " k/' 
The letter " k " is peculiar in its formation. There is 
the up and down stroke, and there the pen is raised. 
There is a distinct space before the second portion is 
made. 

Do you find that peculiarity in all specimens? Yes, 

[Photographs of the letters of accused were handed 
to the jury.] 

164 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Thomas Gurrin 

Examination continued The capital " P's " in the 
proved letter of accused are similar to the " P's " in 
the disputed letter, but are not exactly alike. There is 
a very strong resemblance between the whole word 
*' Saxmundham " written on the envelope ** B " and 
the same word in the letter by accused written from 
gaol. 

In regard to these disputed documents, what is your 
opinion as to whether they are written by the same 
hand? Am I bound to express my opinion? 

Certainly? 

Mr. DICKENS (addressing his lordship) I think it was 
Lord Russell, or some learned judge, who said the expert 
was here to point out similarities, and not give opinions. 
I asked Mr. Justice Grantham on the last occasion, and 
he said he thought an opinion ought to be given. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWEANCE He may, subject to such re- 
marks as I shall make upon evidence of this kind. I 
shall explain to the jury after for their assistance. 

WITNESS To the best of my belief these documents 
that I have been comparing were all written by the same 
hand. 

Examination continued I must ask you a question or 
two with regard to this anonymous letter which has been 
put in; I think it has been put before you? Tea. 

Have you carefully looked it through: it is a four- 
page letter? Tes, I have examined it carefully. 

Does it resemble the writing in letter "A" or not? 
Certainly not. 

In your judgment, do you think it was written by an 
illiterate person? Very, very illiterate. 

Do you think, from a careful examination, that that 
bad spelling is merely the result of ignorance or the 
assumption of it? I think it is unavoidable ignorance, 

Do you find, except in that one word supposed to be 
" laudanum " and in the word " murder," any exist- 
ence of capital letters in the middle of a sentence? 

166 



William Gardiner. 

Thomas Gurrin 

The word " gay " occurs twice, I think, in the letter, 
and the " g " there might certainly be taken for a 
capital " G." With these exceptions there is rather an 
absence of improper use of capitals in this letter. The 
personal pronoun, instead of being written by the capital, 
as it always is in letter " A," is written with a small 

.j 99 

Does that occur right through? Right through in- 
variably. In letter " A " the phrase " put a light in 
your window " occurred; but in the new anonymous 
letter " put " was spelt " but." There were- no capital 
" P's " in the letter of confession, and the peculiarity 
in regard to the " k's " in letter " A "in whiVh bits 
of the " k's " did not join on to the upstroke did not 
appear. The " k's " were different all the way through. 

Cross-examined by Mr. WILD I want to ask you as 
to this anonymous letter, compared with ** A " and 
" B." I want the jury to take the original letter " A " 
and the envelope " B," and also what I will call the con- 
fessional letter. I suggest to you in the first place that 
this letter is in a carefully disguised handwriting? I 
do not think so. I do not think there is any indication 
of disguise. 

I suggest to you that this person was purp'osely trying 
to appear illiterate? I do not think so. 

May I give you an illustration? You see in line 1, 
" From my darling Rose " there is a capital "II." 
Then further on you find in line 72, at the bottom of 
page 3, he spells Eose with a small " r "? Yes. 

Take an'other illustration line 5 on page i. Here 
the word Davis is written with a capital " D " and is 
spelt correctly. II you come down to line 16 towards 
the bottom, you find Davis is spelt with a small " d " 
and written " davice." Does not that indicate a man 
who is purposely trying to assume illiteracy? It hai not 
occurred to me in that way. 
166 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Thomas Gurrin 

Do you see any reason why a man should begin by 
spelling Davis properly, with a capital " D " and then 
suddenly alter his spelling? I do not know. I cannot 
give any reason. 

Another point. The writing begins in one style, and 
gradually gets down to a more natural style. You see an 
alteration in the style of the letter? I don't see any 
alteration in the style, but in the size. 

There is a good deal of difference in the appearance 
of page 1 and page 4? Yes. 

Look at line 26 on page 2. The first word of the 
fourth line is spelt " confess." If you go down five lines 
further you see it again spelt " comfess," and then 
five lines lower he has forgotten to pretend, and 
spells it " confess "? Yes, it is spelt correctly in the 
third instance. 

Is not that word " confess " comparatively well 
written ? Possibly. 

Better written than most of the letter? It may be. 

Do you notice on the last line but six on the third 
page that the writer has put " b " " but " and 
altered it into " put." Can you account for that? I 
cannot account for every absurdity of spelling. 

My friend has elicited the fact that a facsimile copy 
of this disputed or incriminating letter appeared in the 
public press? I never heard that. 

Do you think it likely assuming that the man who 
wrote this wrote the letter " A " do you think it likely 
that he would not try to write in a different hand? I 
thought there was a suggestion of trying to establish ids 
identity. 

His identity! The man i$ trying, I suggest, to ease 
his conscience without giving away too much. Now take 
the word " Harsent " in letter " A " and in the " con- 
fession." I suggest to you that with, the exception of 
the capital " H " there is a considerable resemblance 
between the other letters? Oh, no. First of all the 

167 



William Gardiner. 

Thomas Gurrin 

final " t " is quite different. Then the " a " is not the 
characteristic " a " of the letter. The " n's " are also 
different. 

Now take the word " window " in the letter known as 
" A " and then look at line 53 the sixth line on the 
third page of the " confession," I put it to you that 
there is a strong general resemblance between these 
words in the two letters ? Well, I cannot see it (pointing 
out the differences in outline). 

Now compare the " w " in letter " A " with the 
" w " in line 77 of the " confession.*' Tou see the 
" w's " in, " was " and in " now.*' I suggest to you that 
there is a strong similarity between these " w's " and 
the " w's " in the letter marked " A "t Well, I have 
been all through these letters, and I think that with the 
exception of the " w " in " was/' on the top line of 
page 4, the general characteristic 'of this anonymous 
writer is that the second portion of the " w " drops a 
little below the line. I do not see the slightest resem- 
blance between the " d's " in letter " A " and those in 
the alleged " confession/' with the exception of one 
** d." This one, I admit, is somewhat more of the kind 
of thing. First of all the " a " before the "11" is a 
loop " a " without any separation, and then goes on to 
the " 1." In a large number of instances I have shown, 
in almost every case where the " 1 " comes before the 
" a," it is separated. 

Take the word " come " on line 70, page 3 of the 
East Anglian letter, I suggest there is a strong resem- 
blance to the word "come" in the letter "A"? 
There is a poor resemblance, but if I analyse it the 
letters do not resemble one another. 

I draw your particular attention to the word " have " 
on page 3, line 67, Compare that word " have " with 
the " have " in the letter " A " : " Do not * have ' a 
light in your room "P The final " e " does not corre- 
spond. 

168 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Thomas Gurrin 

Take the word " will " in the East Anglian letter, 
which is on the fourth page, and compare it with the 
word " will " on the eighth line in the letter " A " : 
" I ' will ' come round the back "? Tea, they are very 
much alike. The difference between the two words is 
what I have already pointed out, namely, that the second 
part of the " w " in this dr'ops a little. 

Generally, I suggest to you, except at the very begin- 
ning, the writer of the East Anglian letter is accustomed 
to use the final abrupt " t " as the writer of the letter 
" A " does? He does use a " t " that finishes abruptly 
sometimes. 

He uses that habitually? No, but there are instances 
of it. 

Just as there are instances in the other letter? Yes, 
as a rale it is carried down below the level of the other 
letters. In the matter of the " t " there is a resemblance 
sometimes. 

Is that not sufficient to show the danger of this com- 
parison? No. 

If you take two writiogs by admittedly different 
writers and take words out and make a table of them, is 
it not easy to point out a great number of similarities? 
No. It would be possible to point to two or three 
resemblances, possibly four. 

Have you ever seen the writings of admittedly different 
people to be almost identical in style, character, and 
everything? I have about twice in my experience. 

Writings by distinctly different people? That would 
be more likely to be the case if the writers were educated 
in the same sort of way. They were members of the 
same family. The writings were remarkably alike. 

I think you have given evidence for the Treasury for 
ten years? I think that. 

You are sometimes right and sometimes wrong? I 
have been mistaken. 

Did you say before the magistrates that the letter 

169 



William Gardiner. 

Thotn&B Gurrin 

(l A " was in your opinion not in a disguised handwrit- 
ing, but that it was carefully written? Tea. 

You adhere to tnat view? Tes. 

Did you give the opinion that envelope " B " was in 
a disguised handwriting? Y<es. 

One of your reasons that you gave at the last trial for 
not taking any illustration from the envelope " B " was 
because you thought it was in a disguised handwriting? 
No. I do not think I said it. 

I am in your recollection. I suggest you said you 
took no illustrations from the envelope " B " because 
the " A " letter afforded the fairer comparison? I may 
have said that; it is possible that it is correct. 

Did you say to me at the previous Assizes " H " and 
" I " were in inferior handwriting to " A " and " B " 
letters? Tes, as regards quality and style. I am talk- 
ing on general style. 

Tou said " A " and ce B " were superior in style? 
Yes. 

Did you tell me or not the spacings between the words 
were better? Tes. 

That the handwriting, generally speaking, was 
straighter ? Tes. 

Did you also say, in regard to the peculiarity of the 
capital letters, that you had known capital letters to 
occur in wrong places with uneducated people? Tes; 
many times. 

And vice versa? Tes. 

The letter " A " and the envelope " B " are written 
with a broad-pointed pen? Tes. 

I suggest it would be more difficult for a man 
accustomed to write with an ordinary narrow-pointed 
pen to write with a broad-pointed pen? No; if he 
always accustomed himself to writing with a narrow- 
pointed pen. 

Do you suggest that the letters " H " and " I " 
showed signs of fluency? I do not say there is any 
indication of any difficulty about the writing. It might 
170 



Evidence for Prosecution. 

Thomas Gurrin 

have been written rapidly. In the letter accused refers 
to writing in an -exhibition building, in which he would 
not have proper writing facilities. As regards the letter 
written from prison, it lacks fluency, and the spacing is 
not so good, nor is the alignment so good. The prison 
letter was shown to me at the last trial, and I did not 
make use of it for reasons I can give. The reason was 
this: the police brought me letters written in the 
ordinary course of business in 1901, in ink. They 
also brought me some pencil specimens which were 
indistinct. I said, with regard to the pencil specimens, 
that I would prefer to deal with the ink ones, as he had 
ample specimens. The letter to which you now refer was 
a letter which had been written from accused to the 
man's family, and I thought that, as I had plenty of 
other material written in the ordinary course of business, 
I would prefer to use material of that kind. 

You thought it was not playing the game ? That was 
my idea. 

You have been giving me probabilities as to whether 
a man was mad. Do you think it probable that a man 
like the accused, to whom this incriminating letter had 
been shown, would at once sit down and write a letter 
from prison? 

Mr. DICKENS That is not a question for an expert. 

WITNESS I do not profess to give answers to psycho- 
logical questions. 

Cross-examination continued Coming to the word 
" will," I submit there is the strongest diSerence 
between these final double " Ts " and the double " 1's " 
you have chosen? I cannot see it. 

In one case I submit the double " 1's " in " A " are 
almost all the same length, whereas the tendency of 
accused's double " Ts " is to make the second " 1 " 
shorter than the first? This is precisely how the second 
" 1 " in " A " is. In the first you can hardly tell any 
difference. The difference in the " r " in the word 
" your n from the " r's " in the illustrations I have 

171 



William Gardiner. 

Thomas Gurrin 

taken from the accused's writing I account for by the 
difference in the pens. I do not suggest there is any 
great similarity between the " f's." I account for 
further changes in the formation of the letters by the 
suggestion that the writer changed his pen from a 
vertical to a sloping position. 

What I want to know is why should a man who is not 
disguising his hand alter the slope of his hand? I am 
not always justified in saying I consider handwriting is 
disguised, even when it differs slightly from his ordinary 
handwriting. He was writing this letter, I say, care- 
fully when he wrote it. I do not say with what motive. 

That the only suggestion is possibly with a view of 
disguise? That is not for me to say. 

Re-examined by Mr. DICKENS I find, both in letter 
" A " and in the admitted handwriting of accused, 
different " P V 

With regard to the " f's " in this big sheet, you did 
not suggest there was much similarity in the " f s " ? No. 

But when you come to the " f's " in the letter of 6th 
June, what do you say to the " f's " there? I think 
there is a strong likeness in the " f's " in the letter 
"A." 

After the questions have been fairly put to you by my 
friend, have you in any way found occasion to alter 
your opinion that letter " A " was written by the 
accused? No. 

Further cross-examined by Mr. WILD I suggest the 
spelling of the documents " H " and " I " is inaccurate 
in a number of particulars? Yes. 

While in document " A " there is no mistake in 
spelling? No ; but there is no mistake in another letter here. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAW RANGE I do not see that the spelling 
has anything to do with this witness. 

(The Court adjourned.) 
172 



Opening Speech for the Defence. 



Third Day Friday, 23rd January, 1903. 

At the opening of tlie proceedings, Mr. DICKENS said 
lie wanted to prove a letter written from the prison by 
Gardiner. 

JOHN SHEPPABD, a warder at the prison, said On 29th 
October last year the accused wrote the letter produced. 

Mr. DICKENS I will only point out, with regard to 
some comments made by Mr. Wild in cross-examining, 
that the spacing here is similar to that in letter " A " 
(the incriminating letter). 

Mr. WILD Is this letter written to his solicitor? 

JOHN SHEPPATCD I do not know who it is addressed to. 

Opening Speech for the Defence, 

Mr. Wnj) May it please your lordship, gentlemen of 
the jury, V^ery early on the morning of the 1st June, 
1902, Hose Harsent was apparently murdered by some- 
body. Upon the 3rd June, after liaving been in tem- 
porary custody on the previous day, William Gardiner 
was arrested on the charge of having committed that 
murder. And he has been in custody in prison from 
the 3rd June, 1902, to this day, a period of 294 days 
and nights. I do not mention that fact for the purpose 
mainly of commenting upon the barbarity of a system 
that can permit a man to await a trial in that way, but 
for this purpose. The man has been ia custody all this 
time. What the strain upon his nerves must have been 
it is impossible for any human being to conceive, and 
I might well have asked you to allow me to excuse him 
from entering the witness-box a second time, because the 
strain must have been tremendous. Every day must seem 
a year to him. Gentlemen, I am not going to make such 
a request. At the accused's own wish, at the proper 
time, he will go into the witness-box, and will again 

173 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

face the ordeal of cross-examination from one of the 
ablest counsel at the Bar, and I only appeal to you on 
his behalf for merciful consideration, pointing out to you 
the terrible ordeal he has undergone. Gentlemen, he 
hopes and I hope now at length, after a period of eight 
months, that he may receive a fair trial in a Court of 
Justice. If the strain upon him was great, you can 
judge of it by the strain it must have been upon your- 
selves. I am fully aware of the terrible strain that must 
be inflicted upon a jury for having for a number of 
days to follow a case of this magnitude a case which 
bristles with difficult points, a case which rests entirely 
upon what is called circumstantial evid-ence, than which 
there is nothing more dangerous, and in the name of 
which more judicial murders have been committed, 
perhaps, than in the name of any other. 

I feel you have, and one cannot but thank you for it, 
followed this case with the very greatest care, and if 
one had wanted an illustration of that fact one had only 
to look at the care with which you followed not only the 
protracted examination of Mr. Gurrin, but the cross- 
examination as well. Therefore, realising the care you 
have bestowed upon this case, I shall feel it consistent 
with my duty not to inflict upon you any longer remarks 
than I feel bound to be necessary, but I shall simply 
indicate to you as temperately and fairly as I can these 
points which seem to the defence to bear upon the 
innocence of the accused; and I shall appeal to you not 
only to follow me patiently, but without interruption, 
and to amplify my defence, for, gentlemen, it is 
impossible for any one advocate to grasp, as it were, in 
a period of a spe-ech all the points which arise. How- 
ever, I feel I shall have your assistance in any point I 
accidentally omit. I shall deal with the main features 
of the case, and perhaps I may be permitted if I make 
one personal appeal. I don't wish to bring myself into 
this case, but I do ask you to extend even to me some 

174 



Opening Speech for the Defence. 

Mr Wild 

measure of your consideration, because it is difficult for 
you to imagine the tremendous strain that weighs upon 
a counsel for the defence when lie has to address himself 
to a case of this importance, more particularly when the 
fact remains that he had to do it absolutely for the 
second time. Having made these preliminary observa- 
tions, it is my duty to point out to you certain facts, 
some of which have been elicited in evidence, and some 
of which will be elicited in the evidence I am about to 
call before you. I do not complain of the manner in 
which my friend has pressed points upon you, but I 
might perhaps suggest that he has assumed that quasi- 
judicial air which his opening did not altogether bear 
out. He has strained some points, no doubt uninten- 
tionally, against the accused. It is his duty, as it is my 
duty, to put the points from the other side of view. I 
think it will be best if I try, with your assistance, to 
follow this story from the first, and to follow it logically, 
without any attempt at rhetoric. The case naturally 
sub-divides itself under two heads. 

There is the evidence adduced for the purpose of show- 
ing that Gardiner was the father of Rose HarsenVs 
unborn child. That is what is called motive evidence. 
The prosecution rightly enough feel it is incumbent 
upon them, if possible, to show you that Gardiner had a 
motive for the murder, assuming it to have been com- 
mitted. Accordingly, they bring forward this motive, 
the only motive they bring against him, that he was 
trying to remove the trace of his sin by getting rid of 
the girl. Consequently, there is the evidence that tends 
to prove, in view of the prosecution, that Gardiaer 
actually committed the murder. 

Gentlemen, I first of all address myself to the question 
of paternity, and I am entitled to say this: that until 
1st May, 1901, no word can be breathed against the man 
I am defending. He is a man who has lived in Peasen- 
hall for a great number of years. He is a man who has 

175 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

worked his way up from the ordinary working man until 
he became foreman of the fitters, and then outside 
manager: a man, perhaps, not too popular, owing to 
the fact that he is a teetotaller 3 and that he is a man 
professing religion. At all events, he has by steady 
work worked his way up in his religious community. 
We find him superintendent of the Sunday school, a 
leader of the choir, and he occupied other positions in 
the Sibton Primitive Methodist Chapel, and he had 
gained not only the confidence of his employers, but the 
respect of those who held similar religious convictions. 

Gentlemen, it seems strange that if this man has con- 
sistently been proved to be a worthless fellow, at all 
events, until the 1st of May, 1901, no breath of suspicion 
was breathed against him. On that day the first attack 
was made upon his character, and by whom? Gentle- 
men, we have had from the witness Davis a sad insight 
into the morality of the youth of Peasenhall. You have 
had read to you filthy letters, so filthy that one did not 
feel justified in polluting the ears of people in a Court 
of Justice. You, however, have had the painful duty 
of reading them and seeing their character. But we 
are told by Davis that that is the sort of conversation 
that pervades the youth of Peasenhall, and of those two 
youths, Skinner and Wright by name, who were the 
first living souls to cast a slur upon the integrity of 
William Gardiner. 

Upon that evening of the 1st May, Rose Harsent was 
going to chapel you know the Doctor's Chapel which 
it was her duty to clean for Mr. Crisp, who has not been 
called. He was the deacon of the chapel, and Rose 
Harsent, as his servant, had to clean the chapel. She 
went to the chapel, and the witness Wright saw Gardiner 
on the Rendham Road, a road which passes the gate 
of the chapel. Here is what I succeeded in eliciting. 
The witness WrigHt, assuming his story to be true, 
saw Gardiner before he entered the chapel on no 

176 




Mr. Ernest E. Wild 



Opening Speech for the Defence. 

Mr WUd 

fewer than three occasions. He saw him twice on the 
Rendham R/oad, and once against Providence House, 
and on each of these occasions Gardiner saw Wright. 
Wright wants you to believe that Gardiner, knowing 
Wright's eye was upon him, and knowing that Wright 
was loitering about as these louts will loiter about, 
deliberately went into the chapel and held the 
conversation and perpetrated the act which is alleged 
against him. Knowing Wright's eye was upon him, 
can you believe the story ? He goes into the chapel, and 
with all these fellows about he shuts the door, so they 
say, and for a period which must have been considerable, 
because you remember Wright said Gardiner was left 
alone for twenty minutes was inside the building with 
the girl. You can imagine, of course, that Wright 
thought there was something wrong, and when you 
believe there is something wrong it is very easy to think 
you know and hear what you expect to. Wright goes 
and fetches Skinner, and you can imagine him saying: 
<c Here is Gardiner; he has gone into the chapel with 
Hose Harsent; here is a lark." So these two young men 
go to the Rendham Road and work their way to the 
chapel. They take up their stations behind the hurdle, 
outside the south-west window of the Doctor's Chapel. 
It was noticeable that Wright, when he gave his evidence 
before the magistrates, omitted a number of points that 
he subsequently supplied. But I do not place so much 
reliance upon that. What I do place reliance upon is 
proving that the story is concocted. You have got 
Wright there for the purpose of hearing indecency, and 
Wright hears, so he says, the rustling, and he believes 
that is an indication of something improper taking 
place. But here is an astounding fact having heard 
that rustling, one would have thought he would have 
followed the whole thing up, as it appeared his business 
to. Wright, however, departs and leaves Skinner to 
hear the rest. The only excuse he gives, and that a 
M 177 



William Gardiner, 

Mr Wild 

lame one, was that he thought they were coming out. 
The real material portion of the story rests not upon 
Wright, but upon Skinner , and Skinner, as Mr, Dickens 
has said, tells you one of the most extraordinary stories 
ever heard in a Court of Justice. 

[Counsel then proceeded to discuss in detail the 
Biblical quotations referred to by Skinner in his 
evidence.] 

My friend says, is it likely that anybody would invent 
that story? Is it not more unlikely that the super- 
intendent of the Sunday school and the girl in his choir, 
if they felt compelled to commit acts of gross indecency 
is it likely they would choose the chapel, within 200 
yards of the girl's house, with the louts loitering about? 
Is it likely they would conduct a conversation of the 
manner stated in such a voice and in such a place? 
Gentlemen, you are men of the world; I ask yoii to 
judge of this for yourselves. You are asked to believe 
that Gardiner went into the chapel and committed an 
act of indecency with Rose Harsent, and you are further 
asked to believe that these two young men, standing 
outside a casement window and some 8 or 9 feet from it, 
could hear and afterwards repeat without difficulty the 
substance of the conversation that passed between the 
accused and the dead girl. 

It is improbable, if you like, that the story was 
invented; but it is ridiculous to suggest that Gardiner 
and Rose Harsent would have behaved in the manner 
described. After Wright and the young men of the 
place Lad talked about the scandal, it reached Gardiner's 
cars. He calls them into the office at the works, and 
Gardiner denies the truth of their statements, and when 
ho suggests legal proceedings they say, if proceedings 
are taken, that they have only what they stand up in. Of 
course it would be perfectly idle to bring proceedings 
against men of that sort. 
178 



Opening Speech for the Defence. 

Mr WUd 

Well, then, what happens? If Gardiner had been 
guilty of that gross indecency, and knew that he 
was found out, what do you think he would haye 
doneP I suggest that what he would have done would 
be to endeavour to close those young men's mouths by 
bribery or in some such way as that. He was a man 
with a high position in the works; he was a man who 
could advance them. What he would have done would 
be at all costs to avoid being faced with this charge, if 
it were true. Wright won't go so far as Skinner. 
Skinner is the only one who is prepared to tell that 
astounding lie. 

The next event is this, I think. We have got two 
letters written by Gardiner to Hose Harsent; you have 
heard those letters read, doubtless you will read them 
again they are the letters numbered " C " and " D." I 
am not going to trouble you with reading letters more 
that I can help. They are absolutely proper letters ; they 
are the letters of a religious and Christian man; they 
are the letters of an innocent man. Then what happens? 
On the llth of May the Rev. Mr. Guy holds a chapel 
inquiry. Gardiner will tell you that he desired that 
inquiry to be held. Now, gentlemen, just consider the 
circumstances calmly and temperately. Here was a 
charge being brought against this man of the most dire 
nature, a charge, which, if true, would render him 
unfit, not only to hold the positions which he held in the 
workshop or in the church, but would render him unfit 
to consort with decent men, and women. Very properly, 
with Mr. Guy in the chair, the members of the Sibton 
congregation met to discuss, to hold a preliminary 
investigation. It was no vain, no empty show. It 
lasted for about three hours. For that time they had 
the two men, Wright and Skinner, in. the church, with 
William Gardiner, and the witnesses were questioned 
and cross-questioned. The matter was debated as a 

179 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

matter of that import had to be debated, because, 
although, they may be Primitive Methodists, their church 
is as dear to these people as the church of any other 
person in this land. 

What was the result? The result was this: that 
nothing was done; that Mr. Guy said he never made a 
report at all to the quarterly meeting. We know that 
there are no less than four further bodies before whom 
this man might have been brought. I will show by a 
number of witnesses I shall call that Mr. Guy's memory 
is defective in this matter, and that, so far from 
reporting, he said it was a trumped-up case, and a 
fabrication o! lies. Whatever he said, the thing follows 
in logical sequence. It follows that the story was not 
believed. Mind you, it was not a mere matter, as it 
is to-day at this murder trial, that if ther6 is a doubt a 
man is entitled to the benefit of it. The Sibton congrega- 
tion was in a very difficult position. Here to-day you 
know very well this is not a case of proving innocence; 
if the Crown do not prove guilt, if there is a reasonable 
doubt of the guilt, if the case has not been proven to 
the mind of any one of you, you know very well the 
accused is entitled to be acqiiitted. But that was not 
the position here, because, mind you, you had got a 
man who had the guidance of youth, a man who was 
superintendent of the Sunday school, a man who was 
class leader, and so on ; and even if the thing had not 
been proved, if these good people had believed there wan 
any truth in it, Gardiner's resignation would have been 
accepted he offered to resign and they would have 
said: " Although it may not have been proved against 
you, we cannot afford to have such a story going about 
as to a man holding such an important position in our 
church/' Mr. Guy tells you they were in a dilemma. 
They were in no dilemma. Mr. Guy's memory is not 
a good one. Before the Coroner he swore that Rose 

180 



Opening Speech for the Defence. 

Mr Wild 

Harsent was present at the inquiry. She was not, and 
Mr. Guy had to admit that he made a mistake. I shall 
show you he said it was a trumped-up story, and a 
fabrication of lies ; that they believed in the innocence of 
William Gardiner; that the whole thing was allowed to 
pass away, as it would never have been allowed to do 
if there was any truth in it. I will only make one 
remark with regard to the chapel incident before I pass 
from it. It is important to test the story of these young 
men, not only on the ground of probabilities, but on the 
ground of possibilities, and accordingly the defence have 
made two experiments, the result of which will be 
brought before you, and we shall be able to prove to you 
that it is a physical impossibility for any ordinary voices 
to be heard from the place where these two young men 
were standing, the people who were speaking being in 
the position in which Gardiner and Rose Harsent are 
alleged to have occupied. The police also made experi- 
ments, and I ask you to contrast the method of the police 
experiments with that conducted by the defence. The 
police experiment is made by these two young men, 
Wright and Skinner. They are placed with Burgess, of 
whose capacity you will judge they are placed in the 
chapel. They had already given their evidence on two 
occasions Nunn is the policeman in charge of the 
case. If Skinner is to be believed, Nunn tells him 
to repeat the conversation about the fJSth chapter of 
Genesis. They stand close up to the window, their 
whole veracity depending upon whether they succeed 
in making JSTunn hear what they are saying. What 
a remarkable thing! One would have expected 
they would. Old Burgess has not got the marvellous 
memory of Skinner. He can't remember what they said ; 
all he seems to have noticed is " Oh, oh ! " 

Well, gentlemen, you judge for yourselves whether 
that was a fair and proper experiment. I am not suggest- 

181 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

ing Nunn did not hear it. What I am suggesting is 
this: that these two young men took pretty good care 
that he should hear it, and that there was all the 
difference in the world between these two young men 
speaking in the chapel with a view to making Nunn 
hear, as I suggest, and the conversation between a man 
and a woman under the circumstances alleged. 

Another experiment was made by Mr. Corder and 
Mr. Permenter, two respected architects and surveyors 
of this town, made not using the 38th chapter of 
Genesis or anything of that kind, but ordinary con- 
versation, and I shall prove to you that it was impossible 
for these two young men to have followed that conversa- 
tion in the way in which they say they did. So much 
for the chapel! I have dealt with it at some length, 
because the whole thing having been forgotten in Peasen- 
hall, the thing being dead and buried and forgotten, it 
is raked up again; it is unburied from the oblivion 
where it was properly lying in order to fabricate a motive 
to say that Gardiner was the father of that child. 

Gentlemen, with the exception of the letters with 
which I shall deal shortly when we appeared at the last 
Assizes, as far as we could tell from the depositions that 
had been given, there appeared no other evidence of any- 
thing like impropriety or improper conduct between 
Gardiner and Rose Harsent, and it was only at the 
eleventh hour, on the 1st of ISTovember, I think, that we 
were served with a notice of the evidence of Henry 
House. Henry Rouse had not been before the Coroner 
had not appeared before the magistrates. You have 
seen Henry Rouse in the witness-box. It is for you 
to judge of him. Of course, it was impossible then 
to cross-examine Rouse about his antecedents, and 
a very good reason I do not say it was the reason but 
a very good reason for uot calling him until the eleventh 
hour might have been that we should not have the 
opportunity of discovering what sort of a man he had 

182 



Opening Speech for the Defence. 

Mr Wild 

been. The opportunity has been afforded us, and owing 
to the fortunate disagreement of the jury I was enabled 
to propound to Mr. Rouse certain questions with regard 
to his career, the answers to which you heard, answers of 
which you are the best judges. Mr. Rouse knows very 
well that he is pretty safe in denying these, because we 
are not able to call affirmative evidence to contradict. 
The law does not allow it. Unless you can call a man to 
say he would not believe Mr. Rouse on his oath, you can- 
not call evidence as to details which are not strictly 
relative to the inquiry. Taking Mr. Rouse's own 
admission, does he appear as the strictly charitable man 
whom he would have you believe he was P I was asked, 
and very properly asked, to let Mr. Rouse finish his 
answers, although his answers were a series of sermonettes. 
I let him finish and we listened to some very edifying 
discourses upon the duties of the Christian man. Mr. 
Rouse admitted that he did, when he was in a better 
position to do mischief because, unhappily for such a 
Christian man, he has somewhat come down in the 
world, having been first of all a farmer, then a bailiff, 
and now a roadman he admitted that he did bring a 
charge against a little lad for burning down a barn, his 
sole reason for which was that he found a little bit of 
stuff such as boys use. That was enough to put the lad 
before the magistrates, who very properly dismissed the 
case. He admitted that there was a very unfortunate 
scandal between him and Mrs, Gooch. Of course, there 
was nothing in it, says Mr. Rouse, and we have to take 
his answer. The circumstance that he went to visit the 
sow, that he saw the lady when the husband was out, 
brought that unfortunate scandal which must not attach 
to Mr. Rouse, but may readily attach to Gardiner. He 
went to read the Bible to the wife when the husband was 
not there. It is an unfortunate circumstance for a 

gentleman of such probity as Mr. Rouse. 

183 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

The next question I put before him was the Snelling 
incident. He denies altogether the Snelling incident, 
but says he believes the girls were harum-scarum girls. 
That all shows the class of mind the man has got. It is 
the mind that believes evil. Do you believe he is the 
sort o man, if he had half a chance, not to speak? Now 
look at him! Leave that cross-examination and come to 
his evidence. What is it? He tells you that he saw 
Rose Harsent and William Gardiner walking out on one 
night in February he had never told a soul in a Court 
of Justice until the last Assizes and that he spoke to 
them, and that Gardiner said he would not do it again. 
Gentlemen, it was important, if that was true, that that 
evidence should be given then, and not sprung on us at 
the last moment. Gardiner will go into the box to-day, 
as he went into the box on the last occasion, and deny it. 

'Fortunately, you have a very good test of the credi- 
bility of Mr. Rouse, because, unhappily for Mr. Rouse, 
when people are beginning to slander their neighbours 
they do not know where to stop. But he had to go a 
little further, and he tells you the slander of the Sibton 
Chapel. Mr. Rouse is an, occasional preacher, and I 
believe among the Primitive Methodist community there 
are a great number of occasional preachers. There is a 
rostrum, and Mr. Rouse was there, and here at the side 
of the rostrum, just underneath, are the three sides of 
a choir, one near the seat where Gardiner used lo play 
the harmonium. Still, gentlemen, the story of Rouse 
is that he distinctly saw Gardiner put his legs on Rose 
JELarsent's lap, and not only did Rouse see it, but it was 
visible he says now to twelve or thirteen people. I 
shall show you it was visible to any one in the, chapel, 
for from one corner of the chapel you can see what is 
going oil la any part of it. Rouse saw him put his legs 
on her lap. I wonder why? It is a curious way of 
making love- I don't know that one ever heard of it 
before. It in at all events a novelty that has been 
184 



Opening Speech for the Defence. 

Mr Wild 

reserved to Mr. Bouse to invent. Do you believe that 
this man who has a reputation to keep up this Sunday 
school superintendent and foreman of works, with a wife 
and six children this man who has worked his way up 
by the sweat of his brow to the position he occupied, and 
which, please God, he will occupy again when this trial 
is over would he be such a fool as to put his legs in the 
girl's lap, in the middle of the service, with the eyes 
of all present on him, and with Mr. Rouse preaching I 
wonder on what text he was preaching was it from the 
Ninth Commandment? with Mr. Bouse standing up 
there to see everything! But what does Mr. Bouse do? 
I suggest his duty was to have stopped and spoken to 
Gardiner, or if that would have been too hard, then it 
was his duty at the close of the service to reprimand 
him, to tell him that this must not be. Not one word 
says Henry Bouse. He goes home, waits a fortnight or 
ten days, then what does he do writes an anonymous 
letter, and in order that it may not be used as the ground 
for a libel action he gets his wife to copy it out. And, 
gentlemen, I shall prove to you that this letter was seen 
by Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, and that it was not until 
Henry Bouse got into the box on the last occasion that 
Gardiner had any idea who wrote the letter. 

Gardiner produced we produced the letter on the 
last occasion, and then we knew for the first time that the 
letter was the emanation of the mind of Henry 
Bouse, and the pen of Henry Bouse's wife. It is 
an extraordinary document. I venture to read it to you. 
(Counsel here read the letter* commencing " Mr. 
Gardiner, I write to warn you of your conduct with the 
girl." There is not a word about the legs and 
the lap all he says is that the girl sits next Gardiner, 
and there is not one word about the charge he has 
brought. I leave Henry Bouse. Gardiner has the com- 
forting reflection that Henry Bouse loves his soul, if thai 

* See p. 100. 185 



William Gardiner, 

Mr Wild 

can do him any good ! I suggest to you that a man who 
would send such an anonymous letter as that, a letter 
stabbing this man in the back, is not a man worthy of 
credence, and I suggest that there was a very good 
reason why he should not have been called until the last 
moment, so that his antecedents should not be gone into. 
If you think that is a fair piece of evidence on which it 
is fair to place any imputation of paternity, no words of 
mine can undo that thought. But I leave it to you, 
confident that you will feel it is worth nothing, and 
that it is the evidence of malevolence, and of a man 
ready to think evil, and to misinterpret the most harm- 
less act, and then to shelter himself behind anonymity. 

The next point with which I have to deal relates 
to the correspondence. Certain letters are alleged 
to have passed between Gardiner and the murdered girl. 
Now, the only evidence of that is the evidence of Harry 
Harsent, the girFs brother. You saw the boy in the 
box you remember that he seemed to have a very dim 
recollection as to when he took letters. I don't think he 
repudiated my suggestion that at the most he only took 
two or three letters from Gardiner to the deceased in 
1901, and two letters in 1902. But I do not place much 
reliance on that. There had been a certain amount of 
correspondence between the two persons, and Gardiner 
himself will tell you all about it. He wrote Harsent 
two letters in June, very proper letters, about the 
scandal; and Harsent wrote him one letter last year with 
regard to the " anniversary hymns. " That is really the 
explanation of this part of the evidence. All the letters 
that did pass were carried by Harry Harsent, whom 
Gardiner used as a messenger. There is other evidence 
about letters. Tou have heard the statements of Mrs. 
Crisp and the postman about the delivery of certain 
letters enclosed in buff envelopes, but there is no evidence 
that these came from the accused. Your decision upon 
that point will turn upon the handwriting. The reason- 
186 



Opening Speech for the Defence. 

Mr Wild 

able probability is that the girl received other letters 
from the person who wrote the letter marked " A '- 
the incriminating letter making the appointment for the 
meeting. If Gardiner didn't write the letter (t A," it 
follows that he didn't write the letters similar to it. 
When you come to deal with the handwriting, it will be 
for you to say whether you believe he wrote the letter 
which is the key to the others. 

Leaving that point for a moment, I want to point out 
that there is no proof that the accused ever used buff 
envelopes, and no evidence that he ever sent any letters 
other than those which were sent by her brother as 
messenger. All this brings me to closer evidence to the 
letter "A," and I beg you to follow my argument in 
regard to it as clearly as possible. The letter making 
the appointment is as follows : * c Dear R, I will try to 
see you at night at twelve o'clock at your Place. If you 
put a light at your window at ten o'clock for about ten 
minutes. Then you can take it out again. Dont have 
a light in your Room at twelve as I will come round to 
the back." Now, the prosecution cannot have it both 
ways. Their theory is that the man who wrote that letter 
is Gardiner, and that he is the man who murdered the 
girl. Let me first of all point out that it does not follow 
that the man who wrote the letter committed the crime. 
If it were proved to demonstration that Gardiner was the 
writer, the case against him would be very much more 
serious, but it would not go further than strong 
suspicion. It is not an absolute sequence that the writer 
of the letter murdered the girl. 1 need hardly say that 
a man cannot be convicted of murder without the most 
cogent and convincing proof. It will not do to say that 
" we believe " or that " we feel morally certain " ; you 
must have legal certainty in. a case where it is a question 
of life and death. But just notice this fact the prosecu- 
tion say that Gardiner wrote the letter, making the 
appointment for twelve o'clock. These illicit appoint- 

187 



William Gardiner, 

Mr Wild 

ments are dangerous things to keep; and the persons 
making them would above all things be careful to observe 
the time fixed. That being so, although the time 
mentioned in the letter was twelve o'clock, and the 
prosecution say that Gardiner wrote it, their own theory 
is that he did not go to Providence House until half -past 
one o'clock. Happily, in the interests of justice and 
innocence, there was a terrible storm that night, and 
Gardiner, as the evidence showed, went in to keep 
company with a nervous neighbour, and stayed there 
from somewhere between eleven and twelve o'clock until 
half-past one o'clock in the morning. There was then, 
as one witness said, only one and a half hours to day- 
light at this time of year. The accused went to bed with 
his wife; I shall prove to you that after they got to bed 
they heard the clock strike two; and you are asked to 
believe that Gardiner crept from his wife's side, and, at 
the break of a summer's day almost, went out upon this 
dreadful >errand; then, that having accomplished it, 
he crept back home again and got to his wife's side 
again, without her knowing that he had ever left her 
side. Why, gootlemen, it is an incredible story, and 
does not agree with the letter. This was not the only 
night of the year; this was uot the only opportunity that 
the man would have of seeing Rose Harsent; and I 
submit that the fact that at twelve o'clock the appoint- 
ment was not kept by Gardiner, if he made it, proves 
that Gardiner did not commit the murder, because 
it i pretty obvious that the man, if he knew the 
appointment was for twelve o'clock, would not imagine 
Ihe girl would be sitting up for him till between 
two and three in the morning. What would the girl 
do? Assuming Gardiner wrote the letter, the girl would 
have given him half an hour, perhaps, and having done 
that, would have gone to bed, and the man would have 
known it would be unsafe to keep that appointment. 
Therefore, on the letter itself you have got evidence 
188 



Opening Speech for the Defence. 

Mr WUd 

that that appointment was not made or kept by Gardiner. 
Ton have another point. There is the point of Mrs. 
Crisp, and Mrs. Crisp's evidence is of the most vital 
importance. Mrs. Crisp has given evidence in this case 
a number of times. The first she gave on 3rd June, two 
days after the murder, when her recollection must have 
been exact, and she swore definitely that she came down 
shortly after twelve, and thoxight she previously heard 
the clock strike. And then she says: "Between one 
and two a.m. I thought I heard a thud sounding from 
downstairs, and shortly afterwards a slight scream." 
Then she is examined again on ICth June, and she said: 
" I believe it was between one and two a.m.; I think it 
was in the middle of the storm. " Then she is examined 
the third time, and in the meantime the theory of the 
prosecution had changed, because they found out 
Gardiner could not have committed the murder before 
two o'clock. Mrs. Crisp then, in her evidence on the 
19th June, says she does not know the time, but she does 
say this, and it is very important, that it was dark. 
Therefore, the murder whoever committed it was 
limited to the dark. Therefore, it must have been com- 
mitted quite by three o'clock, because I suggest to you 
at three o'clock on 1st June it was light. This is 
important. The whole idea of taking the depositions 
before the magistrates and Coroner is to get the story 
of the witnesses for the Crown in black and white so that 
the defence should know what they lave to meet, and 
have opportunity of finding discrepancies in the 
evidence. It is noticeable that Mrs. Crisp's evidence 
was exact until the theory changed. If Mrs. 'Crisp's 
evidence was true on 3rd June, when the murder was 
fresh in her memory, Gardiner could not have com- 
mitted the murder. 

There is another person who can tell us something 
about it Mr, Crisp. He has been presented here as a 
deaf old gentleman. You saw him and heard him, but 

189 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

throughout the length and breadth of these proceedings 
Mr. Crisp has been kept in the background. Mrs. Crisp 
says: " I fixed the hour because o what my husband 
said. 53 It is noticeable that the man who ought to have 
gone downstairs to help the girl should have lain in bed, 
and should have been kept out of the witness-box, and 
that you only get Mrs. Crisp, who, beginning with a 
story of exactitude, gradually winnows it down till all 
you get is that it was in the dark. It is enough for me 
that it was in the dark, because I have got my alibi, 
and I have got Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner going to bed in 
the dark. 

Then I shall call before you Mrs. Gardiner, and you 
will hear her give her evidence, and you will say whether 
she is a witness of truth or not when she tells you she 
was awake at that time, and that her husband never left 
her side. 

There is another point which arises about this 
matter the medical evidence. You have the evidence 
of Dr. Lay that what is known as rigor mortis 
had set in, but was not complete. Dr. Lay saw the 
unhappy body at twenty minutes to nine, and he tells 
you the rigor must have commenced at least two hours 
before. That would take it to twenty minutes to seven. 
Dr. Stevenson tells you that the ordinary period for 
rigidity to commence is from five to six hours. That 
would take it to twenty minutes to one or twenty minutes 
to two, which exactly tallies with what Mrs. Crisp says. 
I shall be able to call you further medical evidence on 
that point if necessary. 

About the handwriting, opinions about handwriting 
are unsafe things to follow, and I must say that people 
may honestly make great mistakes about handwriting, 
and when, you are trying to find out whathsr Gardiner 
committed that murder or not, the most important thing 
for you to do is to examine the circumstances. And 
those circumstances point to it being impossible for him 

190 



Opening Speech for the Defence. 

Mr Wild 

to have done it. Dealing with the handwriting itself, 
I submit to you that this case rests almost entirely upon 
the evidence of handwriting, and I further submit to you 
that it is about the most unsafe evidence upon which you 
can possibly be asked to convict. If you take two 
documents together, particularly if you take out words 
and put them together, it is very easy to find similarities. 
If you, gentlemen, took the trouble to each write out 
that letter, you would find most astounding similarities. 
Mr. Gurrin comes here as a professional witness, and 
tells you his honest opinion T shall call before you 
two gentlemen who are in banks whose business it is 
to detect handwriting. They will tell you, in their 
honest opinion, it is not the handwriting of William 
Gardiner, but it will bo for you to judge. It is not a 
question which way your inind inclines ; it is a question 
of proof. It must be absolute certainty before you can 
possibly convict on this handwriting. 

The really fair way to compare the handwriting is to 
take the two documents side, by side. I do ask you to 
take, for instance, theno Varis letters in the one hand 
and the incriminating document, called " A," in the 
other, and soe if the general character of the writing is 
the same. Gurrin admits it is not, that the style was 
different, the alignment was different, and the sloping 
was different. He will not say that the writing of " A " 
is disguised writing. It is entirely for you, and, taking 
the whole character of the writing in the letters from 
Paris and the prison letter, I think you will say it is 
different from that of the incriminating letter " A.'* 
Gurrin has said he has seen writings by different people 
which he would have the greatest difficulty in dis- 
tinguishing. Therefore, gentlemen, does it not show the 
danger that there is in taking a letter, say the letter 
" IT," and stating that it is formed like that. Whether 
you take the letter " F," " G/' or " f there is only 
a very limited number of ways in which it can be formed. 

M 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

Now, in these days of School Boards there is an even 
greater tendency for people to write alike; for example, 
it is taken as a point that Gardiner uses capital letters. 
A great point is made of the capital " P," and it is an 
undoubted fact that whoever wrote the disputed 
document " A " used the capital " P." Gurrin admits 
it is not an uncommon thing for comparatively 
uneducated people to use capital letters, and whether he 
admits it or not I put it to you it is a fact to be adduced 
from your personal experience. Gardiner was shown the 
writing of the incriminating letter, and if Gardiner was 
the murderer, and if Gardiner wrote " A," he would 
have known he wrote it. When Staunton showed him 
the letter, what did he do? Ho admitted the similarities 
in the two handwritings of the letters, but denied he was 
the author of " A.' 1 Does this prove he is an innocent 
man? It is notable that Gardiner should say: " 3Tes, 
there are similarities." The question is, were these 
similarities such as to force you to only one conclusion 
that upon this most dangerous class of evidence it is 
Rafe to send a man to faco his Maker? 

I come to another point on ilie writing. If you 
remember, Gardiner was put into prison on the 3rd of 
June, and assuming him to have written the letter " A " 
and the envelope " B," he would know he had written 
it. Before 1 deal with that, however, ihere is another 
curious thing needing comment. G%irrin said all along 
Miat envelope " B " writing was disguised, and yet he 
draws similarity between the " S " m Raxinundham iu 
that disguised handwriting and tie " 8 " in Raxnumd- 
ham on another envelope. If Gardiner is the murderer, 
he in about the most accomplinhed criminal of modern 
times. If ho did the murder, it shows him to be a man 
of intellect unparalleled in criminal records "Yet it is 
assumed that he takes up his pew arid, knowing that 
every letter coming out of the prison is subject to the 
perusal of the authorities, writes a letter to his wife, 

102 



Opening Speech for the Defence. 

Mr Wild 

without the slightest attempt at disguising the hand- 
writing. You cannot say in one breath that the accused 
is an accomplished criminal, and in another that he is 
a fool. If ever there was a time he would try to disguise 
his handwriting, do you not think he would take it when 
he was in prison? I submit to you it is incredible the 
man should be such a fool. On the handwriting question, 
it is plain that the writing of the letter " A " is that 
of a better educated man altogether. It is the writing of 
a man who has a firm grasp of the pen; it is different in 
alignment, spacing, style, and character, and there is 
no legitimate similarity between the two. My friend, 
feeling the point of G-urrin's evidence, comes here this 
morning, and takes a brief note written from prison by 
the accused to his solicitor to show that it is straighter, 
If you take that letter, you will find a very great 
difference between that writing and the writing of 
the letter "A." That is the writing of an uneducated 
man, and the letter "A " is the writing of an educated 
man. One other point I wish to draw attention to is the 
question of the spelling. The letters from Paris, notably 
that of the 12th, were riddled with mistakes in spelling 
and grammatical inaccuracies. He spells Tuesday with 
a small " t/* and he talks about " with " instead of 
" width." He says two French drills " come " into 
instead of " came " into, and he uses " say " instead of 
" says/' " of " instead of " off/' and " were " instead 
of " where. " " Receiving " is also not spelt properly. 
In the letter of the 10th April he begins: " Mr. J. J. 
Smyth, Esq./' and uses only one " p " in " stopped/* 
Ift-writing to his master, one would think the accused 
-would use every care, but finding he made so many 
mistakes even in that letter, one is right in saying he 
is not an educated man. Well, with regard to this letter 
from the accused, I have already commented upon the 
extreme improbability of the mart writing from prison 
in his own handwriting, assuming him to be guilty. 
* ' 193 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wad 

Then what happens? The intelligent Police Constable 
Nunn calls on Mrs. Gardiner and he takes that letter 
away and sends it on to Mr. Gurrin, and the letter is 
returned to the accused, and no use is made of it. Ifow, 
they want you to believe it is worthy of Eouse that 
that was because they were so tender hearted, so con- 
siderate, that they did not think it quite fair to use a 
letter written by a man to his wife. We are very much 
obliged to them for their merciful consideration. I 
submit to you the reason was that the comparisons were 
not satisfactory, and I submit to you that if those com- 
parisons had been satisfactory they would have been used 
at the last trial. It was only when the jury wanted the 
letter that the letter was shown to the jury; and who 
sends for the letter? That letter, when the jury asks for 
it, was at Peasenhall, 27 miles away from this Court. 
It was only on the last day of the trial that the jury 
asked for it. Who sent for it? We, the defence. We 
sent a motor car in defiance of the regulations, going at 
30 miles an hour, and got the letter; and now, of course, 
you have got the belated report of Mr. Gurrin seeing 
similarities as any one must see similarities who com- 
pares different handwritings. That letter is the strongest 
proof of innocence; a letter written in ordinary hand- 
writing; a letter produced by the defence and not used 
by the prosecution until the very last moment ; and they 
are forced to use it, otherwise comment might have been 
made upon it. 

So much, gentlemen, for the handwriting, with this 
one exception : that if you look at that letter you will 
find a considerable number of misspellings. It is 
altogether the writing of a comparatively illiterate man, 
a man who has made his own way up, and the other 
writing is obviously the writing of an educated man. 
That is practically the whole of the evidence that deals 
with the question of paternity, and the only other 

194: 



Opening Speech for the Defence. 

Mr WUd 

evidence I have got to deal with is the evidence "brought 
forward to prove that Gardiner committed the murder. 

I hope I have dealt with it in a fair way, quite quietly 
although one knows his whole soul is in this thing, and 
it is a terrible strain both on you and me because I 
think I shall do greater justice to this poor man if I try 
and present this matter without any appeal to sentiment. 
There are cases of murder where there is nothing to do 
but appeal to sentiment. I will leave out sentiment; I 
am perfectly prepared to try this case on business 
principles, because I know the more you look at it dis- 
passionately and quietly the more you will see how 
miserably the Crown fail in their attempt to bring home 
guilt to this unhappy man. The first incident brought 
forward to show he committed the murder is that he was 
standing outside his house about ten o'clock on the night 
of the murder talking to Burgess. That light could have 
been seen by any one in Peasenhall for a long distance. 
The man was standing outside there, and he stood look- 
ing at the weather, as Burgess admits a great many other 
people were doing as well ; and the point is that he could 
have seen the light. If you were to put everybody in 
the dock who stood in that road about that hour and 
charged them with murder, and got a handwriting expert 
to prove similarities in handwriting, you might hang a 
considerable number of people in Peasenhall. It is a 
curious thing that the word " Saxmundham " was put 
on the envelope after " Peasenhall/' enclosing the letter 
making the midnight appointment. It is rather curious 
that the person who writes from Peasenhall should put 
" Saxmundham " on the envelope. I suggest it rather 
points to the posting in Peasenhall, and possibly the 
imitation being done for the purpose of misleading. It 
is a small point, but there may be something in it. I 
think we may leave out the question of the doorstep, and 
come to the question of the footsteps. In an absolutely 
inconclusive case of criminal prosecution it is always 

195 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

attempted to be buoyed up with haudwiiting and toot 
prints. Both are the most dangerous evidence upon 
which you can go absolutely the most dangerous. 

Now, take the evidence of Morriss ; let us examine 
that shortly. Morriss is an assistant gamekeeper. He 
is going to his work at five o'clock on the morning of the 
1st of June, the day the girl was murdered ; he passes 
Gardiner's house, and he sees absolutely no mark on the 
step. We have been told it is a big step., yet no mark 
is seen upon it at all. He sees these marks as of india- 
rubber shoes extending from Gardiner's step until you 
get to Providence House. Morriss did not stop to 
examine those marks ; he walked straight on. He noticed 
the steps go as far as Crisp's, but never noticed whether 
they went farther or whether they were on ihe York 
pavement; yet he is prepared to pledge his oath that 
these steps went both ways from point to point, 
although he himself never went back. Astonishing 
detective he must be ! Going at an ordinary pace, with- 
out stopping, except to turn round, he is able to tell you 
about the steps going backwards and forwards. We 
cannot test it, except in this way. I asked him: " Did 
you see any 'other footsteps? " He replied: * e I saw 
some hobnailed boots half a mile up the Helmingham 
Boad/' and I shall call the man who made those marks. 
He is a man named Hart, who has already given evi- 
dence, and Hart will tell you that he was passing at 
four o'clock in the morning along the Hackney Boad, 
the oppbsite direction to Morriss, turning up the Helm- 
ingham Boad. He was passing with hobnailed boots at 
four o'clock in the morning Providence House, yet 
Morriss never saw his steps hobnailed boots until half 
a mile up the Helmingham Boad. Hart had to go a 
distance of 16 yards by Providence House, and as a 
matter of fact he noticed no footsteps at all. I do not 
know that he was particularly looking for them ; but it is 
noticeable that the observant Mr. Morriss should not see 
196 



Opening Speech for the Defence. 

Mr Wild 

the footmarks of Hart until lie had got half a mile up 
the Helrningham Boad. So much, with regard to that. 

Assuming Gardiner to be innocent, I am not able, 
of course, to explain this crime to you, "because if a man 
who is accused of a crime is to be convicted unless he 
can say who committed the murder, there is an end to 
the immunity on the subject. It has been more or less 
suggested by my friend I do not say he intended it 
that it he did n'ot do it, who did? The Crown, however, 
have tu show that Gardiner, and Gardiner alone, did it. 
Gentlemen, it is possible, and I throw it out as a sugges- 
tion, that if Morriss is not mistaken about these foot- 
prints, it is quite within the range of possibility thai 
they may have been made purposely by the real murderer 
as a blind. Either Morriss is mistaken or he is n'ot. If 
he is, well and good. If not, a possible explanation is 
that the man who committed the murder may have 
walked backwards and forwards, in order that these foot- 
marks might be seen. It is a curious thing that Morriss 
never saw these footmarks again from that day to this. 
You know Peasenhall is a comparatively small village, 
with a long straggling street. I do not know that there 
has ever been a murder there before, and you all know 
the tremendous excitement this case has occasioned, not 
only there, but almost, I might say, throughout the 
world. It has been the talk of the country, and for a 
murder to be committed in the middle of a village like 
that why it would be more interesting to the people of 
Peasenhall than even the filth that Davis tells you forms 
their ordinary conversation. I think I shall show you 
that Morriss was trying to find these footmarks at eleven 
o'clock, but never found them never saw them again, 
and did not have sufficient evidence this damning piece 
of evidence, as he would consider it to tell the police 
about it. There is only some tavern conversation between 
him and Bedgrave, which is filtered through Redgrave's 
brother who is landlord to Wright and Skinner ; Morriss 

197 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

speaks to Redgrave, Redgrave's brother speaks to Nunn, 
and Nunn goes to Morriss. Then they come out and 
give their evidence about the footprints. Morriss gives 
his evidence with the boots on the table before him ; but 
I submit he is not a witness on whose word it would be 
safe implicitly to rely. 

But there is one point stronger than all the theory I 
have been putting to you. One thing is plain there 
are no signs of blood or paraffin on the shoes, and my 
friend feels the point of that, and so he starts the 
astonishing theory that the murderer, having put on 
these shoes for the purpose of silence, takes them off as 
he goes into the house. That is mere theory the his- 
trionic ability my friend possesses from heredity and 
personality. It is the sort of thing that would do in a 
novel, but not in a murder case. Because they cannot 
find blood or paraffin on the shoes, they have to invent 
tke theory that he takes them on 2 , and they say the 
theory is supported because Nunn found no footmarks. 
What Nunn said before the Coroner was : "I think 
there were no footmarks.*' I suggest to you whatever 
Nunn may think now that at the time he gave evidence 
the idea was that the girl had committed suicide; and 
if they thought that, they would not trouble about foot- 
marks. Whether the man had the boots or not, his 
feet must have trodden in the blood, and there must 
have been some mark. In order that my friend may 
force a conviction against this wretched man, he has 
got to assume that Gardiner put on these shoes, and took 
them off before committing the murder, because even 
your naked foot makes more noise than india-rubber 
shoes, as gentlemen of the jury will know if they have 
ever walked about on the landing. These shoes were put 
in a bos Gardiner had not worn them for some time 
and when Mrs. Gardiner was asked for them she pro- 
duced them. If you do not take the ingenious histrionic 
theory of my friend, if you say: " We cannot afford to 
198 



Opening Speech for the Defence. 

Mr Wild 

listen to these words of fiction in a criminal case " ; if 
you examine these shoes, you will find that, assuming 
them to have been worn, blood and paraifin must have 
got into the interstices, and, as my friend reminds me, 
into the thread particularly, and this w'ould most cer- 
tainly have been observed by the microscopic eye of Dr. 
Stevenson. I ask you not to rely upon the evidence of 
Morriss, which he kept to himself, so far as the police 
were concerned, until the police themselves went and 
got it from him. I ask you to say that the whole thing 
points either to the fact that there were no footprints 
at all, or, if there were, that they could not have been 
made by the shoes of Gardiner. 

The next thing I have to deal with is the bottle the 
bottle which is the cause of this case. But for it 
Gardiner would never have been accused in this case. 
But the police in Peasenhall had got the bottle, and they 
said to themselves: " Gardiner did this murder, and 
he has left his card. Out of consideration for us, in 
order not to tax our brains too heavily, Gardiner has 
considerately brought a labelled bottle with his name 
on it and, of course, he did the murder." If this 
were not a murder case, it would make us laugh. 
They want to say that Gardiner is an accomplished 
criminal; yet they ask you to believe, that not only 
did he take these 6 ounces of paraffin to burn the body, 
but that he took a bottle with a label on it, bearing his 
own name. That is not the sort of a thing that a man 
overlooks, and I submit to you it is ridiculous. The cork 
was in the bottle, jammed into it so tightly that the 
fingers could not remove it. Is that the sort of mistake 
that an accomplished murderer makes? Happily we 
can explain this to you without a doubt. Mrs. 
Gardiner was asked about the bottle. Perfectly rightly 
and straightforwardly she told what she knew about it. 
What she knew, what ahe will tell you, was this : Dr. 
Lay apparently prescribed medicine about last Easter, 

199 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

which was on 28th March, both for Mrs. Gardiner's 
children and Mrs. Gardiner's sister. Mrs. Gardiner's 
children had five doses, five teaspoonfuls out of this hottle 
every ionr hours. The doctor's orders were followed for 
two or three days, and then the bottle was put on the 
shelf with other bottles. Eose Harsent was in the choir, 
and wanted to attend the annual tea meeting of the 
Sibton denomination. She, of course, wanted to sing, 
and could not because her throat was bad. She had a 
bad cold. So she came to Mrs. Gardiner, and Mrs. 
Gardiner is a great believer in camphorated oil. She 
had a bottle of camphorated oil in the house, and she 
took some of it and put it into a bottle. She does, not 
remember which, and you would not believe her if she 
said she did. She gave it to Eose Harsent. The police 
asked her: "Did she take it away?" and she used 
the phrase: t( She must have done/' which meant that 
she did. Of course she did. What was the use oi 
giving it to her if she did not take it away? I shall 
also call Mrs. Walker to whom the girl admitted that 
she used it, and that it made her cold well, so she was 
able to go to the meeting after all. The bottle wan 
taken by Eose Harsent, and then what did she do with 
it? I do not know. I can only guess and so can you. 
It is not an uncommon thing for servants, and parti- 
cularly if they are a little slovenly, to use a little paraffin 
to make up the kitchen fire and replenish the lamp. 1 
suggest that, having used the oil, she filled the bottle 
with paraffin. Of course, if the paraffin had been in 
some time, there would be no smell of camphorated oil 
remaining. In all probability the bottle was on that 
shelf which was broken, because you remember the shelf 
was standing above the side of the door and the bottle 
fell down, and the pieces were found just on the left 
of the girFs head. It would be exactly where they would 
be found if they fell off the shelf. The very fact of this 
paramn falling in the scuffle that must have ensued made 
200 



Opening Speech for the Defence. 

Mr Wdd 

the man suddenly think : " I will try to burn the body/' 
So he at once went to get the paraffin out of the lamp, 
and in his hurry he neglected to hide the bottle. That is 
only a theory, but I submit my theory is as entitled to 
consideration as the theory of my friend, and I have 
this privilege, if I can put belore you a theory which is 
possible, it is entitled to consideration, but rny friend's 
theories are such that they must be right, and there must 
be no mistake, because, as I have said, this is a question 
of Hie and death. At all events, it is more probable that 
what I suggest took place than that this man took the 
bottle with his name upon u and containing 6 ounces 
of paraffin for the purpose of trying to burn the body. 
That is what I suggest to you. It is a theory I ask you 
to consider. I ask you absolutely to reject the suggestion 
of my friend that that bottle can possibly have been 
taken by Gardiner. Having dealt with the bottle, I am 
now going to deal with the knife. 

A very common question in these cases a question 
which is liable to be misunderstood is, may that knife 
have inflicted the injuries? Of c'ourse, it may. So may 
any other knife; you see it la a very ordinary 
penknife. That knife is found in Gardiner's pocket 
when Gardiner is arrested. It is said he scraped ami 
cleaned it. It is quite true he has cleaned it. He has 
an oilstove in his workshop. Why, I suppose there 
is water somewhere in the neighbourhood of Peasen- 
hall, and do you imagine that if a man had murdered a 
woman with that kmfe he would have been content with 
a careful cleaning? I suggest he would have taken a 
walk to the river and chucked it in. What do you find? 
Ton find mammalian blood. It sounds a good thing, 
but it may be the blood of a rabbit or any other animal. 
Dr. Stevenson was called in, but he cannot help the 
prosecution. He gave his evidence perfectly fairly, as 
he always does. He said : "I cannot say whether it ig 
blood of a man or a rabbit. All I do know is I think 

201 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

it is about a month old." Of course, he is not prepared 
to stake his professional reputation on the age of that 
blood. Science may be very great, but it cannot do that 
yet. Science cannot take the smallest microscopic drop 
of blood and say this blood is a month or three weeks old. 
Gardiner will tell you he has used that knife for hulking 
a rabbit, and, having hulked a rabbit on two occasions, 
a month or six weeks before that there was some blood 
on it, although he cleaned it. It only shows the stress 
to which my friend is reduced that he has to try and 
make a point of that knife. 

The nest point is the East Anglian Daily Times. If 
ever there was an improper point to make it is that. 
Even my friend says and I thank him for it that he 
does not pay much attention to that fact. We all know 
the East Anglian, and we know it has the widest circu- 
lation of any daily paper in the county. It is perfectly 
clear that the East Anglian was under the bottle, and, 
gentlemen, the East Anglian is a point in favour b the 
defence for this reason it shows conclusively that the 
body had been moved about. You see the East Anglian 
was completely burned, and where it lay no hair was 
singed, and there was no singeing under it, and that 
proves the paper was burned out either before it was 
put under the body, or the putting of the body on the 
paper caused it to go out, or otherwise there must have 
been a singemg of the nightdress and the hair. That 
shows in conjunction with other points that there must 
have been moving of the body, and that, coming in con- 
nection with the blood and paraffin with which I am 
going to deal when I summarise, is very important. 

Leaving the East Anglian, I think there is only one 
other point brought against us, and that is the wash- 
house fire. That has considerably grown in magnitude 
since last night. Mr. Stammers is another one of their 
belated witnesses who was never called before the magis- 
trates or the Coroner ; a man we never heard as a witness. 
202 



Opening Speech for the Defence. 

Mr Wild 

We first had his evidence on 5th November, a day after 
the trial had begun. Stammers said, as I put to him: 
*' A fire." Then, in answer to leading questions, it 
became " An excellent blaze." Now he has had three 
months to think it over, and it becomes " A very excel- 
lent blaze." The whole theory is this. It is one of 
those cases of " Willing to wound, yet afraid to strike, 
Half hints a wrong and yet hesitates dislike." Why did 
Stammers stand back and not mention this wash-house 
fire before? The fact is this. The little wash-house fire 
is about 7 by 9 in. quite true, you can build it up at 
the top and what happened was that Gardiner, as he 
was accustomed to do, notwithstanding what Mr. 
Stammers would say, lit the fire for his wife on the 
morning of the Sunday because, it being hot weather, they 
did not want a fire in the room where they had break- 
fast. What is the suggestion about this fire? It is 
suggested the fire was lighted to conceal the parapher- 
nalia of the murder. What did he burn? Did he burn 
the india-rubber shoes, the clothes he wore on the Satur- 
day, his boots. Ms underclothing? He burned nothing, 
and if he did, what a smell it would have made, as you 
jurymen evidently know. Nothing was suggested to 
Gardiner about burning anything at the last trial, and 
if he had burned anything the nose of Mr. Stammers 
would smell what the eyes couldn't see. There would 
have been evidence of it too. When the police looked 
they would have found remnants of the burning. It is 
perfectly ridiculous, and another illustration of the 
unfair way this prosecution has been conducted not by 
my friend, but by those who advise him. 

I shall put before you the evidence of the accused and 
his wife, and I would suggest to you, coupled with the 
Observations I have made, that it disposes of the case 
of the prosecution, I have dealt at some length, but 
not undue length, with each point. 

I have, in conclusion, before I call my evidence, 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

shortly to draw your attention to certain points, which 
are not destructive points as destroying the case for the 
Crown, but constructive points as proving what I have 
not got to prove, the innocence of William Gardiner 
The first point is one the prosecution have failed all 
along in. Take your minds back to that fatal Sunday 
morning, between one and two, when Bose Harsent waft 
murdered. You have a kitchen 10 ft. 6 in. by 8 ft. C in. ; 
you find the body within 18 in. of the scullery wall; 
you find the throat cut from ear to ear, and another bad 
cut from the right-hand side of the throat. The head 
is resting against the kitchen stairs in a pool of blood, 
and there is blood up the stairs; it spurted out 2 ft., 
Eli Nunn told us. You have burning on the small of 
the back and the shoulders, and principally 'on the right- 
hand aide. You have standing there the lamp, taken to 
pieces, and the candle, the broken lamp cover, and the 
bottle which has fallen from the shelf, also covered with 
blood and paraffin. It is impossible to say how the girl 
was murdered, but, gentlemen, you have this. The 
murder must have taken some little time, because there 
was a thud and, a minute after, a scream. The thud 
rather looks as if the first blow, as Dr. Richardson said, 
might have been inflicted when she was standing up. 
Probably she tried to escape by the staircase, which 
accounted for the blood up the stairs, then she was 
dragged back and the wicked stroke was inflicted. Do 
any of you twelve gentlemen believe that that man could 
have done that murder without getting himself covered 
with blood. In a little space like that, with the victim 
penned up into the kitchen staircase, with her poor handvS 
up in front of her warding off the blow ; we find "William 
Gardiner without trace of blood upon him, his clothes, 
bo'ots, and shoes, all innocent of blood, and his face 
without a scratch or mark of any kind. 

Well, gentlemen, it is for you, and you alone. The 
point seems to be so obvious I should suggest it does not 
204 



Opening Speech for the Defence, 

Mr Wild 

require any great argument, but there is more. What 
does the murderer do? He proceeds to burn the body. 
What light has he to burn it? The candle is all the 
light. There is the body weltering in its gore ; he takes 
the body and lays it on its back. Can he have done that 
without getting blood upon him? He also places the 
East Anglian, probably alight, under her head and 
shoulders; and another histrionic suggestion my friend 
makes is that the man who did this screwed himself up 
to 18 in between the scullery wall and the body, and 
he did it so cleverly that, although the body and floor 
were covered with blood and paraffin, he succeeded in 
getting away without a mark of blood upon his clothing. 
This is a point I want to impress upon you. There is 
an attempt being made to put the cart before the horse 
in this case, and put upon me the proof of things which 
ought to be upon the prosecution. It is suggested in one 
of the insinuations so easy to make, and so difficult 
to disprove, that Gardiner had more clothes than have 
been produced. That is a question which rests upon the 
prosecution to prove, but I am willing to take it upon 
my shoulders, and I shall prove to you that every article 
of clothing the man ever had, his trousers, his waist- 
coats, and his coats, were given to the police when they 
asked for them, except those that he stood up in. As 
they had got his body, they had also g'ot the clothes he 
stood up in. Peasenhall is not a very large place, and 
Gardiner was a man of position in the place. Tou have 
your Stammers and House, and people with eyes in their 
heads, and tongues in their heads in Peasenhall. Do 
you imagine, therefore, that the po,lice have not made 
every search and every investigation to find if Gardiner 
had other clothes than those lie was wearing. He had 
no other clothes than those Mrs. Gardiner gave to the 
police. They go to Mrs. Gardiner on the Monday, and 
ask for the clothes, and she knows it is about the murder. 
The poor woman gives tte police officer the clothes her 

206 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

husband was wearing on the Saturday. She understood 
that that was what was required. She said : " That is 
what he was wearing " ; and, when the policeman came 
again, she gives him the boots and carpet slippers. 
When the policeman calls again on the Friday she says : 
" I have got an old black coat and waistcoat he has not 
worn for months." " Have you anything else? " asks 
the constable. She says: "Yes; he had some india- 
rubber shoes; here they are." These were all presented 
without the slightest attempt at concealment. There 
was no mark upon the slippers. I do not know, gentle- 
men, if y'ou know Dr. Stevenson, and what he can do, 
but if there had been any washing of the clothes, Dr. 
Stevenson, the great Home Office analyst, could find out 
traces of blood even under those circumstances. These 
clothes have been subjected to close microscopic examina- 
tion, and there is not a vestige of blood on them. With 
regard to the underclothes, the policeman was given a 
shirt and a vest. With regard to this, a merciful thing 
has happened in this case. I believe there is a God in 
this case, Gardiner believes in Him, and I cannot feel 
but there is something that will prove Him true. 
Mrs. Gardiner washes in alternate weeks. What a merci- 
ful providence her washing-day was the 9th of June, and 
not the 2nd ! If it had not been, so, it would have been 
stated by the prosecution that Gardiner's underclothing 
had been washed. There was no blood on the clothing, 
and there they had got proof of the accused's innocence. 
There is one other point in this matter. They do find 
something; they find a little bit of cloth. And my 
friend says to you I hope I can find his words he says 
** a tiny little thing." He is magnanimous enough to 
say he would not make use of it. And why? Because 
Dr. Stevenson has subjected those clothes to examination, 
and although he says that the little piece of cloth was 
hacked out of the clothes, he found it could not have 
200 



Opening Speech for the Defence* 

Mr Wild 

been hacked out of Gardiner's clothes. It is said to be 
hacked out of Gardiner's clothes. 

If you are going into theory, here is a piece of fact 
for you. The piece of cloth was in the piece of debris 
of the bottle. Dr. Stevenson had been unable to dis- 
cover that the cloth was hacked out of Gardiner's clothes. 
If he had, the prosecution would have said : " Here is a 
find." It would have been brought forward to you as- 
the little piece of damning evidence left by the man who 
thought he had escaped detection. Because they know 
it is not from Gardiner's clothes, they try to pass it over 
as a very tiny thing. That little bit of cloth, gentlemen, 
came from the murderer's clothes, and if you can find 
where it comes from you have found the man who com- 
mitted the murder. It is just the sort of point which, 
if it had been on the other leg, my friend would have 
brought before you and emphasised it. Because the 
cloth does not come from the accused's clothes, it tells 
of his innocence and of another man's guilt, and of the 
man who kept the twelve 'o'clock appointment. I do 
commend that little bit of cloth to your respectful con- 
sideration. I hope you will consider the care with which 
Dr. Stevenson has examined everything connected with 
this case, and it is a thing which tells in favour of the 
defence. Other points are worthy of attention. Every 
facility has been given by Mr. and Mrs, Gardiner to the 
police, and there has been no attempt at prevarication. 
The police persecutions of this poor woman I will not 
use so strong a term the police visitation has been un- 
paralleled in the annals of modern investigation. Five 
or six times they went in the course of one week. I am 
glad they went; she is an honest woman, a good little 
woman, who has brought up her children well; and she 
gave her answers like a truthful and good woman. 

Regarding the scandal, there is a point I forgot. Mrs. 
Gardiner never believed that scandal. She was a friend 
'of that girl till her death, and, being the wife, believes 

207 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

there was nothing between her husband and Rose Har- 
sent. If the wife believes there is anything between her 
husband and another woman, then, gentlemen, she does 
not make a friend of that other woman. But Mrs. 
Gardiner did. Mrs. Gardiner believed in Rose Harsent, 
and still believed in her husband. I shall be able, 
through her instrumentality, to establish a complete 
alibi. 

There are two other matters that require consideration 
one is the matter of this confession letter. Now, gen- 
tlemen, do not let me be misunderstood with regard to 
this. I know no more, nor do those who instruct me, 
whether this letter is a genuine confession or whether it 
is the emanation of a distorted brain. It is remarkable 
I say it for what it is worth that the man who wrote 
that letter has, at all events, got hold of certain facts 
which are known to be true. It is remarkable that there 
was a man answering the description of that letter, who 
came home that night, a man who had walking shoes, 
who came home in the company of young Harsent, and 
who lives at Badingham, and keeps his mother. I con- 
sider I have not the right to make a distinct suggestion 
about the matter as to who did this murder. My own 
client has suffered so much from false accusations that 
it shall not be said that he has cast blame through me 
on some other person. It is possible that the man who 
wrote that letter committed that murder. Let us assume 
that for the moment, and that he knows that Gardiner 
is unjustly accused. It is conceivable that he is now 
trying to throw the blame on an innocent man, Good- 
child, to ease his own conscience and to prevent Gardiner 
being hanged, because he knows Gardiner can prove his 
innocence. It is a remarkable thing that the man who 
wrote that letter should put in, facts which have been 
proved to be facts, and it is possible that the man who 
wrote that letter is the man who committed the murder. 
01 course, the man would not put his own neck into the 

208 



Opening Speech for the Defence. 

Mr Wild 

noose ; he tries to throw the crime on some other innocent 
person, to save Gardiner from a death he knows to be 
unjust. It is undoubtedly the letter of a man who is 
trying to make himself out to be illiterate. He first 
spells Davis with a capital " D " and then with a small 
" d," and in a different manner. You will find in that 
writing in the letter of confession the most curious 
words, which show that the man is a better writer than 
he would have us believe. 

But, please do not misunderstand me. It is no 
part of my case that that man committed that murder, 
but we have to search about and take into consideration 
these things, and if it is possible, if really, in fact, there 
is some poor wretch who knows that he was the murderer 
and who is doing what he can to let innocence be vindi- 
cated in the shape of this man, I say it is not to be passed 
over by phrase or allusion. It is worthy of considera- 
tion. It is your duty; it is your responsibility; it is 
not mine. Heaven knows I feel my responsibility in this 
case, but my responsibility, my friend's responsibility, 
my lord's responsibility they are nothing as compared 
to yours, because it rests upon you and each of you to 
say whether that man is guilty or not. The verdict is 
the verdict of the jury, and all these matters must be 
considered by the jury. 

And, lastly, there is the indecent episode the episode 
of what they call the lad Davis. If ever you want to 
minimise the importance of a man, you call him a lad 
he is twenty. Now, with regard to him, I want you 
just to consider: supposing Davis were in the dock, 
what a case a man who is, as far as we know, 
innocent of this murder, would have had against him. 
I make no suggestion, and have not made any throughout 
the case, except the one that he is the father of the child, 
but I ask you to consider this. Supposing a case were 
attempted to be made against Davis, what a case my 
friend, with his imagination, with his ability, could 
o 209 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

make of it! What a speech he could make! I 
wist I had the ability he has to make such a speech. 
He would read you those letters; he could show you 
the progress of the amour from the letter, " I hope she 
will yield/' to the verses, with the request : " Burn 
this " the man under the same roof, the man with the 
door communicating 1 . There is the motive ; the man who 
gives the girl a medical work, the girl who is enceinte. 
Whom does she g'o to for a hook P That is as far as it could 
be taken in my judgment. Assuming Davis were there 
instead of Gardiner, what a case with these letters and 
means of access ! WTiat could be said on the other side ? 
All he could say was this : he could call his father to 
prove an alibi, just as I can call Mrs. Gardiner to 
prove an alibi, and I ask you to extend the same con- 
sideration to Mrs. Gardiner as you would extend to him 
if he were unjustly accused. All eyes are focused upon 
William Gardiner. We cannot examine the life's his- 
tory of every man in Peasenhall and Suffolk, and 
William Gardiner is put forward as the criminal. I 
suggest to you that it is obvious that the real paternity 
of the child rests at the door of Davis : that it is proved 
by the fact that he writes to her those indecent letters ; 
it is pr'oved by the fact that he gives a medical work; 
and therefore it makes it more difficult and more doubtful 
to establish who committed the murder. We have had a 
lurid light cast upon the morality of the youth of 
Peasenhall. 

It may be that either in that village or in its 
neighbourhood there may be some person it may be 
a tramp ; I do not know who it was, we have heard of a 
man at the Triple Plea; it may be one of these people. 
I cannot say ; I will not take upon myself that responsi- 
bility. I hold that my duty is to point out to you where 
the Crown have been remiss, where they have not been 
able to prove their case, and that is all my duty. 

One word more with regard to Davis. That girl kept 
210 



Opening Speech for the Defence, 

Mr Wild 

his letters. You Lave noticed in Davis's letters " Burn 
this." What did she keep them for? She kept them, as 
I suggest, for subsequent proceedings. Supposing that 
child had been born, and supposing she had accused 
Davis, those letters would have been ample corroboration 
before the magistrates. That is my submission why she 
kept those letters, and while I am on the question of 
letters there is this to be said: she was a girl who kept 
her letters, and that being the case, she kept her letters 
from Gardiner. You have got two letters from Gardiner. 
I ask you, in the retirement of your room to-night, to 
read those letters, and contrast them with the filthy pro- 
ductions of this abominable young man, and I ask you 
to say if you think that the letters of Gardiner are not 
the letters of an honest and a good man. 

In conclusion, will you look also at the letter the 
Crown are using from the accused to the wife. It breathes 
the true spirit of religion. I do not want to import into 
this case more religion than has already been imported, 
but I am entitled to say this : Gardiner is a man who 
has walked before his fellow-men above reproach; he is 
a man who belongs to a religious denomination 'or com- 
munity which believes in the patriarchal, the more primi- 
tive methods of religion, and which is not ashamed to 
admit and call upon the name of its God; and Gardiner 
all through this ordeal through which another man has 
not possibly passed in the course of the last century all 
through this terrible waiting he has had for a fair trial 
at last, I say that Gardiner through this has been able 
to realise that while the Lord is on his side, as he be- 
lieves, " I will not fear what man can do unto me." 
That is the spirit: it may be the right one; it may be 
the wrong one. You or I may not believe in a religion 
that wears the heart upon its sleeves; but it is a mar- 
vellous thing that William Gardiner, unjustly accused of 
the murder of Rose Harsent, has had a greater power 
than his own to rely upon, or he would not be alive 

211 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wad 

to-day; lie would not be able to give his evidence in the 
bos; but he will give bis evidence, and wben you have 
heard my evidence, I shall ask you to say that not only 
is he entitled to the verdict equivalent to " Not proven," 
but that he is not guilty of the atrocious charge which 
has been unjustly brought against him. 

Evidence for the Defence. 

Dr. W. A. ELLISTON, examined by Mr. CLATTGHTON 
SCOTT I have heard the description given of the cuts 
in the deceased girl's throat. From my experience, I 
should say that they must have occasioned considerable 
spurting of blood, and not only spurting, but flowing of 
blood. 

In your opinion, would it be possible 

Mr. DICKENS I must object to this. 

[After a brief discussion, in which his lordship took 
part, Mr. Claughton Scott put the question ] 

From the nature of the wound, is it a fact that some 
small arteries must have been severed? In all prob- 
ability. 

From two wounds P Certainly. 

In your opinion, had the body been moved? 

Mr. DICKENS I do object to this. This gentleman is 
not coming to give evidence on a question of fact. 

Mr. CIATJGHTON SCOTT I will not press it. 

Mrs. GEORGINA GABDINEB, examined by Mr. WILD 
Are you the wife of William Gardiner? Yes. 

When were yb.u married? In October, 1888. 

And you have had eight children? Tes. 

How many are alive? Six. 

I think the eldest is thirteen years of age, and the 
next are twins aged four? Yes. 

How long have you lived at Peasenhall? About twelve 
years. 

212 



Evidence for Defence. 

Mrs Gardiner 

Has your married life been happy? Yes, it has been 
a happy one. 

Has your husband been a good husband and father? 
Yes. 

Do you remember a scandal in May, 1901, being circu- 
lated about y'our husband? Tes. 

At that time was there anything the matter with you? 
Yes, I was in bed. I had been confined on the 3rd 
May. 

Did this scandal make any difference in your married 
life? Not at all. 

Were you satisfied of your husband's innocence? 
Yes, quite satisfied. 

Did you know Hose Harsent? Yes. 

How long had you known her before her death? Some 
years back. 

On what terms were you? Always on friendly terms. 

Used she to visit at your house ? Yes. 

And after this scandal did she continue to visit? Yes. 

Did it make any sort of difference in your relations 
either with your husband or the girl? No. 

She was a member 'of his choir? Yes. 

You remember the night of the 31st of May, 1902? 



In the afternoon of the 31st, what time did your 
husband leave home? About half -past two. 

Was that to drive Mr. Eickards to Zelsale? Yes. 

Did you see him drive away? Yes. 

I think you had a daughter whom he was driving 
home? Yes. 

And did he return with your daughter? Yes, about 
nine o'clock. 

Then what did he do? The child got out of the trap, 
and he went to put up the horse went to the works. 

What time did he finally come in? At half -past nine. 

Then what did you do? We put the children to bed. 



William Gardiner, 

Mrs Gardiner 

What then ? My husband sat down, took off his boots, 
and put on carpet slippers (produced). 

What did you do then? Got the supper ready. My 
husband looked out of the front door, and said : " There 
is a storm arising." 

Was Harry Burgess there? That I cannot say. 

When your husband carae in from looking at the storm, 
what did you do? We had supper. 

What then? I told my husband during supper that I 
was going into Mrs, Dickenson's, as she was very ner- 
vous.. She had been in ours the night before. We went 
into Mrs. Dickenson's about 11.30 or from 11 to 11.30. 
I went first, and my husband went a few minutes after. 

How long after? As long as it would take for him 
to go up to look at the children. He told me they were 
all right. 

What time would that be? I did not look at the time. 
It would be shortly after half-past eleven. We remained 
at Mrs. Dickenson's until half-past one, and the storm 
was then over. There was some thunder after, but not 
much lightning the storm had passed over. 

Was any remark made as you left Mrs. Dickenson's? 
She spoke about the weather, and my husband said : 
" Tou will not mind now, as it is not very long till 
morning." She replied that she would not mind. It was 
getting quite light at twenty minutes to two. 

Now, about your house. It is a cottage, is not it? 
Yes. 

The main entrance leads straight into the room? 
Yes. We went from Mrs. Dickenson's side door to our 
back door she is a next-door neighbour. 

When y'ou go into the front room, there is a narrow 
staircase with no carpet? Yes (indicating with her 
hands the width of the staircase), 

How many bedrooms are there? Three. The first was 
where my two little boys Ernest and Bertie sleep. The 
214 



Evidence for Defence. 

Mr* Gardiner 

second room was where the four girls sleep, and my 
bedroom is next. 

In your bedroom there is one bed? Yes. 

Does Mrs. Pepper live next door? Yes. 

And is there a partition between? Yes; a very thin 
partition. We can hear quite plainly through it, and 
the two bedrooms are adjoining. 

You told us that you went in at the back door with 
your husband after leaving- Mrs. Dickenson's? Yes. 

Did you go to bed? Yes. The church clock struck 
two at the time we were undressing. 

Had you done anything before getting into bed? 
Yes. We both went and looked at the children. 

You had been with your husband ever since he came 
from Dickenson's till then? Yes. 

When you got into bed, could you sleep? No. As 
soon as I got into bed my little boy Bertie woke up. 

What happened then? I went to him. 

How long were you with him? Five minutes or more, 
because he cried very much, 

After you came back from Bertie, did you go back 
to the bedroom? Yes. 

Was your husband there? He was in bed. 

Does he sleep in his ordinary day shirt? Yes, always. 

Then what did you do after ; was your husband in bed ? 
Yes. I got out of bed again, because I had a pain 
in my body, and I said to my husband : " I shall have 
to go and get some brandy, as I have such pains in my 
body/' and did so. 

What did your husband say? He said he would go 
down and get some for me, and I said, as I was out 
of bed I would get it. 

I believe you are a teetotaller? Yes. 

But have brandy in case of illness? Yes. 

Where was it? In the cupboard downstairs. 

Where did you get the water from? It was upstairs 
in the bedroom. 

215 



William Gardiner. 

Mrs Gardiner 

When you got into bed, was your husband asleep 'or 
notP Not when I got into bed that time. I looked out 
of the window that time, and I said to him : " It is 
getting- quite light." 

What time was that? Twenty past two. 

How do you knowP I looked at the clock, and I 
remarked to my husband : " It's twenty past two." 

Did your husband go to sleep? Yes; he did, but I 
didn't. 

Did you sleep after that? I did not sleep till after 
the clock had struck five. 

Did anything else happen in the night to any of the 
other children? Yes; the twins woke up. I put one in 
bed with my husband and me, and one with the eldest 
girl. 

Do you know what time that was ? I cannot say ; but 
it was getting quite light. 

Did the one twin remain in bed with you? Yes, till 
we got up in the morning. 

What time did you sleep? Not till the clock struck 
five; I heard it strike, but I did not hear it strike after 
then. 

When you went to sleep was your husband by your 
side? Yes, with the little girl in his arms. 

Could he possibly have left that room from the time 
you went to bed and went to sleep ? He could n'ot. 

What time did you get up ? Between eight and half- 
past. 

What time did your husband get up? We both got 
up at the same time. 

Who lighted the wash-house fire? He did. 

What time was that? Between eight and half -past. 
I heard the church bell, which always goes at eight, and 
we got up directly after that. 

Did you see the fire? Yes, he boiled the kettle, and 
t filled it. 
216 



Evidence for Defence. 

Mrs Gardiner 

Is it true it was alight at half-past seven? No, we 
were not np till eight. 

Did you see the fire lighted? Yes, and put some wood 
on to make the kettle boil. 

What sort of fire was it? A small fire of wood. 

What is the size of the grate? "Not a very large one. 

Was there any fire bricked up on the top ? Not any. 

Anything burning in it except the kettle? No, 
n'othing except mine and Mrs. Pepper's kettle. 

I ought to have asked you what about the doors, were 
they locked overnight? Yes. 

What sort of lock has the front door? It has a lock 
and bar; I locked it myself. 

Then did you have breakfast on the Sunday morning 
with your husband and children? Tes. 

I ought to have asked you is it unusual for your hus- 
band to light a fire on Sunday morning in the summer? 
No; he generally lights it on Sundays ; not other days. 

At breakfast was there anything unusual in your hus- 
band's appearance? Nothing at all. 

Then did he take the children to school? He went to 
Sunday school with them. 

What time? About half -past nine. 

Then did you see Mrs. Pepper about ten? Tes. 

And have a conversation with her about the storm? 
Tes. 

At that time had you heard anything about the death? 
No, not then. 

When did you first hear of it? After I spoke to Mrs. 
Dickens'on, as she was going to church. A young man 
came past from Mr. Newberry's, and he told me Rose 
Harsent had committed suicide. 

Did you tell your husband? Tes. I asked him when 
he came home to dinner if he knew what dreadful thing 
had happened, and he said : " Tes ; I can't think what 
induced the poor girl to do such a thing as that/' 

Was he upset? No. 

217 



William Gardiner. 

Mrs Gardiner 

Or shocked? STo; but, of course, we were all sorry 
to tear what had happened. 

Did your husband go to his Sunday school duties again 
at half-past one? Yes, and he came home about four 
o'clock, and went for a walk. 

Did yb.u see anything of Morriss that morning ? Yes ; 
Morriss and Kemp walked up the street between eleven 
and twelve. 

How often is it your husband changes his linen? 
Every Sunday morning. 

Did the police come to your house on the Monday 
morning between ten and eleven ? Yes ; H"unn, Berry, 
and Scott. 

Tell us what took place? Berry questioned nie, and 
asked me my husband's 

[Here witness stopped. Mr. Wild handed her some 
smelling salts, and Mr. Dickens suggested that they 
might adjourn. Mr. Justice Lawrance, however, inti- 
mated that the witness might be examined shortly.] 

WITNESS, continuing, said Berry asked me my hus- 
band's whereabouts on the Sunday. 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWEANCE And did you tell him 
what you have already told us to-day up to the time of 
going to bed? Yes. 

Emmination continued Did you answer all the ques- 
tions that were put to you? Yes, I answered every 
question they asked me. 

Was any question put to you as to what happened after 
you went to bed? I told them that I was not well in the 
night. 

You answered all their questions? Yes. 

Did they go away? Yes, they went away then, and 
came back again about one o'clock. 

I think it was Staunton, Berry, and Nunn? Yes. 

There was more conversation about the paper which 
no point turns upon at all? Yes. 
218 



Evidence for Defence. 

Mrs Gardiner 

Did they ask where your husband was? Tes, I said 
my husband was at the works. 

Was anything said about the scandal? Tes; Mr. 
Staunton said: " You know, of course, there has been 
a scandal about your husband and the deceased girl/' 
I said I knew there was, but I never believed it from 
the first. 

Did Staunton ask you about your movements? Tes; 
I told them everything they asked. 

Tou took no note of these conversations, I suppose? 
No. 

I think there was some talk about writing? Tes, he 
showed me letter " A." 

What did he say to you about the writing? He asked 
me if my husband wrote it. 

What did you say? I told him "No." 

Did you say anything else about the writing? I do 
not remember. I said it is something like his writing. 

Was it your husband's writing, in your opinion? 
No, it was not. 

That was the third visit of the police ? They came that 
afternoon about four or five o'clock. 

How many officers came? Three of them. 

Who were they ? Do you remember ? Tes ; Staunton 
and Nunn, but I could not remember whether the other 
was Scarf or Berry. 

What did they ask? They asked if my husband was 
in, and they asked first about the medicine bottle. 

Where was your husband ? Sitting on the couch. 

I want you to tell us about this conversation about 
the medicine bottle? Mr. Staunton asked me first if I 
had a sister ill, and had received medicine from Dr. Lay. 
I told him I had, and he asked what name was on the 
medicine bottle, and I told him it was Mrs. Cullam. He 
said: " Are you sure about that? " and I said ** Tes." 
He said: " Could you find me the bottle? " I went to 
get the bottle, but could not find it, I found two, but 

219 



William Gardiner. 

Mrs Gardiner 

not the one with my sister's name on it. I told them I 
had two bottles, but not the one with my sister's name 
on. He said he should have to see my sister about it, 
but could I tell him anything about a medicine bottle. 
I said I remembered at one time giving Rose Harsent 
some camphorated oil in a medicine bottle. I took the 
oil out of my bottle, and put it in the medicine bottle 
that the children had just finished their medicine out ol 

You always get camphorated oilP Yes. I always 
keep it in the house, and use it for the children. 

Did you tell him what you gave it her for ? She had 
a very bad cold and faceache. 

What did Staunton say? Anything about taking it 
away? He said: (f Are you sure she took it away? " 
I said : " Of course she took it, for I gave it to her." 

Was Nunn taking notes? Yes, and Mr. Staunton 
said : Put it down, " I gave Eose Harsent some cam- 
phorated oil, but am not sure she took it." I said : 
" I am quite sure she took it." 

Do you remember when you gave her the oil ? I could 
not just remember the date, but it was just after the 
children had finished the medicine out of the bottle, 
just after Easter. I did not take any note which bottle 
it was when I gave it to her. 

Did four of them come at 8,30 on the evening 'of the 
Tuesday on which the inquest took place? Only three, 
and Mr. Rickards. 

What took place? They asked if my husband was in, 
and I said " Yes." 

Were you asked for some clothes? They asked for my 
husband's clothes and my knives. 

Did you get the clothes? I got the clothes and Mrs. 
Walker got the knives. 

What clothes did you get them? My husband's grey 
suit that he was wearing on the Saturday, and his shirt 
and vest that he had taken off on the Sunday morning. 

Did you understand that was all they wanted? Yes. 



Evidence for Defence. 

Mrs Gardiner 

Did Stattnton ask if anything had been washed? Yes, 
and I told him " No." 

As a matter of fact, had anything been washed? No. 

How often do you wash? Once a fortnight. 

And when was your next washing-day? On the next 
Monday, the 9th. 

Then they arrested your husband, and he fainted? 
Yes. 

Was some brandy given to him? Yes. 

Was that from the same bottle from which you got 
the brandy in the night? Yes. 

And then they took your husband away, and you 
fainted? Yes. 

The next interview, I believe, was on 4th June ? Yes. 

On that day did Berry and Nunn come for boots and 
shoes? Yes. 

What did they say? They asked if my husband had 
any shoes besides those he was wearing when he was 
taken. 

What did you give them? I gave them a pair of boots 
and shoes. 

Carpet slippers? Yes. 

And his other pair of boots? Yes. 

Are these the carpet shoes he was wearing on the night 
in question? Yes. 

Did they look round the house? Berry went away 
with the boots and shoes, and Nunn came back and said 
he should like to look in my bedroom. I said : " You 
can look anywhere you like. Mrs. Walker will go with 
you/' I went upstairs with him myself, and he went 
and looked all round the bedroom and down the stairs. 

On Friday, 6th June, did Nmm come again? They 
came on the Thursday to ask if my husband had any 
more clothes, and I gave them the black coat and vest. 
I said he had not worn them for some long time, and 
I did not think they wanted them. 

How long was it? For two or three years. 

221 



William Gardiner. 

Mrs Gardiner 

On the Friday did they come and ask for some india- 
rubber shoes? Yes. I told them I had an bid pair my 
brother gave us a week before when I was in London. 

Did you fetch them? Yes. 

Where were they? In a bos of odds and ends, and I 
put them there, as my husband did not wear them. 

Did they come again on the Saturday morning? Yes, 
and asked for my husband's mackintosh. I told them 
they would find it at the office, as I could not see it 
there. 

And it was found at the works? Yes. 

Have you given up all the clothes your husband ever 
had? Yes. 

On the 8th June they came to ask for this letter? 
Yes, on the Sunday, 

Did he ask whether you would give him the letter? 
He said he wanted the letter that had been received from 
my husband at the prison, as the surgeon wished to see 
it. I said I did not want to part with it, as that was all 
I had. 

Did you part with it ? Yes ; I gave it to him. 

Was it returned to you about a week later? It was 
returned to me during the week. 

Did you then consult Mr. Leighton, and in conse- 
quence of Mr Leighton did the police visits cease? Yes. 

[At this stage the Court rose, shortly before two 
o'clock. Just at this moment the witness fainted, and 
had to be removed. On resuming ] 

Mr. WILD My lord, I do not think Mrs. Gardiner is 
in a condition to be cross-examined; she is very ill. 
Shall I call my next witness? 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWKANOE The accused ought to be 
called first. It is not necessary by Act of Parliament, 
but it Is the usual custom to call the accused first. 

Mr. DICKENS I understood that, but did not make 
any protest. 



Evidence for Defence. 

William G. Gardiner 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE It does not matter so far as 
Mrs. Gardiner is concerned. 

WILLIAM GEORGE GARDINER (prisoner, on oath), 
examined by Mr. WILD You are foreman of the Drill 
Works at Peasenhall? Yes. 

I think it is already known yon have worked your 
way? Yes. 

You hold high office in the Primitive Methodist Con- 
nexion ? Yes. 

How long have you known Rose Harsent? Seven or 
eight years. 

And was she not in your choir? Yes. 

Speak a little louder, Gardiner, please. Did you both 
attend the Sibton Chapel? Yes. 

And she was on friendly terms with your wife and 
you? Yes; she was. 

Accustomed to visit? Yes. 

Come to the scandal of May, 1901. They say the 
scandal that you heard about had been circulated by 
Wright? Yes. 

And as a matter of fact, first of all, I had better ask 
you, was there any truth in the story that he has told 
and tells us? No. 

Just tell me in your own words, and as slowly as you 
can, what happened on the night of 1st May, 1901, the 
night you were said to be in this chapel? I had been 
out driving during the day, and came home at 7.30 in 
the evening. I went home and had my tea. Then I 
went back to the works to look after the horse. 

What horse was that ? The one I had been driving. 

What time was that? "Well, it would be about half an 
hour afterwards, 8.15 perhaps. 

What was the matter with the horse? I noticed when 
I got home he did not take his bait. 

Were you responsible for the horse? Yes. 

You were over the horseman at that time? Yes. 



William Gardiner. 

William G. Gardiner 

Very well, go on? I came off tEe works after I had 
been to look at the horse, and saw it was all right. 

Speak louder. Yes P Just as I got outside the works, 
a few yards down the road, beside the Doctor's Chapel, 
I saw Eose Harsent close by the gate. She called to 
me across the road, and asked me if I would go and lock 
the door for her, as she could not lock it. I went up 
to the chapel door, and found the door stuck, so that I 
had to slam it to. I locked the door, and came away 
with her. 

Did you talk to her at all? Tes, we were talking all 
the time. 

What were you talking about? We were talking 
about anniversary hymns. 

For the Primitive Methodist anniversary? Tes. We 
had a teachers' meeting to pick out hymns for the anni- 
^versary, and I was speaking to Rose about the hymns. 

Is it a fact that the door went with difficulty? Tes, 
I had to slam it to. 

Has it since been eased? Tes, because Mr. Orisp told 
me. 

It was after the meeting? Tes. 

Is it true you went into the chapel at all at night ? 
No. 

I need hardly ask you had none of this conversation 
taken place with Rose Harsenfc that Skinner has deposed 
to ? It is absolutely a lie from beginning to end. 

Did you say anything to Wright? Tes; I saw him a 
time or two since. 

Where was he when you were in the Rendham Road? 
The first time I came off the works, I mean against the 
works gate. 

And when you went into the gate, where was he then? 
That would be when I came from home. 

Tou knew Wright was about? Tes. 

The next thing you heard was that these young men 
were speaking about you in this way? Tes, 
224 



Evidence for Defence. 

Wfflmm G. Gardiner 

Did you have them up at your office? Tes. 

What did you say to them? I told them the sum and 
substance of what I had heard. I told them what I 
heard, and asked them if they had been saying it. 

What did they say?' They said it was all right. 

I think you said something about bringing an action? 
I told them unless they tendered an apology I should 
bring an action against them for defamation of character. 

What did they say to that? They said I could do 
as I liked. They were single men; they had nothing, 
only what they stood up in. They said they would not 
give me an apology. 

Did they give any reason? Yes, they said it was 
true, and that was the reason why they w'ould not give 
an apology. They said they would not apologise then, 
because if they did they would get hooted all over the 
works. 1 do not say these were the exact words. 

Was there an inquiry held at the chapel on IHh May? 
At Sib ton Chapel. 

Was that at your winh? Tes, I requested it to be 
held. 

That inquiry, wo know, was held in the presence of 
Mr. Guy? Had you told the young men what really 
took place? Yos. 

You told thorn what you really had been doing? Yes. 

At the inquiry before Mr. Guy, ho was in the chair? 
Yes. 

What number of people wore present? Somewhere 
about twenty. 

How Iqng did it last? I cannot tell you the exact 
time; it began about 7,30, and it was late before it 
closed. About three hours, I should say. 

Did they tell their story? Yes. 

Did you ask them questions? Yes. 

Did their times agree with what they now say? No; 
they did not. 

They have altered their times? Yes. 

p 225 



William Gardiner. 

William G. Gardiner 

Were you examined? Tes. 

Did you give the same explanation you have given 
to-day? Tee. 

What was the result of the inquiry? Well, I resigned 
my offices. 

Was that at your own wish? Tes. 

I wish you would try and speak louder. I know it 
is very hard for you. As a matter of fact, were you 
re-elected to such of your offices as you cared to take 
again? Tes, about a month afterwards. 

Was that at the conclusion of the quarterly meetings? 

And are you still superintendent of the Sunday school ? 
I was till I was arrested. I believe I am practically 
now. They are holding the office open. 

And choirmaster? Tes. 

Any other office you held? Tes, there were several 
offices, assistant steward for one. 

Tou were re-elected to these offices? Tes. 

I want to ask you one general question ; has there ever 
been any indecency between y'ou and Rose Harsent in 
your life? No, none whatever. 

Ever behaved improperly with her? Never once. 

With regard to Rouse, is it true that you were walking 
with her in the month of February, or at all after this 
scandal? No, it is a downright lie. 

Is it true that Rouse remonstrated with you, and you 
said you would not do it again? I never heard a word 
about it. 

Did you ever hear a word about it till Rouse mentioned 
it at the last Assizes ? Not until he was in this witness- 
box. 

Is it true that you ever put your legs on Rose Harsent'a 
lap in chapel? No. 

If you did, how many people could see you? The 
greater part of the people in the chapel. 

226 



Evidence for Defence. 

William G. Gardiner 

Did House remonstrate with, you for it? Never said 
a word. 

And beyond the anonymous letter, have you heard 
anything about what happened in the chapel? The 
letter does not mention it. 

Did you, until the last Assizes, know who had written 
that letter? No, I did not. 

And as a matter of fact, you produced the letter? 
Yes. 

I will ask you about correspondence : did you ever use 
buff envelopes? No, never. 

And are any o the buff envelopes said to have been 
delivered at Providence House in the same writing as the 
disputed letter in your writing? No. 

'flow often had you in 1901 written to the girl? I 
only remember writing to her twice. 

And wore those the two letters found in her box? 
Yes. 

Now, in 1902, last year, did you write to her at all? 
No. 

Did nlie write to you? Yes, 

How of Ian; do you remeinber? No; well, she only 
wrote once to my remembrance. 

What did you do with the letter? Simply made off 
with it iu the ordinary course of events after I had 
read it. 

Can you tell the jury roughly what the letter was 
about? Yes, it wan boca/uno a fow nights previous I 
cannot say how long; i(, might have boon a week the 
girl waw in my house. T really believe it was the pre- 
vious Sunday. The girl was In my house, and we were 
speaking of different things, and I said it would soon be 
time to pick out tho anniversary hymns for 1902, and 
during the following week I think it was the following 
week she sent me a note to say she would not be able 
to help us in the choir. 

Did she give any reason? No, she did not. 

227 



William Gardiner. 

William G. Gardiner 

What time do you have your anniversary meeting? 
In June. 

That was what the letter was about? Tes. 

Are those all the letters you remember having received 
from the girl? Tes. 

When was the letter? About six weeks before the 
meeting. 

And the meeting was in June? Tes. It might have 
been four weeks before the meeting. 

I believe you consulted Mr. Mullens about the scandal? 
Tes. 

And he wrote the letters, and then advised you not to 
take further action, as they had nothing at all? Tes, 
he did. 

Those letters that you wrote to the girl in June, 1901, 
were sent by the brother? Tes. 

Did you ever send her a letter through the post? 
Never. 

Is it true that you wrote the letter " A " making 
the appointment? No, I did not. 

Or the envelope " B "? No. 

Now, with regard to the knife; that is your pocket 
knife? Tes, it is. 

What have you used it for? It was my ordinary 
pocket knife. I used it for anything in the ordinary way. 

Have you ever used it in connection with blood? I 
have used it in connection with hulking rabbits dis- 
embowelling and skinning them. 

I must ask you to speak louder: your voice gets 
drowned in your beard. Do you remember at all when 
you last used it before the 1st of June? About a month 
or six weeks previous, I cannot say. 

Tou used it on more than one occasion for hulking 
rabbits? Tes, several times. 

And did you clean it? I used to sharp it on the oil- 
stone. 



Evidence for Defence. 

William G. Gardiner 

What oil-stone is that? The one in the carpenter's 
shop. 

Bringing you to the night of the 31st of May, 1902, 
we know what you have been doing in the afternoon. 
What time did you return from Kelsale? About nine. 

With your little girl? Yes, I went to the works, put 
the horse up, and got back home again about half-past 
nine, 

Yes? I went indoors and talked to the children, bo- 
cause they had been away and were home that night, 
and were laughing and talking about where they had 
been. 

Did you help to undress them? Tes. I carried the 
little ones upstairs. 

That is the twins? Tes. 

When the children were in bod? J looked out of the 
front door, because there was a tempest rising. 

And did yb.u soe anybody outsido there? Yes, 1 Haw 
Mr. Burgess. 

Did you have a chat with him? Y. 

Is it true that you were there to BOO if there was a 
light in Providence House? No; it IB Dot true. 

Then after you had had a look at tho weather, what 
then? I went indoors and had my supper, and after- 
wards went into MTH. Dickenson's. 

Do you remember what time you went into, Mrs, 
Dickensoa's? Half-paat Iwelvo, 

Half-pawt what? Half-past eleven, I moan. 

What time did your wife go in? A few minutes 
earlier. 

What had you been waiting for? I just wont upstairs 
to look at the children. 

Because you were leaving them alono in the house? 
Yes. 

Then you went into Mrs* Dickenson's, and stayed there 
till 1.30P Yes. 

And when you left Mrs, DickeuBoa's what was saidf - 



William Gardiner. 

William G. Gardiner 

Mrs. Dickenson said there would be only about one and 
a half hours to daylight. 

That is right? That would be about right. 

Then did you go in and go to bed? Yes. 

You and your wiie? Yes. 

Do you know what time you got to bed? It was about 
two. 

What happened after you got to bed? Alter we had 
been in bed a little time the little boy Bertie woke up 
and cried. 

What happened then? My wife went to him. 

And next? She came back into bed when he was 
quiet. 

What was the next thing that happened? Then she 
went downstairs because she had a pain in her body. 

Does she suffer from those pains? Yes, she had at 
times 

What did she go to get? Some brandy. 

Was anything said between you at the time? Yes. 

What was said? I would have gone downstairs and 
fetched it for her. 

Did you? JSTo, she was out of bed at the time. 

And she got the brandy and came back to the room? 
Yes. 

Do you remember at all when you went to sleep? I 
do not exactly know when I went to sleep. I do not 
remember anything further that night. Whether f lay 
awake ten minutes or half an hour, I cannot tell. 

Do you remember the child being brought into your 
bed? There was one next morning. 

Did you leave your room from the time you went to 
bed lat two o'clock until you got up on Sunday morning? 
No, I did not. 

Now, what time did you get up on Sunday morning? 
When the church bell went at eight o'clock. 

And did you light the fire the wash-house fire? Yes. 

At once? Yes, directly I got down first thing- 



Evidence for Defence. 

William G. Gardiner 

What was put on the wash-house fire? Nothing, only 
firewood. 

And the kettle? Yes. 

Is it true that you burned anything else in the fire? 
No. 

You had got carpet dippers on overnight? Yes. 

Is it true that you wore these india-rubber shoes that 
night? No. 

When did you first learn of the death of this poor girl? 
As I was going to Sunday school ihai morning. 

What was the effect upon you? Well, 1 was shocked 
to hear it. 

You went to your ordinary Sunday duties went to 
clmrch twice ? Yes, 

Taking your childre.n with you? Yes. 

On each occasion? Yes. 

With regard to your clothes: had you any other clothes 
besides those that wore, delivered to the, police? No. 

I believe the shirt and nndervcst were what you wore 
up till the Sunday mornmg? Yea. 

You used to sleep in your ordinary shirt? Ych. 

Wore you prose-nt air what wo call the bottle interview? 
Yes. 

And did your wij'e explain to th<s policeman ubout 
having tho bottle? Yes. 

Cross-examined by Mr. DKJKBNS Had you any know- 
ledge whatever of the death of lloso Harsent until you 
heard of it in going to Sunday school? No. 

Speaking generally, what tuno do you generally gob 
up on Sunday? At eight o'clock. 

Invariably? Not later sometime*? Tt would not have 
been later. 

What time was it o.n Sunday, the 1st JunoP Eight 
o'clock. 

You were late that morning P (hesitating) No; not 
particularly* 

9*1 



William Gardiner. 

William G. Gardiner 

Were y'ou late that morning? We might have been 
a little later. 

Mr. Gardiner, I want to be as considerate as possible, 
but I must ask you to answer my questions. Tour wife 
told us this morning how she pointed out to you that 
you would be late for chapel. Did you get up after 
eight? (Witness hesitated again.) 

Did you get up after eight? Yes, it was after eight. 
We heard the church bell go before we got up. 

What time did you light your fire? As soon as we 
got down. 

Dressed first, I suppose? Yes, dressed first. 

I suppose you must have lit your fire about a quarter- 
past eight? Somewhere about that. 

Will you swear to these gentlemen that on that morn- 
ing the fire was not lit until half -past eight? Yes, I 
would. 

You would ! You will? I will. I do. 

You lit it, as I understand, simply for boiling the 
kettle? That's it. 

For that purpose you would want a very small fire? 
It would be a small fire. 

It would n'ot be a big fire? It would be a small one. 

Is it true that the fire was alight and blaring at 7.30 
a.m. ? No, it is a lie. 

It is a lie? Yes, it is a lie; a deliberate lie. 

A deliberate lie? Yes, it is. 

Is it true that the smoke was coming out of the 
chimney at seven o'clock in the morning? No, it is not 
true. 

There was no reason for your having a fire as early 
as that, was there? No. 

Do y'ou know Stammers, your neighbour? Yes. 

Did you hear his evidence? Yes. 

That your fire was alight at 7.30? Yes. 

That it must have been alight half an hour before, 



Evidence for Defence. 

William G. Gardiner 

and that he saw smoke coming out of your chimney. 
Did you hear thatf Yes. 

Is that all invention? Eh? 

Is that all invention? Yes. 

You never had any quarrel with Stammers? No. 

Can you suggest why, when you arc bn your trial for 
murder, Stammers should have invented this story 
against you? No. 

Do you know Stammers personally? Tes. 

How long have you known him? Three or four years. 

Have you knbwn him on terms of intimacy? I have 
known him to speak to. He was a neighbour, but we 
never had any connexions with one another. 1 knew 
him just to give him " the seal of day/ 7 1ml no 
further. 

Now, tell me how many dhirts used you to keep? 
I never had more than two. I never bought the shirts ; 
my wife always did that, and so long aa I had one to 
put on, 1 never knew whether there were two, fclireo, or four, 

Do you mean to tell me thai this time you had only 
two shirtB? Only two, that I know of. 

I thought you said you did not know whether you had 
two, three, or lour? I say it in all as J know of* 

But one had to be washed. Do you mean to nay you 
only had one when the other \\an at UH wash? That is 
all [ know of. 

Did you sleep iu your shirt? YOH. 

Did you change it when you came homo at wight 
after a day's work? No. 

Who Kept your Blurts? My wil'o, 

Wliere wore they kept? I do. not know. 

Don't know where your nhirtB were kept? No. 

Supposing you wanted a change? My wife would 
get it. 

Supponing one shirt was at the waflli, do you suggest 
you hud no change of gLirt all the time? No, I don't 
think I should. 



William Gardiner. 

William G Gardiner 

Where do you get your shirts? My wife used to make 
them. 

Do you mean that your wife only kept you with two 
shirts at a time? I believe that is what she did. 

Do you really mean to tell us you don't know how 
many shirts you had? I cannot tell you. I don't bolieve 
I had more than two. 

How many pairs of trousers had you? How inuuy do 
you usually have? Sometimes three. 

How many coats? About the same quantity. 

Now about these india-rubber shoes. I understood 
your wife to tell us just now they were given to you by 
your brother? By her brother. 

Were they new when he gave them to you? No. 

How long before this did he give them to you? A 
week. 

Had you worn them? No. 

Where were they kept? I do not know. I never saw 
them from the time they came. 

You mean to say you did not know where they were 
kept? Yes. 

Now we have got to Mr. Stammers* Has he fold a 
deliberate lie? Yes. 

Mr. WILD I do submit, my^ftrd, that is not a proper 
form of question. A witness ought not to be asked that. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWEANCB He said so ; it is unfortunate 
you were not ixi Court at the time. 

Cro$s-eMa'n^^nat^on continued It does not lie to Mr. 
Wild to make that objection, when he told Mr. Rouse 
to his face that the whole of his story was a concocted 
lie. Now we come to Rouse. Is Mr. Rouse's story a 
fabrication from beginning to end? Tes. 

Not a word of truth in it? No. 

Is it untrue that you were walking with a girl late at 
night? It is. 

Is it true that he remonstrated with you, and you 
promised not to do it again? I never heard a word of it. 
234 



Evidence for Defence. 

William G. Gardiner 

And it is a wicked lie, because it jeopardises your life? 
Yes. 

Can you suggest any motive Mr. House had? I cannot 
suggest any motive at all. 

Mr. House was a member 'of your church? Yes. 

You were constantly brought into relation with. Mr. 
Bouse? Yes. 

Did he visit your house? Once. 

Did you visit his? No. 

Do you remember your wife Haying on the last occa- 
sion that House had ill-feeling to you because he was 
jealous, of your position ui (he church because yoti were 
in a higher position than he was? Yes. 

That ivS untrue, is not it? T do not ihink it is. 

On the last occasion, I asked you, und you wiicl yon 
were not higher in the church? T do uot know that I 
said exactly those wordy. 

Listen to the qiicstion 1 put to you* " With regard to 
Mr. House, a member of your church, do you suggest 
the motive he had for doing you an injury was because 
3xe was lower in the church than youmslf P " You said 
" No." " My friend (Mr. Wild) uses the word 
* labourer '; you do uot Imvo clans dintinotionB in your 
church? " You said " No." " You, as a matter of fact, 
are oqual in the church? " You said " Yes/' IB that 
what you naid? I might have said it, 

Is it true? It IB practically true, and what I have 
said to-day is practically true. 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWIIANCE Are you equal in tfce 
church, or notP No. 

Crow-examination continued What did you mean by 
your answer to me? Because afl members of one church 
we reckon ourselves brethren and equal one with another, 
but in our official capacity I was his superior. 

Do you suggest now that Bouse has fabricated this dia- 
bolical lie because he was jealous of you? No ; I do not. 

Mr. Bouse is a preacher? Yes, 

235 



William Gardiner. 

William G. Gardiner 

And you are a class manager and leader of the choir? 
Yes. 

Is it true, after the inquiry at Sibton Chapel with 
regard to Mr. Skinner, that you told Mr. Guy you had 
been guilty of indiscretion,? I do not know that I used 
that word. 

Will you undertake to say you did not? No; I won't 
say that I did not. I cannot tie myself to a word two 
years afterwards. 

Is it true you told Mr. Guy you would keep clear of 
young women generally, and of Rose Harsent in parti- 
cular? No; I did not. 

Anything <crf that kind? No; because I had no reason 
to keep clear of Rose Harsent. 

Mr. Guy was a minister in this church the head of 
the circuit? Tes. 

Do you suggest Mr, Guy has any ill-feeling towards 
you? No. 

Take the story of Wright and Skinner a fabrication 
from beginning to end? Tes. 

That you went inside the chapel? It was a lie. 

Take Wright. Do you suggest any reason why Wright 
should be so wicked? I do not say he had any motive 
at the time they started the scandal. I do not think 
they thought to do me an injury. I believe these young 
fellows got talking about it as young fellows will do, 
and it got added to till it happened to get to my ears. 
Then I challenged them. 

They were the people who started the story and spoke 
about it. They were responsible for the story and stuck 
to it at the inquiry? It was compulsory then, for they 
could not go back from it ; if they had done, they would 
have been hooted from the place. 

Can you suggest any motive in Wright to start such a 
story? They could not go back from it. 

In this trial, when your life is at stake, can you sug- 
gest any motive why they should stick to it and deli- 



Evidence for Defence. 

William G Gardiner 

berately perjure themselves in a murder trial? Yes, 
because they knew I could not prove it otherwise. They 
would not have come here of their 'own free will if they 
had not been forced by the prosecution. 

It is their own free will whether they should commit 
deliberate perjury? They are forced to do it as long 
as the prosecution force them to come here. 

Is that your idea of what honest young fellows would 
do? There is not much honesty about sticking to a tale 
like that. 

Can you suggest any ill-feeling in either of these two 
boys against you? Not till this scandal, and then they 
were forced to stick to it, and there has been ill-feeling 
ever since, and ihere always will continue to be. 

What other ill-feeling except they thought you had 
been doing wrong? No further than that they would 
never let it die out. 

Do you know Morriss P Tes. 

A gamekeeper? Tes. 

How long hare you known Morriss, the gamekeeper? 
Seven yeais. 

Have you known him well? I know him well to see 
him about the place, not to have any connexion with 
him. 

He is a straightforward fellow? I do not know at 
all. 1 have hoard nothing to the contrary. 

After you went to bed, after ten o'clock, after you 
had had your supper, did anybody leave your house 
except your wile arid yourself? Nobody came to your 
house, did they? No. 

And you did not go out of the front door, as I under- 
stand? You went to Mrs. Dickensqn's back door? Yes, 

So after ten o'clock nobody cither came into your house 
or went out of your house P Not at the front door. 

Can you account for those marks of your shoes, start- 
ing from youx house to Providence House and back 
again? No. 

237 



William Gardiner. 

William G. Gardiner 

Of course, as I understand, you had only had those 
shoes a week, and not used them? That is all. No. 

It was therefore probable that nobody knew you had 
got them? I do not suppose anybody did know. 

Now, with regard to Rose Harsent, did she come to 
your house? She used to come very often. Perhaps she 
would come twice in one week, and perhaps would not 
come for a fortnight. It all depended whether she was 
in the mind to come. 

She was only 100 yards off. There was no reason to 
write to her? I think there was. 

Why? -Why? 

Tea, you were constantly meeting at your wife's 
house? We were not meeting just then. I wanted that 
letter to go that day. 

Why should you write about the hymns in the church, 
if she was seeing your wife ? I have never written about 
the hymns in the church. 

What have you written about then? About the 
scandal. 

I am talking about the letter you admitted you wrote. 
I beg your pardon, I have got wrong. She wrote to 
you. What was it she wrote about? About hymns. 

What hymns? Anniversary hymns. 

Why did you have a special letter for that purpose? 
Perhaps she could not get out when she wanted to know 
that. Therefore, she would give it to her brother, and 
send it to me. There is nothing in it. 

When you wrote the letters to her about the scandal, 
where did you write them from? From the works. 

What envelopes did you use? Blue envelopes. 

Blue envelopes that were kept at the works? Yes, 

But you get these from the office? Yes, I had them 
in my office. 

Did you have buff envelopes in your office? No. 

Why, not? Because I never used them. They were 
in the principal office. 



Evidence for Defence. 

William G. Gardiner 

You had access to the principal office? Yes, I was 
often there. 

Did you never use the buff envelopes at all? JN"ever 
in my life. 

On no occasion? No. 

With regard to Hose Harsent, you never saw her 
guilty of any impropriety of conduct? I cannot say I 
have never seen her walking with any one, but I can say 
this, I have never seen anything improper between her 
and other men. You put the two things together. 

YOTI were brought into frequent contact with her? She 
was a member of your choir? Yes. 

You knew her very well? Yes. 

You must have been very much overcome by her death, 
were you not, when you heard the terrible circumstances? 
I was shocked to hear it, and, of course, was very 
vexed to hear it. 

Do you remember your wife's speaking to you about 
it?_Yos. 

You did not show any emotion th-en, did you? Yes, I 
was sorry for it. 

Yes, sorry? That is one thing. 

[Mr. Dickens read the depositions of tho wife as to 
accused's reception of the news of the girl's death.] 

You were shocked as anybody would bo likely to 
be shocked? Just tho same as any friend would bo 
shocked. 

Coming to the chapel incident on 1st May, 1901, what 
time was it you wont to bait your horse? About eight 
or a little after. 

What time was it you first baited your horse on getting 
homo? About half-past seven, when I came with tho 
horse, as near as I could tell, 

How far are the stables from your house? About 350 
yards. 

What time do you usually have supper? About six 
o'clock. 

239 



William Gardiner. 

William a Gardiner 

Had you had supper on this occasion P No. 

What time did you have supper that night? As soon 
as I went home after I left the works and had put the 
horse up. 

Did you rub him down? Yes. 

Did you give him his feed? The bait was in. 

Is it true you were at the chapel at a quarter to eight? 
Beg your pardon. 

Is it true you were at the chapel with the girl at a 
quarter to eight? It could not be at that time. 

What time do you suggest ? It was a quarter-past eight. 

Was it a quarter to eight? I tell you I cannot con- 
fine myself to a few minutes either way. It is a long 
time ago; I cannot tie myself to any time. 

1 do not want you to put it a few minutes either way. 
Was it about eight o'clock? It was somewhere about 
eight. 

You loft the horse at 7.30 P Tes. 

You nibbed him down? Tes. 

JFTiH bait was ready for him? Tes. 

You then went home to your tea? Yes. 

At eight o'clock you went back to the horse? Tes, 
to soe whether he took hia bait. When a horse comes 
off a journey he generally takes his bait quickly, and 
when the horse did not take his bait I thought there 
WUH so me thing the matter with him* 

What did you do when you went back ? 1 did not do 
anything, because he was taking his food. 

Supposing he had not? I should have sent for the 
doctor. 

Do y<ni BiiggcBt at 7.30 because he did not take his 
bait at mo, that you went back to see whether it was 
nowftflary to sond for a doctor? 1 went back to aee if 
th horse wan all right. 

I HU##CHfc that you wont back to BOO the girl ? I did not. 

Where was the girl when, aha called to you to ask you 
to tihut the door? Just inside the chapel gate, 
two 



Evidence for Defence. 

William G. Gardiner 

Near the road? Yes. 

So she was within 30 yards of the chapel gate, and 
saw you go by, and then asked you to shut the door for 
her? Thirty yards, perhaps. 

It was a ramshackle place, nothing particularly 
valuable inside? You never went inside the chapel at 
all? No, not that night. 

Did you say one single word when you gave your 
evidence on the last occasion about Mr. Crisp easing the 
door? No, I did not. 

Why not? Because the question was not put to me. 

The whole question arose as to why you went there? 
Yes. 

Why did you not tell me before? When I gave my 
evidence the last time you stopped me. 

You did not say it to me, or tell your counsel? 
Counsel knew it. 

You were fully examined about this episode by your 
own counsel? He took me through it. 

And the suggestion was last time that something had 
been done to the door? Yes; it had been painted. 

Just before the trial? Tes. 

That was in November, 1902, and we are talking 
about May, 1901. That is not the point. Can you give 
me any reason why, when we discussed this question on 
the last occasion, you did not tell your counsel or myself 
that Mr. Crisp had said the door was eased? The 
question was not put to me. It is difficult for one in my 
position to think of everything. 

Your wife was confined on the 3rd? Tes. 

Was she about the house up to the time of the con- 
finement doing her work as usual? Yes. 

Did you tell your wife when you got }^>me that you had 
seen Rose Harsent, and that she could not shut the door? 
I did not think of such a thing. 

Is that the reason you gave me last time? Do you 
remember me asking you the question last time? Did 

Q 241 



William Gardiner, 

William G. Gardiner 

you say you did not tell your wife because she was illP 
You asked whether I did not tell my wife before. 

I asked you whether, when you got home, you told your 
wife you had seen Rose Harsent, and locked the door 
for her. Tour answer was : " No, I did not because she 
was ill." I said: " If she was ill, you could not tell 
her n ? I do not think so. I think you put the question 
to me in this way : Why did not I tell my wife before 
the llth, the same night as the chapel inquiry? I 
believe that is how you put the question. I said I could not. 

Mr. WILD My friend must not give evidence. 

Mr. DICKENS It seems, my lord, I am wrong ; it may 
be a misapprehension. (To witness) The girl, of course, 
used to clean the chapel once a fortnight? So Mrs. 
Crisp said yesterday. 

It was no unusual thing for her to clean the chapel ? 
N"o, I suppose not. 

With regard to this letter "A," it has a remarkable 
similarity to your writing? I do not see anything 
remarkable. 

Is Mr. Larking here to-day? You know Mr. Larking? 
Yes. 

He gave evidence last time. Did you agree with what 
he said? 

Mr. WILD I object. 

Mr. DICKENS It is his own witness. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWEANOB I do not understand the 
objection. 

Mr. WILD It is not evidence at all. I take the point, 
if you are againat me. 

Cross-examination continued Did you hear Mr. Lark- 
ing, one of the experts, say that the writing was so like 
yours that he came to the conclusion that some one had 
forged your writing? Yes, I did. 

Do you agree with it? ITo, I do not exactly agree 
with that, because I do not think it is so much like my 
writing. 



Evidence for Defence* 

William G* Gardiner 

Great similarity? There is similarity. 

Now, then, let us have a word or two with regard to 
the night of the 31st May. You went out of the front 
door at ten o'clock? Yes. 

You did not stand in your doorway; you went into 
the middle of the road? I did not know I went into 
the middle ; I went a few steps away from the door ; I 
think I went to the right; I will not be certain for a 
few yards either way. Mr. Burgess came out of Mrs. 
Pepper's shop, next door, which is G or 7 yards between 
the two doors, and when I saw him come out I went to 
him and spoke to him. I could not say exactly I went 
2 yards into the road. 

Is it true that if you stand in your doorway you can- 
not face the window of the room in which the girl lived 
in Providence House j but if you go a few yards to your 
right or left, you can see the window? I do not know, 
only from the evidence I have heard since the case 
came on. 

Why did you go outside your house? Because there 
was a tempest rising. 

Why did you then go out? Had it begun to rain? 
Not when I went out. 

What time did you say you went into Mrs. Dicken- 
son's? At 11.30, as near as I can tell. 

When did your wife go? A few minutew before me. 

What Mrs. Dickenson said is that she went between 
eleven and 11.30, and that you went at twelve or 11.45 
ia that true? I cannot say exactly the time; she has 
no reason for suggesting that particular time; she is 
dependent entirely on her memory, as I am. 

You came back and went to bed at two? Your wife, 
after you had gone to bed, went to Bertie? Yes. 

That was almost immediately afterwards? Yes. 

Some little time after that your wife got some brandy P 
It was directly after; I cannot say for five minutes. 

243 



William Gardiner, 

William G. Gardiner 

You then went to sleep ? Af ter she had been and got 
the brandy. 

Do you suggest you awoke when she got the brandy? 
Yes. 

What time did you awake after she got the brandy? 
Seven or 7.30; it might have been six or seven. 

From the time that she got the brandy until you awoke 
at 7.30, you did not wake up at all? No. 

One of the twins was sleeping with your wife? Yes. 

Is it true you went to sleep with the little girl on 
your arm? No; I know it is not, because the child 
was not in bed when I went to sleep. 

According to you, you did not wake up again until 
7.30, and get up till after eight? Yes; after the bell 
went for eight we got up. 

Now, then, with regard to the knife. Is it true that 
at the time Dr. Stevenson saw it, you had recently 
cleaned it? I might have cleaned it. If I used it for 
anything dirty, I should clean it. 

Did you clean it? I do not remember cleaning it. 

Did you not only sharpen the blade, but scrape the 
inside? I do not remember anything of the sort. I 
do not remember sharpening it or scraping it. 

Did you after the 1st? After the 1st of June I did 
not. I have cleaned and sharpened it a good many times. 

Did you scrape it inside ? I do not remember doing it. 

It is an important matter, and I should like to have a 
more definite answer? I cannot give you a more definite 
answer. I never heard about the knife being scraped 
until I was in custody a month. 

When was the last occasion you hulked a rabbit before 
1st June? About sis weeks. 

About May; that is rather late for hulking a rabbit, 
is not it they are breeding then? This one was breed- 
ing which I hulked, and we had to bury it. 

Do you usually hulk a rabbit so late as that? Yes, 
if we had got one we should. 

244 



Evidence for Defence. 

William G. Gardiner 

Where did you get them from? We used lo buy them 
from any one who might come up to the door. 

I suppose you cannot tell me definitely when you last 
hulked one it is more or less conjecture? It is a con- 
jecture. I had no idea the knife had been cleaned and 
scraped, and that there was blood on it till Dr. Steven- 
son said so, and then I had to carry my mind back. 
As near as I can tell it was about a month or six weeks 
before. 

Re-examined by Mr. WILD I always kept my knife 
clean. For instance, if I was standing speaking to the 
men in the carpenters' shop I should perhaps take it out 
and sharp it on the oil-stone. 

I won't ask you as to the handwriting; you heard a 
great many opinions on that at the last trial? Yes, 
rather too many! 

As to your shirts, your wife gees after them? Tea, 

You have been invited to waggest motives ; do you 
desire to suggest inotlveH again Ht people yourself? No, 

I think we hoard something about the equality of your 
people. I uixderwtand you arc all equal before God? We 
reckon ourselves equal in the church as brothers, but with 
regard to officialism Mr. Roune was not an official in our 
church; he was simply a member, but at the same time 
he was a circuit official. 

In your particular church you were un official? Yes. 

It has been suggested that Wright and Skinner were 
trying to swear your life away? Yes. 

What is your suggestion of it? la the first instance T 
do not think they had any intention of swearing away 
my life. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWEANOP Your life was not in question 
then. You put it to him, Mr. Wild. 

By Mr. Wn,p Were you shocked to hear of Rose 
Harsent's death? Yos, of course* 

Were you upset? Yes, 

244 



William Gardiner. 

Wffliam G, Gardiner 

At that time it was believed to be suicide? Yes, it 
was. 

Mrs. AMELIA PEPPEU, examined by Mr. WILD I am 
the wife of Lionel Pepper, of Peasenhall. I live in a 
house adjoining Gardiner's, and my bedroom is separated 
from theirs by a thin partition. I can hear things going 
on in the bedroom. On the night of the 31st May I went 
to bed at one o'clock. My usual hour is much earlier. I 
could not sleep that night because of the storm, and I 
heard Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner go to bed some time before 
two. After that I heard Mrs. Gardiner speaking I know 
her step. I heard her speaking to Bertie, and then I 
heard her come downstairs, and then I heard Bertie 
scream. I got up at twenty minutes past two I know 
the time because I looked at the clock came down- 
stairs and went to my front room. I remained downstairs 
till a quarter-past four, walking about during the time, 
and looking out of my Eront do.or a great many times. I 
did not hear anybody's footsteps. I was in my front 
room, and if any one had been passing I should have 
heard. I did not hear any door open br shut. On 
Sunday morning I had a conversation with Mrs. Gardiner 
about Bertie, 

Cross-examined by Mr. DICKENS You saw the police 
on this matter. How long have you known Mrs. 
Gardiner? About three years. 

Known her very well? Yes. 

When yb.u saw the police, did you tell them all you 
have told us? Yes. 

Did you toll them you had heard Mrs. Gardiner's 
voice? Yes. 

Did you tell them you recognised her footsteps? I 
told Mr. Staunton I did. 

Did not you tell him you knew it was her footsteps, 
becauHo he told y'o.u so in the morning? Yes; I made 
inquiry of Mr8 Gardiner. 
246 



Evidence for Defence. 

Mrs P* 

Do you mean to tell these gentlemen that you told Mr. 
Staunton you recognised Mrs. Gardiner's footsteps ? Yes. 

Did not you tell Mr. Staunton that the reason why you 
knew Mrs. Gardiner had come down was because she told 
you so m the morning? Yes, but I knew it was Mrs. 
Gardiner. 

Was that the only reason you gave? Do you mean to 
say you told them you recognised the footsteps yourself? 
(Witness hesitated, and did not reply.) 

You understand me, don't you? Yes. 

Then answer? I cannot remember. 

Your statement was taken down from your own lips 
by Mr. Staunton? Yes. 

Look at it, then, and tell me if that statement was 
not read over to you, and signed by you? (Examining 
the statement handed to her by counsel) Yes. 

Listen to it then: " On tho night of Saturday, 31flt 
May, I went to bed about 1.30, and got up at 2.20, 
having just previously heard sonio one in Mrs. Gardiner's 
house go downstairs. Shortly after ten o'clock OR Sunday 
morning I made a communication to Mrs. Gardiner, and 
from what she told me, 1 believe it WUB her who came 
downstairs.*' Is that true? Yes. 

Well, that is a very different statement, you know. 
You told Staunton you thought it was. Mrn. Gardiner, 
" from inquiries T mado in the morning." That is very 
different from saying you knew it in the night from 
recognising her foottop. Now, is that statement I 
handed to you true? I signed it. 

But is it true? Yes. 

Why did you look out of your door? Why not out of 
the window ? Because I could not see out of my window. 

Why could you not? The blind was down. 

Why could not you pull it up? (No answer.) 

What did you want to go to the door for hours after 
the storm was over? It was not aver. It was thundering 
till just on four o'clock. 

947 



William Gardiner. 

Mrs Pepper 

When did this sfcorm cease? I cannot tell you. 

Why did you want to keep going to your door till 
four o'clock? What object was there? Did you keep 
opening and shutting it? I did several times. 

Did you go to other parts of the house? Yes; I went 
to my back room. 

Did you remain in your back room until you came and 
looked but of the door? Yes. 

Then, when you talk of being up till four o'clock, you 
mean you were in the back room? Beg your pardon, sir. 

You were in your back room? I walked backwards 
and forwards. 

lie-examined by Mr. WILD Are you a very nervous 
woman? Yes. 

With regard to this walking backwards and forwards, 
your cottage is a small one, is not it, with a little back 
room and front room which is used as a shop? Yes. 

And there are sweets and things in the window? Yes. 

AH a matter of fact, did you hear Mrs. Gardiner's 
voico and hour Bortie scream that night? YOB. 

And you answered Mr. Stuunton and he put it down 
that way? Yes. 

What did you say to Mrs. Gardiner? I asked her 
what was tho matter with her, as I heard her go down- 
stairs. 8he told me she was not well. 

Mrs. MARTHA WALKEB, examined by Mr. WILD I am 
the wife of Mr. George Walker, Sibton. I attend the 
Hibton Chapel, f have known the Garcliners for about 
twolvo years and have attended Mr. Gardiner in six 
tioaOuemontg. T have seen a good deal of Mr. Gardiner 
under all circumstances, and I have always found him 
moat reBp(wtal>I( in both his conversation and manners. 
I know Rose Jlamnt. On 28th March, 1902, she wa 
at a tea meeting, suffering from a bad cold in the chest. 

Did you HOC her afterward**, ami was she better? She 
248 



Evidence for Defence. 

Mtt Walker 

told me she was, because Mrs. Gardiner had given her 
some camphorated oil. 

Is your daughter in the choir at the chapel, and do 
you also attend? Yes. 

Have you ever seen anything 1 improper in Gardiner's 
behaviour there? No 

If Gardiner had put his legs on a girl's lap, how 
many people could see him? Nearly all the people m 
the church. 

Cross-examined by Mr. DICKENS Do you go to both 
the services? Generally. 

Do you sit in the choir? No, the next seat. 

You were firflt asked to give y'our evidence about 
October, I think? Yes. 

JAMES FAIIUJANK, examined by Mr, Wiui T am 
secretary of the Norfolk and Norwich Savings Hank, and 
by profession a chartered accountant. It in part of my 
business to examine handwriting, and to detect forgeries 
if existing, I have had an opportunity of examining 
the handwriting in this case, have soen u photograph of 
** A " and " B/' the incriminating documents, and 
also one of " If " and " F," aocuiwuTs letters from 
Park. 

Will you tell the judge what class of person wrote 
" H " and " I"? A person who had received ele- 
mentary education, and who might have belonged to the 
respectable artisan class or a friendly society type of 
man. There is no consistent character; the alignment 
and spacing are irregular; spelling and grammar weak. 

Is there any effort to maintain a given style of letter 
formation? None whatever. I find the writer is very 
prolific with his " Y's," " Q V and " FB." As to 
the letter "A," it appears to have been written by a 
person who used a fairly broad-pointed pen, and under 
a magnifying glass it exhibits a striking uniformity 

249 



William Gardiner. 

Jnme Fairbank 

of style throughout. The letter, to my mind, is exceed- 
ingly legible. The alignment is practically perfect, the 
general spacing of the words and lines good, and the 
letters are well joined. That was a point I noticed 
which was absent from " H " and " I." I think the 
writer of " A " and c B " was not an elderly man, as 
there was a certain amount of parallelism in the down- 
ward strokes, such as had been taught in the board 
schools for some years. 

Can you give a conscientious opinion as to your belief 
whether " A " could have been written by the writer of 
" H " and " I "?I do not believe they were written 
by the same person. 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAW&ANCE But could the letters 
" H " and " I " have been written by the " A " writer? 
I hardly think so. 

Eaatmnation continued Do you consider that the 
method of picking out letters and putting them in 
parallel columns for comparison is a fair method of 
judging handwriting? From a business point of "view 
as a business man, I say that principle is not a test. 

Which do you think is the fairest method of compari- 
son, to compare the general style and character of letters 
or to pick the letters to pieces? You must take the 
letters as a whole. 

Taking them as a whole, and as a practical business 
man, you do not believe they are in the same handwrit- 
ing? That is so. 

Have you seen writing in your experience remarkably 
alike by different people? I have. 

Coming to the other letters, the letter from accused, 
and the other letter which has been put in, do your 
remarks apply to them? They apply in the same degree. 

Do you notice, for example, in the letter from accused, 
some mistakes in spelling, irregular alignment, and the 
spacing which is not good? I have. 

In the letter put in at the last moment, the spacings 
250 



Evidence for Defence. 

Jamea Fairbank 

are better, are they not? I liave not given muck atten- 
tion to it. 

Just look at that? Yes, it is better. 

Do you consider the alignment is as good? Very fair. 

Do you consider that the writer of this letter could 
have written " A M P I have not seen this letter. 

Looking at this letter and the letter of 6th June by 
the accused, what do you say of the character of the 
handwriting? Taking this letter of Gth June and this 
one, they are the same handwriting. 

What about the character and the style of the writing? 
Is it written by a fluent writer, in your opinion? Not 
particularly so. 

Do you con aider that the gonoral remarks that you 
make with rogard to " IT " and " I " apply to th<w 
letters as well? I do. 

Do you consider it possible for the writer of " A " 
and " B " to bave writleu thosu two letters? f do not, 

Or the c'onfoRNionP Ft in hardly possible. 

If a man is diBguwiug his handwriting 1 , would ho be 
able to improve the character of his writing? I 
contend that a man uneducated, or a man who has re- 
ceived an elementary education, if he triod to disguise 
his writing, and to produce something that was better 
than that, ho could not do it. Ha could xiot maintain 
the regularity and uniformity of *mch a style as is 
exhibited in letter " A." 

Supposing you had a cxmtomer who wrote in Gardiner's 
admitted writing, and a cheque wore presented in the 
writing of " A " and " B," would you cash it? Cer- 
tainly not. 

I think with regard to this confeaflion letter, it is 
possible to pick out words that are alike with the writ- 
ing of " A " and " B "P~ I have clone so. 

But you would not give the opinion that they were 
by the flame manP I should be a very foolish man if I 
did so, 

2M 



William Gardiner. 

Jam*. Fnirb&nk 

Are these an illustration of the danger of that method? 
Yes, they are. 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE They are what? 
Dangerous to pick out a few words, and to say they are 
written by the same writer. 

Examination continued I think you agree there are 
similarities in the writing of "A" and "B"; but 
taking the letters as a whole you are of opinion they 
could not be written by the same person? That is so. 

Is that your conscientious belief? That is so. 

Cross-examined by Mr. DICKENS I understand all 
you have to do is simply to look after sngnatures, and 
see they are the signatures of customers? Oh, no. We 
have to compare letters. 

What letters? Letters received from our depositors 
requesting us to make payments to certain persons or 
the bearers, and if we find a letter that does not at all 
compare with the writings we have in our books, we 
refuse to make payment. 

Of course you would. But all you have to look at is 
the signature for practical working. If you found the 
signature was right, you would pay, and if you found it 
was wrong, you would not pay? Yes. 

With the exception bf that, you have never made any 
comparison of handwriting? You are not what is called 
an expert in handwriting? I have done a little bit in 
that way. 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWBANCE You mean for your own 
use? Yes. 

Cross^wrwnation continued How much have you 
done? I have had a little experience. 

How many times in your life, apart from looking at 
signatures? Well, a few. 

How many two? More than that, Five ill the 
course of thirty years. 



Evidence for Defence. 

James Fairbank 

When was the last one of these five? I was asked 
my advice in the matter at the last Assizes at Norwich. 

About a signature P No, about writing. 

Did you give evidence P No, I did not. 

Mr. WILD Prisoner pleaded guiltv, I think. 

Cross-eaamination continued So it is from your ex- 
perience of five times in thirty years that you could 
tell what the age of a man was, whether he was young 
or elderly? Oh, no. It is not consistent that the hand- 
writing of " A " is that of a man of forty-five. 

The document " A " is evidently a carefully written 
document ? Yes. 

With a thicker pen than " H " and " I "? Yes, 
that is my 'opinion. 

And mtich more carefully written than " H " and 
If Certainly. 

And does it strike you also that it is purposely written 
vertically? OC that I cannot say. 

By Mr. JUST res LAWJRANCE Why not? 1 do not 
know that the man purposely wrote it that way. The 
fact is that it is. 

Cross-examination continued And you draw no infer- 
ence? None whatever. 

With regard to " H n and " I," if you got a business 
letter written as this is written, do you su#gat that 
because the alignment and spacing are irregular there- 
fore the writer of " H " and " I *' could not have 
written " A "? There is such a striking dissimilarity 
between the two documents that no business man would 
accept this letter as being written by the writer of 
H " and " I." 

Do you. mean to suggest that the writer of " H " and 
" I " is not a man whom you would expect to write on 
any occasion with regular alignment or regular spaces P 
Yes. 

Is not the spacing in the letter of 29th October by 

253 



William Gardiner. 

Jattfl* Fail-bank 

accused quite as good as tlie spacing in " A "P Yes, 
I admit the spacing is. 

Is it also right to say that the alignment in the letter 
of 29th October is practically quite as regular as the 
alignment in " A "P It is very good. 

Therefore, may I take it that the fact of the letters 
" H " and " I " not being regularly aligned or spaced 
is by no means any proof that the writer of " H " and 
" I " did not write the letter " A "? That is a ques- 
tion I cannot follow. It is too involved. Having regard 
to the alignment and spacing of " H " and " I," I do 
not believe the writers of those letters could have written 
" A." I agree that the spacing in the letter written 
by accused from prison is good, but my view is that 
the writer of " H " and " I " could not have written 
" A." In " E " and " I " the words are not quite as 
vertical as in " A." 

Do you agree it is the accumulative force bf any simi- 
larities that is important? Yes, but I can point to dis- 
similarities by the same methods. 

And you can find dissimilarities amongst the same 
person* s handwriting ? Yes , 

Do you iind similarity between the " P's " in " H " 
and " I " as compared with ** A "P No, I cannqt. 

Then I will ask you nothing more. 

Re-examined by Mr. WILD The accumulative force 
of similarity was not sufficient to make me think 
that " A " was written by the writer of " H " and " I." 
It is not my profession to give evidence, but it is my 
profession to compare signatures and writings. 

HERBERT FREDERICK BAYLISS, examined by Mr. WILD 
I am chief clerk of the London and County Bank, 
Holborn Branch. I have been engaged in the banking 
business thirty years, and have carefully considered the 
admitted writings of Gardiner, and compared them with 
the disputed writings, " A " and " B." In my opinion 

254 



Evidence for Defence. 

Herbert Bayliw 

" A " was written by a man of some education. I base 
this judgment upon the general uniformity of the writ- 
ing, and the character shown in it. None of the otter 
documents shows so good a character. I do not consider 
that the writer of the letter from the prison could have 
written "A." I say this on the ground of the constant 
experience I have had of writings. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE I do not understand you. 

Examination continued I suppose y'o.u have to com- 
pare signatures? An immense number of signatures 
and writings. The character of the two writings is 
absolutely dissimilar, speaking as a business man. 
Undoubtedly there are similarities accidental simi- 
larities, which may easily occur between the writings of 
different people. 

Cross-examined by Mr. DICKENS What have you to 
do with the correspondence? Read every letter and 
answer every letter. 

But that has n'othing to do with judging a person's 
handwriting, has it? I based my poor opinion upon 
the many years' experience I have had of seeing 
writings. 

Where did you get your large experience in hand- 
writing? I do not pose as an expert in handwriting. 

Tou do not poso as an expert in handwriting? No, 

JAMES HAM, examined by Mr. CLAUGHTON SCOTT I 
live at TJbbeston Green, about 3 miles from Peasenhall. 
I am a fowl and egg dealer. On the night of the 
31st May I slept at Peasenhall. I started home about 
four o'clock bn the Sunday morning* I came down to 
the Hackney Road past Providence House, and up to 
the corner, and then turned up the Heveaingham Road. 
I cannot say which side of the road I walked paat Provi- 
dence House, It was very wet. 

The roads were in a very wet and sloppy condition? 

26$ 



William Gardiner. 

Janes Hart 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE We have heard there was a 
storm all night; let us take something for granted. 

Examination continued I did not notice footprints 
at the crossways, or at the side of Providence House. I 
was wearing heavy hobnail boots ; they were very nearly 
new. 

Cross-examined by Mr. DICKENS I understand you 
were passing Providence House? When you got to 
Providence House you turned sharp to the left? Yes. 

Then if you did so, you would keep to the left side 
of the rbad? I do not know. 

ARTHUR SADLER LEIGETON, examined by Mr. WILD 
I am solicitor for the defence, and I have assisted in two 
experiments as to the acoustic properties of the Doctor's 
Chapel. At the first experiment Mr. Bullen and Mr. 
Fiddler were present. It was in June of last year. We 
went into the chapel by turns, and I stood on the spot 
described by Wright and Skinner, and inside the chapel 
I stood approximately between the harmonium and the 
window. One member of the party was stationed out- 
side, near the hurdle where the young men said they 
stood. We picked up a hymn-book and read alternate 
verses in the voice in which I am speaking now. It 
was arranged that the person outside should not know 
what was going to. be aaid inside. We tried the experi- 
ments with the ventilator closed and opened; when I 
was outside I heard a murmur, but I found it impossible 
to distinguish a word. I made a further test in Novem- 
ber, a week before the trial, in company with Mr. Corder 
and Mr. Parmenter. The same conditions were repeated, 
and exactly the same course was adopted as bn the 
previous occasion. "No conversation could be dia^ 
tinguished if it was in an ordinary tone of voice. 

Have you noticed anything different in the painting 
of the do'o.r since you have been engaged in the case? 
256 



Evidence for Defence. 

Arthur Leighton 

Yes, on the first occasion of my visit there were signs 
of the edge of the door having been planed. 

You went in soon after the arrest of Gardiner? Be- 
fore the trial the door had been painted. 

I believe it is a fact that the notice of the character 
of Rouse and Stammers's evidence was served -upon you 
at the last moment, just before the last Assizes? 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE There is nothing to complain 
of in that. 

Mr. WILD No, niy lord. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWEANCE Then why bring it up? 

Examination continued Did you notice in going 
about Peasenhall any marks of india-rubber shoes? 
Yes, near the school. 

Cross-examined by Mr. DICKENS Where is the school? 
It is between Darsham and Peasenhall. 

When did you see the marks? Early after {he in- 
quest, when I had got Momss's evidence. 

About the planing of the door, was the door painted 
when you saw it? The edges were not painted when 
I first saw the door. 

When was it you first saw the door? At the time of 
tlio iuquest or magisterial proceedings* 

Would that be about June, 1902? Yea, it would bo 
about that time. 

What did you see? I saw then thai- the door had 
been planed. 

When did you see it was painted? It was certainly 
painted in the latter part of October or early in 
November. 

Had you called attention to the fact lhat it had been 
planed ? Yes, to Mr* Crisp. 

JOHN RHBWELL COKDKR, examined by Mr. CLATTGHTON 
SCOTT I am an architect, and have made a plan of the 
Sibton Chapel. It is about 31 ft. in length, and the 



William Gardiner. 

John S. Corder 

breadth is 21 ft. It is easy to see all over the chapel 
from any part. On the 3rd November I went 'over to 
Peasenhall with Mr. Parmenter and Mr, Leighton, and 
assisted Mr. Leighton in the tests he then made. In 
the first instance, I stood by the hurdle, Mr. Parmenter 
and Mr. JDeighton being inside. They commenced talk- 
ing alternately. I could hear they were talking, but 
could not understand what they were saying. I went 
inside afterwards with Mr. Leighton, and we conversed 
in an ordinary conversational tone of voice. The ven- 
tilators were both open and shut. Any one sitting where 
Gardiner did in the chapel could have been seen all 
over the chapel. 

JAMES SIDNEY PABMENTET&, examined by Mr. 
CLAUGHTON SCOTT I am a quantity surveyor at Ipswich, 
and was present on 3rd November, with Mr. Corder and 
Mr. Leighton. I can confirm their statements. I could 
hear a murmur of voices, but no coherent conversation. 

ABEAHAM J. GODDABD, examined by Mr. WILD I am 
a lay Primitive Methodist preacher. I have known Mr. 
Gardiner for fourteen or fifteen years, and have never 
known anything against his character. I was present 
at the quarterly meeting, after the Sibton inquiry had 
been held, but I was not at the inquiry itself. Mr. 
Guy reported to the quarterly meeting the case of Mr. 
Gardiner, and told us to investigate the matter. He 
gave us to understand 

Mr. DICKENS No, no. Use his language, please. 

Examination continued What did he say? He said 
he had investigated the matter of Sibton Chapel, had 
thoroughly examined the witnesses, had found that 
they contradicted themselves over and over again, and 
believed it was nothing but a trumped-up affair and a 
fabrication of lies. Between the inquiry and the quar- 
terly meeting, Mr. Guy told Mr. Tripp and myself about 
the same that he told us afterwards at the meeting. 
258 



Evidence for Defence. 

Abraham J. Goddard 

Cross-examined by Mr. DICKENS When were you 
first asked to give evidence before the last Assizes.? I 
did not have any intimation until the Saturday whilst 
the trial was going on. 

About sixteen months after the event? Yes. 

As far as you were concerned, the thing dropped, and 
passed out of your mind altogether? Well, of course it 
did. The scandal had died out, and we heard nothing 
respecting it till this murder case came on. 

Did not Mr. Guy say to you : " We would rather 
believe the two inside than the two outside "? Tes. 

Then, do you mean to say he also said it was a 
fabrication? He did. 

Did not he tell you they had been in a dilemma ? He 
did say that. 

Was not the dilemma that there were two on each side? 
I dare say it was. 

I suggest that Mr. Guy said : ce We are in a dilemma; 
there were two against two, and we would rather believe 
the two in than the two out n ? I do not deny it. 

Did he go on to say they had contradicted themselves 
over and over again, and that their evidence was a 
fabrication of lies? He said that. 

Ee-examined by Mr. WILD Gardiner offered his 
resignation ? Tes. 

If they had believed the charge against him, would 
he have remained in his position in the chapel? No; 
he would have been expelled, and not allowed to teach 
the young. 



WILLIAM FREDEEICK CKIPP, examined by Mr. 
I am an agent of the Prudential Insurance Com- 
pany, and am a local preacher of the Primitive 
Methodist Connexion. I remember there being a Sibton 
Chapel inquiry in May, 1901. I was not present, but T 
accompanied Mr. Goddard and Mr. Guy on the road from 

259 



William Gardiner. 

William F. Cripp 

Wangford to Halesworth, on 26th. May, following the 
Inquiry. "When we were returning from Wangford the 
subject of the scandal was discussed, and Mr. Guy dis- 
tinctly stated to us : e( In my opinion, it is a pure fabrica- 
tion of lies. The young men contradicted one another, 
and I do iiot think there is anything in it." If we had 
thought there was anything in it, we should have allowed 
Gardiner's resignation to have been accepted. We 
should not have allowed a man to remain in &uch a 
position against whom such a thing could be believed. 
I have known prisoner twenty-eight years, and I never 
knew him do a mean thing in my life. 

Cross-examined by Mr. DICKENS Did yoa give 
evidence at the last trial? No. 

Wh<ni were you first asked to give evidence *r (hi 15th 
January of this year. 

On the 15th January, 1903, you were first ticked to 
give evidence as to what took place in May, 1901 F Yes. 

Did you road of what took place last time? Certainly. 

Day by day? Yes. 

Where do you live? Halesworth. 

It does not take very long to get from Halesworth by 
rail to Ipswich? No. 

Did you suggest that you should give evidence last 
time? No. 

1 suppose you read Mr. Guy's evidence the day after 
it was given, in the paper? 1 did. 

Did you read what Mr. Guy said when he was called 
before the magistrates? Yes. 

According to you, Mr. Guy had said something which 
was inaccurate? It waa. 

And you knew it at the time? I did. 

That was in Juwe? Yes. 

Why did not you communicate with Mr. Leighton? I 
did not think it was necessary. 



Evidence for Defence. 

William F. Cripp 

Why not? I did not think my evidence was of 
importance as regards the trial. 

Did they come to you, or did you go to them? They 
came to me. It is not a nice thing in any case to nave 
to appear against one of my former ministers. 

But when one of your fellow-churchmen Was on his 
trial iji' murder when one of your fellow-churchmen 
was iu danger of his lifer* I did not communicate with 
the defence because 1 did not think my evidence was of 
importance. 

Do you mean to suggest that when your fellow-church- 
man, whom you have given the highest credit, and whom 
you have known for twenty-eight years, was on his trial 
for murder, you were influenced by the fact that it was 
not niee to be against Mr. Guy? I was not asked to 
come and give evidence. 

Surely that was a very wrong reason? I do not think 
so. 

You say that Mr. Guy waid they contradicted one 
another? Yes. 

Was it that Mr. Guy said the evidence was contra- 
dictory? Yes. 

Was not that what you mean by saying that Mr. Guy 
said they contradicted one another? No. 

Are you prepared after all those months to swear that 
what he said was not that the evidence was contradictory? 
He did not say that. 

There is very little difference, you know. Did he 
say they were in a dilemma? He never used the term. 

Did he say anything about they would rather believe 
two in than two out? He never mentioned it. 

Mr. Goddard was there? Yes. 

NOAH ETHEBIBGE, examined by Mr. WILD I am a 
farmer, and I live at Westwood Lodge, Blythburgh. I 
am a local preacher of the Primitive Methodist Con- 
nexion. I was not called at the last inquiry. I had 



William Gardiner, 

Noah Etheridge 

communicated with the defence, but I was not at home 
when the telegram came. I was present at the quarterly 
meeting which followed the meeting at Sibton Chapel. 
The conduct of Gardiner was a matter which had been 
agitating our community, and Mr. Guy, I knew, had 
held an inquiry. 

What did Mr. Guy say as a result of his inquiry? 
"When he was asked by the officials at the meeting, he 
said he believed it was a trumped-up affair, and believed 
Gardiner was as innocent as he was. 

Did he say anything in regard to the statements made 
by Skinner and Wright? I did not hear him. 

Assuming there had been anything in it, what would 
have been the result? We should have suspended 
Gardiner. 

By Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE The case was brought up 
for you to deal with? It was brought up so far that if 
there had been a case we would have dealt with it. 

Examination continued As a matter of fact, you were 
not trying the case, but supposing there had been, if 
there had been any doubt about it, would you have 
allowed Gardiner to continue in office? Certainly not. 

How long have you known accused? For ten years. 

What do you say as to his character? Good; I have 
never known anything wrong of him in my life. 

Cross-examined by Mr. DICKENS How long before the 
last trial did you communicate with the defence? I 
cannot say. 

Mr. WILD About a week before. 

Cross-examination continued Were you at the 
quarterly meeting? Tea. 

At the quarterly meeting did Mr. Guy say they were 
in a dilemma? No, that was not the word. 

Did Mr, Guy $ay the evidence on the one side and 
on the other was contradictory? He might have said so, 
I forget. 



Evidence for Defence. 

Noah Etheridge 

Did lie go on to say that the evidence being contra- 
dictory, they were in a dilemma? No. 

Did he say they would rather "believe two in the church 
than two out of it? I believe something to that effect 
was said. 

Did he say they were in a difficulty? H$ said, in 
bringing it to a close, that he believed accused to be an 
innocent man, and it was a trumped-up affair. 

SAMUEL GODDARD, examined by Mr. WILD I am a 
local preacher of the Primitive Methodist Connexion. 
I was present at the quarterly meeting which 
followed the Sibton Chapel inquiry. Mr. Guy said that 
the case in connection with William Gardiner was a 
trumped-up fabrication of lies that is what he believed 
it to be. I have known Mr. Gardiner four years. I 
have always found him straightforward. 

Cross-examined by Mr. DICKENS What else did Mr. 
Guy say? He said he believed that Mr. Gardiner was 
entirely clear. 

Anything else? No. 

Cut it short? Yes; that is all he could say. 

Did he say he would rather believe two in the church 
than two out? I believe he did. 

That is something more ; be a little careful. Why did 
not you tell us that? T forgot it. 

That is a rather curious thing to forget? I forgot 
it entirely. 

Shows your memory is pretty bad about it? It may 
be on that point. 

When were you first asked to give evidence? Tester- 
day. 

Did Mr. Guy say they were in a dilemma? I do not 
remember it* 

May I take it that your memory is very bad as to 
what took place at the quarterly meeting ? I do not know. 

26$ 



William Gardiner. 

George E. Fiddler 

GEORGE EDWABD FIDDLER, examined by Mr. WILI> 
I am a farmer of High House Farm, Peasenhall. I 
have known accused about two years, and have attended 
the same place of worship. I am a Sunday school teacher 
at Sibton. If I did not believe him to be innocent I 
should not have been here to-day. I have done all T 
can to help him. 

Do you remember the scandal of 1901 ? Yes. 

Were you present at the Sibton inquiry? I was. 

What was the result of the inquiry? So far as I am 
concerned, I believed him innocent of it. So far as Mr. 
Guy is concerned, he told me on the Sunday following, 
when we met the young woman and her mother, that 
he believed it was a trumped-up story. 

What was Mr. Guy's report of the quarterly meeting? 
He said the brethren wished to reinstate Gardiner in 
all his offices. 

And he was re-elected to the offices? Tes. 

Do you remember the morning of the murder? I do. 

You were at Sunday school, and accused was there? 
Tes, that was where I first heard of it. 

Who told you? Accused told ine. 

How did he seem affected by the news? As much as 
I was I was shocked. I saw nothing different in his 
conduct. 

CroSvS-exammed by Mr. DICKENS Did Mr. Guy take 
the view that he would rather believe two inside the 
church than two out of it? Tes; but at the time of 
the inquiry he was perfectly satisfied. 

Perfectly satisfied upon the evidence? Tes, upon the 
evidence. 

Did Mr. Guy point out that they were in a difficulty 
because there was contradictory evidence ? No, he did not. 

Did you say at the last trial that Mr. Guy said it 
was a trumped-up affair? No, I did not. 

Why not? That I cannot answer. It did not co.me 
into my memory. 

264 



Evidence for Defence. 

George Fiddler 

Why has it coine to your memory now; have you been 
speaking to some of your friends? No. 

Itu-examined by Mr. WILD I have never been asked 
previously as to what Mr. Guy said. 1 have come from 
a sick bed to give evidence. 

Mr. WILD My lord, siibject to the cross-examination 
oi Mrs. Gardiner, this concludes the case for the defence. 
1 hope Mrs. Gardiner will be in a fit condition to be 
cross-examined to-morrow. 

Mr. DICKENS Will your lordship allow me to say 
that ii is only lair to a gentleman whose name has been 
prominently brought forward in this case with reference 
to the anonymous letter that that gentleman should be 
prebent in Court, because he has been brought here right 
away Jroin Burton in order to show that he had no con- 
nexion willi it, and nothing to do with the anonymous 
letter. 

Mr, JUSTICE LA\VJUNC.B You meau Goodchild? 

Mr. DICKENS Yes, my lord. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAVVIUNCK 1 ordered him to come. I 
intended to put him in the box myself at the end of the 
speeches. Jt was my doing, because I thought the man 
should have an opportunity of answering any sugges- 
tions that might be made. Jt Is only fair to him. 

Mr. WILD 1 hope I have said nothing, my lord, I 
ought not to. I did noi moan to way anything. 

Mr. JUSTICJB LAWKAXCK If you do, he will be called; 
if you don't nay anything, he will not be called. His 
name was mentioned, and it is very unfortunate. 

Mr. WILD By Staunion. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWIUNOK I thought it was yery hard 
upon Ihe man, and 1 immediately communicated with 
the police, and told them to have the man here. 

Mr, WILD I hope I havo made no improper sugges- 
tions, iny lord. 

(The Court adjourned.) 

265 



William Gardiner. 



Fourth Day Saturday, 24th January, 1903. 

Mr. WILD May I put a question to Mr. Leighton or 
Mr. Corder a question I put at the last trial, but 
omitted t& put on the present 'occasion? 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE Yes. 

ARTHUR S. LEIGHTON (recalled), examined by Mr. 
WILD I forgot to put to you when you concluded these 
two chapel tests, whether any experiment was made with 
regard to shaking the windows? Yes. 

What did you do to the window? We endeavoured 
to shake the window by sitting suddenly on the seat by 
the side. We could not shake it. The only method of 
shaking the window was by striking the window-sill. 

And with regard to the seat under the window, it is a 
firm seat? Yes, it is a fixed seat. 

NOAH ETHERIDGE, examined by Mr, WILD I believe 
you have seen Mrs. Gardiner this morning? Yes. I 
have just come from where she is, at the lodging-house 
where she is staying. 

Did you put her into a cab? They had gone to fetch 
& cab, and she went into hysterics. 

Will it be possible to bring her? No, not in her 
present state. 

Was she four hours in the same state of collapse, 
lying on the table of the waiting-room yesterday after- 
noon? Yes. 

In the condition you left her, would it be possible to 
move her? No, unless she speedily recovers. She was 
taken about ten minutes before I started ; they had gone 
for a cab for her. 

Mr, JUSTICE LAWRANCE Is she in the town? Yes, my 
lord. 

Mr. WILD She shall be brought, ill or well. Send 
a doctor to her at once, 
266 



Evidence for Defence. 

Mrs Gardiner 

Mrs. G-EOKGINA GARDINER, re-called and cross- 
examined by Mr. DICKENS On the night of Saturday, 
51st May, you say you did not go to sleep till five or 
six o'clock? Not until five in the morning. 

What time was it when you woke up? (No answer. j 

What time did you wake? Eight o'clock. 

What time did you get up? Between eight and a 
quarter past. 

You got up as soon as you woke? I got up between 
eight and 8.30. 

As 'soon as you woke? Yes, I woke about eight 
o'clock. 

Was not your husband up before you got up? No, he 
was not. 

Did he not light the fire by himself in the wash- 
house? We both got out together to dress, and my 
husband lit the fire, and as he was doing that I filled 
the kettle and took it up. 

Was it 8.15? The bell went at eight, and il wa>s 
between that time and half -past. 

Was not the fire lit between seven and 7.30 in the 
morning? No; there was no fire lit between seven and 
half-past in the morning. 

You know Mr. Stammers? Yes, I do. 

He says he saw the fire blazing brightly at 7.30, and 
it must have been lit half an hour before that? That 
is false. 

Of course, there would be no reason in the ordinary 
course of things to light the fire as early as that on a 
Sunday? We never lit a fire that Sunday morning until 
after eight o'clock. 

There would be no reason, in the ordinary course of 
things, to light a fire so early as seven or 7.30? There 
never was one lit. 

I suppo.se you generally got up on Sunday at the same 
time, more or lessP That all depends; we get up at 
7.30 and perhaps eight. 

207 



William Gardiner, 

Mr Gardiner 

Now, you say you never slept lite whole of the night 
'of 31st May until five or six o'clock in the morning? 
No, I did not until after I heard the church clock go 
in the morning. 

What time did you get up on the Saturday morning? 
On SaifUrday morning? 

Yes? About seven o'clock. 

And you did not go to bed till two? No; two o'clock. 

And although you got up at seven, and went to bed 
at two, you never closed your eyes till five in the morn- 
ing? I did not sleep. 

You say it was ou account of the storm? Yes, and 
having pain in my body. 

What time did the storm cease? The storm ceaaed 
when we left Mrs. Dickenson's, the worst of it. There 
was a little thunder and lightning after that. 

It was most over? The heaviest of it was over. 

Had there not been a storm the night before ? During 
the evening o(! the night before, 

Did you sleep well the night before? I had nothing 
to keep me awake; I was very well. 

How many shirts has your husband? My husband 
had two shirts. 

Was that all you ever got for him? That was not all 
he had had, but he had had only two for weeks. 

Generally, how many had he? Tho two, and no more. 

Generally, and not at this particular time? He had 
two, bae clean and one off; that is all he wants. 

You say sometimes he had three ? It was at the early 
part of our married life. He has had only two for a 
long time. 

One for wearing and one for washing? Yes. 

What happened when ho got wet ? He had to get dry 
again. 

Had ho anything in the shape of a dressing-gown? 
No, he never had. 

How many trousers had he? How many trousers? 



Evidence for Defence. 

Mrs Gardiner 

Yes? Only wliat I gave the police. I used a suit 
of his a week before Easter, and made my boy a suit 
of it. I showed the police that. 

Was that a light brown suit? Yes, I showed it to 
the constable, and that I had turned the "clothes. 

How many coats had he? The coats I ga^e to the 
police. 

Where did you get his shirts from? I got them fiom 
the bedroom cupboard. 

Did you buy them or make them? I always made 
his shirts. 

Did he have two shirts when he went to Paris ? Yes ; 
he only wanted two. He had one on and one he took 
with him. 

Where were the india-rubber shoes kept? In the tin 
box in the bedroom. 

Did you take them from that box when you gave them 
to the police? Yes. 

Tn your evidence about what took place on the night 
of the 31st, when you went down to get some brandy, 
y'ou said: " I got out of bed and told my husband I 
shall have to go and get some brandy." You never said 
that when you gave your evidence last night? I did not 
say that. 

Are you sure you said at the last time: " After I 
came back my husband was in bed. I afterwards got 
out and told my husband I would get some brandy. 
My husband said he would go." I suggest you did 
not say a word about that when you were examined last? 
What? Did I say what? 

(Counsel repeated the question) If T did not say it 
I knew it. 

What time did you suggest you went to Mrs. Dicken- 
son's that night? About half -past eleven, I should say. 

Am I right in saying yb.u told the police : " We went 
at eleven and stopped till half -past one "? I did not 
say to the police the exact time. I said from eleven to 

260 



William Gardiner. 

Mrs Gardiner 

half -past. I told them my husband came shortly after, 
the same as I told you when I gave my evidence at the 
last trial. 

Half an hour afterwards? No, a very few minutes 
after. 

Do you mean he almost followed you in? T told you 
what he f did. He went upstairs to look at the children. 

Would that be five minutes after at the outset? Yes. 

Now, Mrs. Gardiner, I see you said in your evidence 
yesterday, at an interview at which Inspector Berry was 
present, you told the police you were not well in the 
night and did not sleep till five or six in the morning. 
Now, I suggest to you you never said a word of that 
io the police? I did. 

"Who was it you told? I do not know. I told some 
of them, but they came so often T cannot remember. 

Do you remember I asked you last time if you had 
told any one you told the police? I told you I answered 
all the questions the police asked mo. 

Is this sxibstantially correct ? I told Mr. Staunton 
I was not well, and was awake up to five or six o'clock. 

Have you suggested before to-day that you told the 
police that? No, I have not said that; T have never 
been asked. 

Is to-day the first time you huvo said to anybody you 
told the police that? I might have made the statement 
before. 

Did you tell your husband'^ .solicitor you told the 
police that? No, I did not. 

Now, Mrs. Gardiner, I understand that you pledge 
your word that yo,u told Mr. Staunton you did not get to 
sleep till five, and that you had pains in your body? 
I told Mr. Staunton I was not well that night. 

And that you did not sleep till after five? I have 
said it before, and it is true. 

Hose Harnent, of course, waa constantly at your house? 
Not constantly ; she came when she liked. 
270 



Evidence for Defence. 

Mrs Gardiner 

You never saw her guilty of impropriety with any 
man? No. 

Of course, if your husband had walked out with her, 
you did not know it? My husband never did walk out 
with her. 

You cannot say that, but, of course, you believe in 
your husband? Yes, I do. 

Now, you know what Mr. House has told us. He saw 
your husband walking out with her away from home, 
and he promised never to do it again. Did you at the 
last trial say that Mr. Bouse had deliberately concocted 
that story because he was jealous of your husband's posi- 
tion in the church? Yes, I did. 

Re-examined by Mr. WILD Did the police come to 
you a great number of times? Yes, they did. 

And did you answer every question they asked you? 
Yes, I did. 

At first the theory was that the murder had been com- 
mitted about twelve o'clock. Did they only awlc you for 
information up till that hour? Yes. 

Your husband's wages were twenty-six shillingH a 
week? Yes, they were. 

And you had got him and six children to keep? Yes. 

If Stammers could see this fire, could all your neigh- 
bours see it too? Yes, every one could see it. 

You had believed in your husband? Ye. 

You still believe in him? Yes, I do. 



Closing Speech for the Defence* 

Mr. WILD "We are now about to enter upon the last 
scene of all that ends this strange, eventful history, and 
it is with the feelings of keenest responsibility and the 
greatest pain that I rise to say the last word that shall 
be said on behalf 'of the accused. Assuming that you 
take the view that is urged upon you by the prosecuti'on, 

271 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

fcliey will be practically the last words spoken for him 
upon earth. I shall endeavour, and I think you 
will bear me out that I have more or less succeeded 
throughout this painful case, and more particularly 
when I was addressing you in considerable detail yester- 
day morning, to leave out all expressions of sympathy, 
anything that might tend to divert your minds from the 
real practical issue; and I ran assure you that 
it is extremely trying lor an advocate, conscious of the 
terribly painful nature ol the circumstances in which 
he is addressing the jury, and pleading for a man's 
life I say it is very difficult for me to address myself 
fco the case as if it were an ordinary matter, such as is 
usually discussed in Courts of Law. But I have felt 
that my client stands a greater chance of an acquittal 
if his case is put before the jury as calmly and as dispas- 
sionately as may be, and if before I commence my final 
speech I draw your attention shortly to Ihe terrible 
nature of the task that you and I are called upon to 
perform, believe me, gentlemen, that is not because I 
desire that sympathy should warp judgment , but because 
I am entitled to crave in aid ol the accused the fact that 
you are called upon to give a verdict which is the most 
solemn that can be given by any twelve citizens of this 
realm. What this means to this man, I suppose, no 
human being can appreciate. It means to him not only 
life I do not know that his life, blasted as it has been 
by unjust suspicion, as I represent to you, I don't know 
that his life is of very great value to him it means to 
him honour, it means to his wife and family his wife 
whom lie has loved, his family whom he has brought 
up in the fear of God it means to them everything that 
can be said or can be imagined by the tongue or the 
mind of man. It means : shall it go forth to the world 
that this poor country girl, who has staggered from her 
illness in order to face the ordeal of cross-examination, 
is the wife of a murderer; and are these poor helpless 
272 



Closing Speech for the Defence. 

Mr Wild 

children to be branded for all time as the children of 
a man who has committed such a dastardly crime as 
that which you are investigating here to-day? 

I say no more about it. I shall now endeavour 
having merely endeavoured to indicate the nature 
of the responsibility that is thrown upon your 
shoulders to assume the same quiet and deliberate tone 
of addressing you that I assumed yesterday, and I shall 
ask you to follow this case through its final stages with 
that attentive care, with that desire to see justice, which 
no one can address you without knowing permeates the 
whole of that jury-box. May I finally, as a preface, 
Bay this : that I do thank you, all of you, on behalf of 
this unhappy man, for the care with which you have 
followed the case and listened to the speeches which 
have been addressed to you, and, knowing how important 
it is that this matter should be finally concluded to-day, 
knowing the extreme inconvenience that y'o.u and all 
of you will suffer, supposing the trial be unduly pro- 
tracted, all I propose to do is practically to address 
myself to the cross-examination which was adminis- 
tered by my friend to my witnesses, and not, if I can 
help it, go over the ground which I so fully traversed 
yesterday morning. 

Gentlemen, my friend has the reply upon me. The 
reply, I know, is a terrible weapon, and in the hands 
of an advocate like nay friend a weapon that might well 
be feared, but e-uch is the course of our judicial pro- 
ceedings, and, therefore, all I can do is this: I can 
briefly point b,ut to you the evidence to which you have 
already listened, and I can judge, as far as possible 
by the questions administered by my friend, the 
nature of the speech which he will address to you. 
Before, however, I commence dealing with the cross- 
examination, I want to say two things. In justice they 
ought to be said. The first is with regard to what has 
been called the confession letter. I am in your 

S 273 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

hearing, and in the hearing of my lord, and believe 
me, that anything I said, anything that I insinu- 
ated in my first speech was not intended to convey the 
suggestion to your mind that I bring any sort of charge 
against Albert Goodchild. I did not import the name 
into the* case ; the name was imported by the superin- 
tendent; but if there is any doubt upon the matter at 
all, I say it now, and I say it advisedly, with the full 
sense of responsibility, that as far as the defence is- 
concerned there is no sort or shadow of suggestion that 
Albert Goodchild committed that murder. The only 
way in which I used that letter, and the only way in 
which it may be useful still I don't know, because the 
confession letter is very often the emanation of a lunatic 
is- that it is a curious circumstance that the man who 
wrote that letter, who was obviously not Gardiner, and 
equally obviously not Goodchild, should have got hold 
of circumstances which could be verified, and my sug- 
gestion is, and I throw it out for what it is worth, 
that it is possible there may be some person who, hav- 
ing committed that murder, in fact, is desirous to save 
an innocent man, and, therefore, while he cannot give 
himself up to justice, is endeavouring not to impli- 
cate an innocent man. Secondly, with regard to the 
young man Davis, I have never suggested that Davis 
Committed that murder. I consider, gentlemen, as I 
said to you yesterday, that it is no part of the duty of 
counsel for the defence to -endeavour to take upon 
his shoulders responsibilities that the law does not 
attach to him. I have to show you that Gardiner is 
not proved to have committed that murder. That is all 
I have to show. And the only way in which I have 
used Davis's letters and the cross-examination of the 
young man was to show you first what a terribly prima 
facie case might have been made out against another 
innocent man assuming he had been in the dock; and, 
secondly, to ask you to say that the whole tone and 
74 



Closing Speech for the Defence. 

Mr Wild 

tenour of those letters, coupled with the medical work, 
tend to the conviction that Davis was in fact the father 
of that child. 

Now, yesterday evening we called before you 
a number of witnesses who may be described as the 
elders or lay preachers of the Primitive Methodist Con- 
nexion in the neighbourhood of Sibton and Peasenhall, 
and I do ask you to give considerable attention to the 
evidence that these five gentlemen gave. They were 
Mr. Fiddler, the farmer, of Peasenhall; Mr. Samuel 
Goddard, farmer; Mr. Etheridge, farmer; Mr. Cripp, 
the insurance agent; and Mr. Abraham J. Goddard. 
These five men, who have the honour of their Connexion 
at heart, have come forward without fee or reward, at 
considerable personal inconvenience Mr. Fiddler 
struggling up from a bed of sickness for what purpose? 
Do you think they came here to tell you what was not 
true? They came here to show you, gentlemen, that 
this man William Gardiner bears a character such as 
any man in this Court might be proud to bear, and I 
do draw your attention to a contrast that might very 
well be drawn between the demeanour and evidence of 
these five men, and the demeanour and evidence of Henry 
House, the roadman. I ask you to say that the 
contrast is distinctly in favour of these fathers of 
their Primitive Church; these men imbued with the 
principles of Christianity; these men who we know are 
fair examples probably of their Huguenot ancestors who 
settled in East Anglia, and in their rough and ready 
way serve their Gorl, and men who would not be dragged 
into this case by any means did they not believe that the 
man at the Bar was innocent, did they not believe that 
he bore a character, and still bears a character, which, 
is above reproach. 

There was another important point that was 
elicited from the examination of these witnesses, and 
that is this. It was elicited that the Rev. Mr. Guy 

275 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

has quite changed his attitude with regard to Gardiner. 
Remember what this chapel scandal meant to the church ! 
It meant everything. It meant, as I said to you yester- 
day, that if there were a real doubt about his guilt or 
about his innocence he could not be allowed to teach 
at the Sunday school, or to take part in the services of 
the church, and yet you have it from five men, 
five unimpeachable witnesses, that the matter was 
investigated, and that Mr. Guy said to them all that the 
thing was a trumped-up story, a fabrication of lies, and 
that the young men's story would not bear investigation 
for a single moment. It shows this, that Mr. Guy 
has been unconsciously influenced by the prejudice 
whether exhibiting itself in waxworks or in the press, 
or in whatever way by the prejudice which was excited 
during the five months this man awaited his trial, if it 
can be called a trial. Mr. Guy did not believe a word 
of it at the time he reported it to these five witnesses, 
and it is only since thas unhappy man has been accused 
of this murder that a scandal, which was not believed 
by a soul in responsibility, has been renewed, and people 
say: " Can there have been anything in it after all? " 
I ask you to say that scandal can be eliminated from 
this inquiry, for the simple reason that the very people 
whose duty it was to investigate it discovered there was 
nothing in it in their judgment, and the man was allowed 
to retain the responsible posts which he had hitherto 
occupied with honour to himself and the community to 
which he belonged. 

There is another point which I forgot to deal with 
yesterday morning, and I think it is a point my friend 
lias quite unintentionally strained too far against 
Gardiner. He has suggested to you that at the inter- 
view with Mr. Guy that succeeded the chapel inquiry 
OIL Hth May, 1901, Gardiner admitted indiscretion. 
Tou heard Mr. Guy cross-examined. Perhaps I cross- 
examined Mr. Guy, perhaps I cross-examined other 
276 



Closing Speech for the Defence. 

Mr Wild 

witnesses, too severely. You will not punish Gardiner 
for any over-eagerness or over-zeal I may Lave displayed. 
One is anxious to bring out every point, and if I have 
laid stress upon any matter too muck, I ask you to visit 
it on me, not on him. Mr. Guy admitted that the whole 
effect of it was this: Gardiner had denied the matter; 
he was explaining to Mr. Guy the reason why he did 
not propose, under the advice of his lawyer, to proceed 
with this slander action against these young men, young 
men with twelve shillings a week. And then Mr. Guy 
said to him words to this effect: " You cannot be too 
careful with regard to women. Even I even I, Guy, 
a man holding my high position even I have been 
unjustly accused in my time of indiscretion. Your name 
may be linked with a woman and you cannot be too 
careful/' Then Gardiner said: " I will be careful." 
Guy said : " You had better not be seen with the girl." 
Gardiner said : " "No, I won't, as there are censorious 
people about, and I am not going to run the risk of 
having my name coupled with her's." I do not think 
my friend ought to take that point as any kind of 
admission on the part of Gardiner, who has all along 
protested his innocence, who tendered his resignation if 
there was any doubt, and who has been reinstated and 
allowed to continue in his positions. I think a false 
impression has got abroad about Gardiner's reception 
of the news of the death of the girl. He heard about it 
on the Sunday morning when he got to the chapel to 
take the Sunday school, everybody believing, the doctor 
believing, the police believing that the unhappy girl 
had committed suicide. " "Was he upset? " was the 
question put. He was not upset. That is to say, he 
did not show any appearance of guilt. He was shocked 
as anybody else was shocked. As Mr. Tiddler said: 
" He was shocked in the way we were all shocked/' It 
was a terrible thing to happen. He went through his 
duties as the others went through their duties. He went 

277 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

through his arduous duties, and there was over the 
Sibton congregation that subdued thrill and hush that 
comes when death enters into a community, particularly 
a small community. I don't think any point ought to 
be made against* Gardiner that he did not show undue 
emotion. The man takes his children to church this 
murderer, Ihis man represented as getting up in the 
night to commit an awful murder he takes his children 
to church three times, and goes through his ordinary 
duties lik-e Fiddler and the rest of them. He must 
indeed be a callous murderer if that is so. You are 
entitled to take it into consideration whether it is 
possible that a man could be such an actor as to go 
through these duties in that way, assuming him to have 
committed that horrible bloody murder, I do not want 
to say much more about Hart. His evidence is 
important, because Hart had to traverse 16 yards past 
Providence House, so that he would pass the Crisps* 
house, and turn up the Helmingham Road. The 
observant Mr. Morriss was going in the other direction, 
and though Hart had nailed boots his footprints were 
not observed by Mr. Morriss. The road was wet wet 
through and it will be for you to say whether shoes 
like that could have possibly left an impression that 
must have been made about two in the morning, and 
that Morriss says he saw at five o'clock, although he did 
not see Hart's footsteps either then or afterwards. I 
suggest to you, coupled with the fact that Morriss never 
communicated with the police, that it is simply talk 
just as Stammers saw the fire. It is rather a nice thing 
to be dragged into a case like this as the prosecution's 
witnesses, and to have one's expenses paid. You come 
along and quite honestly you may think you saw 
more than you did. When the police come, the thing 
that had been suspicion becomes a certainty, and by the 
time you have been examined before the Coroner, before 
the Grand Jury, and at two Assize trials, you believe 
278 



Closing Speech for the Defence. 

Mr WiW 

every word you have said. It is like the game o 
" Russian Scandal " take a person, tell him a story, 
pass it along, and see in the end whether it bears any 
resemblance to the original story. 

Another important set of evidence was that dealing 
with the obapel tests. It is very important, this matter 
of the chapel scandal, and I do suggest most seriously 
that all evidence of motive and the motive is paternity 
is gone out of this case as regards Gardiner, They 
drag up this old scandal, which was not believed at the 
tirn-e, and the only way to test it is to go up to the 
chapel, and see if it could be done. I have already com- 
mented on the absurd thing they call a test, that waa 
carried on outside the chapel. I have called before you 
three gentlemen of known probity and respectability, one 
being Mr. Leighton, of whom it may, of course, be said 
that he is the solicitor for the defence; but leave him 
out altogether. Take Mr. Corder, take Mr. Parmenter 
two men of high position in this town; men who don't 
want to be dragged into this case; men who gave their 
evidence at the last trial, and know the state of destitu- 
tion the unhappy man was in yet they come here and 
tell you the result of their test. The question is, was 
it a fair and honest test? Mr. Leighton, Mr. Parmenter, 
and Mr. Corder made this test, and you have to judge 
if it was an honest one. Did Mr. Corder and Mr. 
Parmenter go there with the object of not being heard? 
If you know any thing of those gentlemen, or can judge 
of their demeanour in the box, you can scout the very 
suggestion. They occupied in the chapol the positions 
the guilty persons were supposed to have occupied; they 
spoke to one another, and read alternate verses of hymns 
with the ventilator open, and with the ventilator sh.ut, 
and no coherent conversation could be heard outside. 

Then we come to the vexed question of handwriting, 
and I should think you must be pretty well tired of 
having similarities and dissimilarities pointed out; but 

270 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

you have followed it most kindly and patiently. The 
evidence of the prosecution rests upon it, for if you take 
away the motive, the whole thing comes to the hand- 
writing, and my friend knew it very well when he took 
Mr. Qurrin through letter by letter. Now, who is Mr. 
Gurrin?. He is an expert witness in handwriting. I 
don't know how a man qualifies himself to be an expert 
witness in handwriting. There do not seem to be many 
of them fortunately, in this country there are many 
other honourable professions and trades that men can 
find better to follow. Mr. Gurrin comes here and states- 
he has made a study of it. Well, there is no examina- 
tion to pass, no particular test, except the way in which 
he gives evidence. Of course, when I, with abilities 
very much inferior to my friend's, try to ask Mr. Gurrin 
to unsay what he had said of course he would not do it. 
He conscientiously says he believes it is the same writ- 
ing, and I do not contest that he believes it. I have not 
been able to call another expert witness, because they 
are difficult to get; but I have called before you two 
business men Mr. Eairbairn, who occupies one of the 
highest positions in the city of Norwich, and Mr. 
Bayliss, who has practical charge of one of the most 
important banks in London. These gentlemen are not 
accustomed to give evidence, and therefore my friend 
can cross-examine, and show apparent discrepancies. 
But they are accustomed to deal with, and judge, hand- 
writing, whilst Mr. Gurrin talks about it. It is the 
signature that is the very test of handwriting, and what 
better authorities on this can you have than these two 
men, one in the Post Office, and the other in a big 
London bank? They are responsible to their employers 
to see that forgeries are not committed. 

"With regard to the letter from Paris, it is suggested 
that Gardiner wrote it under difficulties; but I would 
remind you that this letter was written from a Paris 
hotel as the result of the day's proceedings; and do you 



Closing Speech for the Defence. 

Mr Wild 

mean to tell me tliat a man, proud of the confidence 
reposed in him, would sit down and write a mere scrawl 
to his master? They take this motor-car letter this 
pathetic letter sent to his wife and they make a new set 
of comparisons, as they were, indeed, obliged to do! I 
admit that this letter is better spaced and aligned; but 
it is with the greatest confidence that I ask you to 
compare the style and finish of that letter with the 
style and finish of " A." 

I say that a terrible danger confronts you if you 
i rust entirely to handwriting. We have heard a great deal 
about "mechanism,'* " alignment/* and " spacing "; 
but what I say in conclusion is this, and I say it very 
solemnly, if you were sitting in & civil case such as 
we shall try on Monday say, such a case as Staunton 
against Gardiner, on a question of goods sold and 
delivered, or money had and received, or anything of 
that kind and the issue depended upon disputed hand- 
writing, you might very well say: " Well, after all, 
we think Gurrin iw right. " You would be perf-ectly 
entitled to give a verdict according to the balance of 
proof one way or the other. 

Gentlemen, thank God, the standard of proof in a 
criminal case, and especially in on<e which involves life 
or death to the person charged, is immeasurably higher 
than in a civil cause. If there is the slightest doubt, 
based upon reason, as between on statement of this kind 
and another, the accused is entitled to the benefit of it 
he is entitled to acquittal. In such an issue as this 
and 1 do not lliink X um attaching too much 
importance to it! who will take the responsibility of 
saying absolutely that Gurrin must be right, and 
Fairbank and Bayliss must be wrong? Gardiner 
is entitled to the benefit of any doubt that exisits 
in the mind of any of you. I hope you will 
forgive me for having spoken with some amount 
of fervour and at great length about that matter, 

281 



William Gardiner. 

Mr WiW 

because I cannot but realise that the prosecution 
are driven into a corner. With their motive gone, their 
chapel scandal gone, their witness House discredited, 
and everything gone except the handwriting, they are 
endeavouring to* put a false situation before you, and 
deal with the question rather as if it was a civil case 
than a matter upon which the life or death of a man 
depends. 

The next matter that I want to deal with is the 
evidence of Mrs. Martha Walker. I attach the very 
greatest importance to the evidence of Mrs. Walker. 
She wan the lady who had attended to Mrs. Gardiner at 
a number of her confinements, and her evidence com- 
pletely disproves two points sought to be made by the 
prosecution. First of all, there was the evidence of the 
bottlo. Not only did Airs. Gardiner give a reasonable 
account how the bottle goi, into the possession of Rose 
Hatrteut, but Mrs. Walker told you Rose Harsent was 
suffering from a severe cold shortly before Easter, and 
she aaid that Mrs.' Gardiner gave her tbe camphorated 
oil iu the bottle. Mrs. Walker had conversation with 
h^r on the matter, and it showed perfectly what Mrs. 
Gardiner aaid was true. Urn. Gardiner said: " I gave 
her a bottle, I do not know which. " Mrs. Walker said : 
" She had a bottle, and she rubbed oil on her chest." 
That disposes of what was thought to be a most serious 
point in the whole case. When you are asked to believe 
that Gardiner wus such a fool as to take a bottle with 
6 ounceH of paraffin in, and with label bearing his name 
upon it, you will probably say that the hoi tie story goes. 
Mrw. Walker is useful for another reason. She explains 
the lap incident. She ways if it were done, anybody 
could HOG it. I do not suppose any twelve men would 
believe that a man would put his legs on the girl's lap 
except Mr, Itouse in the rostrum. 

I culled before you Mr. Elliston, and his evidence is 
very important. It is important for this reason. Dr. 



Closing Speech for the Defence, 

Mr Wild 

Elliston is a man of considerable experience as a surgeon 
and greatly respected in this district. He is a man 
having high positions in the medical world, and he 
tells you this : that the murder could not have been 
done without considerable spurting and flowing of blood. 
I could not carry the examination any further, but I 
proposed to ask him about the moving of the boHy, and 
the effect of it. An objection was taken that that was 
not a matter for a doctor, it was as a matter of fact for 
the jury to judge. No doubt, gentlemen, having got 
so far, you will form your own opinions as to that 
matter. What must have been the effect of the blood 
spurting and flowing? The effiect must have been that 
the man must have been smothered. In that condition 
he must have gone back to his wife's bed, and that is 
assuming Gardiner is the man. I hope you will judge 
of the improbability of that. The prosecution's theory 
is that the man who is said to have murdered that girl 
is stated to have made the assignation by that letter. 
The man, if he committed that murder, must have been 
possessed of consummate intelligence. Not only is it 
said he left a bottle with has name on it, but it is said 
he made the appointment for twelve o'clock. This would 
force him to leave his wife's side, and in the ordinary 
course of things, gentlemen I do not think, if you 
tried to get out of bed without your wife's knowing, 
you could I do not think he could succeed in that with- 
out her hearing. Probably she would do it without his 
hearing. Then, it is said he went a quarter of a mile 
away, and committed the murder, and went back to bed 
without his wife knowing. If Le did that, there could 
not have been much vigilance on the part of the wife. 

Here is a point I have not made before, but I ask 
your particular attention to it. You see this letter of 
assignation it says: " I will try to come to you at 
twelve/' You know the time they go to bed in the 
country. We got it from a witness that it was ten to 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

eleven o'clock. That was pretty late in the country. 
In the ordinary course of events, Gardiner would be in 
bed. He was not, however, because there was a storm, 
but he would not know that fact when he wrote the 
letter, which *he prosecution say he did, and we say he- 
did not. It is not very likely he would write a letter 
at all if he was going to murder the girl, and forge a 
weapon with which to hang himself. He would see the 
girl on the Sunday at the school. Do you think he 
would write in his ordinary handwriting? If he had 
waited till the Sunday, what would have happened? 
He would have seen her in the school or in his choir, 
and could have said : " I will come round to-night." It 
is obvious that the letter was written by some one who was 
a stranger to the district, for he addressed the letter 
" P-easenhall, Saxmundham." Would Gardiner, a 
married man, living in a small cottage with his wife, 
sleeping in the same bedroom, make an appointment 
either to see or murder the girl? He would know in the 
ordinary course of things he would have to get up and 
leave his wife's side, so that she must know about it. 
That is a very important point. If there was not a storm, 
he would be in bed, and have to run the risk. Assume 
against the probabilities of the fact, and that he made 
the appointment at twelve. This consummately clever 
murderer is not able to keep that appointment. He ia 
delayed ; therefore, would he not have gone and left the 
appointment to stand over till some other night? Would 
he have run the risk of leaving Ms wife's side, go away,, 
and commit a sanguinary murder ; go back to her when 
it was almost impossible she could but know? There i& 
only one conclusion that can be drawn, and that is that 
the wife was privy to the murder, and that if you convict 
William Gardiner, it is tantamount to convicting the 
wife. 

I come to the accused. He has been called before 
you. I do not know if it would be possible to imagine 
284 



Closing Speech for the Defence. 

Mr Wild 

any greater odds than lie had to face against my friend's 
cross-examination. We Englishmen like a fair fight, 
when antagonists are pretty equally matched. I cross- 
examined ISPunn and was a little too sharp on him, and 
was called to order, and the witnesses for the prosecu- 
tion applauded. Of course, they did, for he was their 
policeman. Nunn was a clever and intelligent officer, 
but compare Gardiner against Mr. Dickens, one of the 
most able men at the Bar, a man of life-long experience, 
whose abilities are great. He is in the full vigour of his 
intelligence, and he has to pull to pieces one who has 
lain for eight months within 50 yards of the place where 
he will be hanged if he is convicted. His thoughts can 
have been occupied with nothing but I don't 
suggest he thought so much about himself his 
wife at home and the children, who were calling 
for their father's return. He is the man, the 
man who has been through an arduous thing they 
called a trial in the month of November; the man about 
whom the jury disagree; who was incarcerated another 
three months ; yet he goes into that box. If he were a 
murderer, what do you think his thought would have 
been? You remember the terribly romantic description 
of Eugene Aram by the poet Hood : 

That night he lay in agony, 

In silence vast and deep, 

With fevered eyes like burning glass, 

He stared aghast at sleep. 

For sin had rendered unto him 

The keys of hell to keep. 

What must the thoughts of a murderer be, a man 
shut up with this crime, who has got to stand a 
second trial to be cross-examined by the keenest advo- 
cate of the Common Law Bar. You saw Gardiner in 
the box, and I will leave you to judge who got the 
tetter of the cross-examination. You cannot cross- 

285 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

examine truth. Look at the cross-examination. I do not 
blame my friend, who knows his duty better than I do, 
but he was compelled to resort to the artifices 'of cross- 
examination in order to make an appearance of a stand 
against William George Gardiner. For instance, he 
cross-examined him about Stammers, and asked him if 
Stammers were deliberately lying. Gardiner knows he 
is telling the truth, and that Stammers, however unin- 
tentionally, is telling a different story, and he says : 
" Yes." Then he was asked: "Why does Stammers 
tell a deliberate lie? " If Stammers saw the fire why 
did not he mention it before N'ovember? Mr. Dickens 
invites Gardiner to impute motives why Stammers, 
Skinner, Rouse, Wright, Morriss, Guy, and the rest 
should deliberately swear away his life. I suggest that 
Gardiner answered these questions as a man who pro- 
fesses religion as he does, and he says; " 1 decline to 
impute motives ." He told how he believed Wright 
and Skinner's story grew in the telling, and that they 
were now afraid of g'oing back on their word. Would 
Mr, Eouse be so wicked? We do not know so much about 
Mr. Rouse as we should like. Mr. Rouse denied things 
I put to him; I cannot contradict him with witnesses, 
because the law does not allow it, Gardiner has as much 
right to be believed as Rouse. Rouse shows he is lying 
about one matter regarding Gardiner putting his legs 
on Rose Harsent's lap. On the other hand, Gardiner 
has not been proved to lie in a single particular, and I 
submit that Gardiner is every bit as much entitled to 
credence as Rouse. 

Then you come to the question of clothes. A man 
earning twenty-sis shillings a week with a wife and six 
children would not have an extensive wardrobe. Gentle- 
men, I say this: that this man Gardiner and his 
wife have given, up .every atom of clothing the man had 
at the time. The police had made exhaustive investi- 
gations. They knew the effect of this point of the clothes, 



Closing Speech for the Defence. 

Mr WUd 

and the fact that they are not able to suggest that this 
man ever wore any other suit of clothes beyond those 
produced by them and analysed by Dr. Stevenson, proves 
that he has no more, and you are entitled to assume that 
every vestige of clothes that that man has had has been 
handed over to the police. 

My friend admitted the mistake he put a false point 
as to the accused telling his wife as to the chapel scandal. 
It was made clear that Gardiner's recollection was right, 
and my friend's recollection was wrong. 

In regard to the knife, Gardiner does not pretend to 
tell you when he last cleaned the knife, but there is 
this point : that the knife had two little bits of blood 
upon it, and that carries but his story so far that he 
had hulked several rabbits, with the result that the ages 
of the blood were different. 

Then my friend put this point and did you ever 
hear a more absurd, I was going to say more ridiculous, 
point about the little girl in, her father's arms? The 
woman says : "I went to bed, and I could not sleep, 
and I took the child in bed when my husband was asleep. 
When I woke at five he had got his arm round the little 
girl." Gardiner said: "I don't remember the child 
being put there, but I remember waking up and finding 
it there/' My friend wants to make out that this is a 
contradiction. Gentlemen, pretty well the last thing the 
poor man did before he was locked up for eight months 
waa to be in bed with his little infant; and the child 
worked its way, nestled up to its father that father 
whom you are aaked to 8ay is a murderer and the wife 
noticed the arm round the little girl. 

Now, so much with regard to that. Mrs. Pepper 
was called before you, and Mrs. Pepper is a witness, 
as I suggest, of truth. She tells you this: that 
she was up from twenty minutes past two to twenty 
minutes past four, and Mrs. Pepper telk you she was 
walking about. She is obviously a nervous and excitable 

287 



William Gardiner. 

Mr WUd 

woman, and she says she heard nothing except Mrs* 
Gardiner go downstairs at twenty minutes past two or 
thereabouts. 

Now, I have to comment severely upon the action 
of the police in this matter. Mr. Staunton went 
to Mrs. Pepper; Mr. Staunton took down the statement 
that has been put in for the Crown, in which Mrs. Pepper 
says this in effect: " I heard some one go down in the 
night. From inquiries I made afterwards " a police 
phrase that " I learned it was Mrs. Gardiner." Do 
you think those are the words of an uneducated woman 
like Mrs. Pepper? Why did not they call Mrs. Pepper 
if that were true ? It was most important for their case ; 
then they would have suggested it was Gardiner. The 
question is this : not whether Mrs. Pepper made a false 
statement, but whether Mrs. Pepper is a witness of truth 
or a liar. Rouse will be held tip to you as a sort of 
demi-god, but what interest has Mrs. Pepper, who was 
going against the opinion of the village for the moment ? 
She came here with no kind of interest, and Mr&. Pepper 
tells you she heard Mrs. Gardiner go down, that she 
heard Bertie scream, and that she heard Mrs. Gardiner 
speak to him. Next morning Mrs. Pepper asked Mrs. 
Gardiner: " What made you go down in the night? " 
and she said: " I had pains in my body." Tou see 
that corroborates Mrs. Gardiner; therefore the Crown 
are forced to this conclusion : that Mrs. Gardiner is an 
accomplice either before or after the fact to this murder. 
I submit to you that you will not ignore the evidence 
of Mrs. Pepper, which is the strongest corroboration 
of the alibi set up all along in this case. 

Finally, you have the evidence of Mrs. Gardiner her- 
self. I am perfectly contented for you to judge of her 
demeanour in the witness-box. She is the sort of woman 
who has been brought up in the country and led a simple 
country life. She is the wife of this man, and I have 
not blinked the fact that her future, and possibly her 



Closing Speech for the Defence. 

Mr Wild 

life, depend upon your verdict. I quite admit that she 
has the strongest possible interest she loves her husband 
in shielding him if she can, although I should not 
have thought, if she had believed he murdered his para- 
mour, she would have cared for him so niuch as she does. 
But it is not a question of shielding : it is ^a question 
whether that woman has come here and deliberately lied 
to you in every detail as she had lied previously to Mrs. 
Pepper and the police, because, remember, she told the 
slory from the first. In that case she is an accomplice 
to this murder. It would be impossible for that man 
to leave his wife's side and go back after having com- 
mitted a ghastly murder of that description without the 
wife knowing it. That being the case, I ask : " Has 
fihe done it? " I submit she gave her evidence truth- 
fully. Could she act the part? Tou can imagine some 
women women brought up, perhaps, in London, women 
who deserve the name of adventuresses acting the part, 
but can you imagine a simple country woman deceiving 
the police, deceiving my friend, untouched by cross- 
examination? Gentlemen, I will leave her in your 
hands. 

My friend hus sought to put before you a series of 
facts which he ay8 .show guilt. I have endeavoured, as 
fairly as may be, as fully at* I can, to deal with these 
points one by one. I have dealt with the handwriting, 
with the india-rubber shoes, with the knife, with the 
bottle, with the envelope, and I draw your attention 
once more to the fact that Mrs. Crisp's original evidence 
tallies exactly with the doctor's evidence. Mrs. Crisp 
said the murder was between one and two in the morn- 
ing; the doctor's evidence as to rigor mortis puts it 
between one and two. Therefore I submit that I have 
done more than is necessary. I have not only shown that 
the Crown have not proved that Gardiner did it, but I 
have shown that he could not have done it. That is 
the end of my responsibility. 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Wild 

After tearing my friend and my lord, your responsi- 
bility will commence. I do not presume to say more 
than one word about your responsibility. Mine has 
been great; I have discharged it to the best of my poor 
ability; I shall -propose to take some rest from the Court 
when I have finished. But my responsibility is as 
nothing compared with yours. The verdict rests entirely 
upon your shoulders; it is a verdict which does not rest 
upon you collectively as twelve gentlemen, but 
individually. You will remember that each juryman 
is sworn to give a personal verdict between the King 
and William Gardiner. Gentlemen, I therefore beseech 
you that if there is an honest doubt, as there must be in 
the mind of any one of you but I know that no man, 
believing that there is a doubt of a man's guilt of 
murder, would let any consideration of convenience or 
time turn him from what is his honest opinion. 

There are three views that may be held. The one 
view is that the man is proved to be guilty. I have 
never suggested that if that is so any man should shirk 
his responsibility. The second view is that the man is 
proved to be innocent. I hope that will be the view 
that you or some of you will take. But there is a 
third view, and that is that, although there may be a 
considerable element of doubt, although some of you 
think and I am bound to look at all points that it ia 
quite possible he committed the murder, there is a 
verdict which is not known here, the verdict " Not 
proven/' but which is included in the English verdict 
of " Not guilty." Unless the Crown have brought home 
to you beyond the shadow of a doubt that this man is 
guilty, every one of you, I am convinced, will find him 
" Not guilty," which only means that he is not proved 
to be guilty. 

Gentlemen, my duty is done. I do not apologise for 
having taken some time, for no time can be wasted which 
can be legitimately used in defending a man on a 
290 



Closing Speech for the Defence. 

Mr Wild 

capital charge. I spoke, perhaps it was out of place, 
yesterday about myself, but I wish to say one word about 
the accused. He is a man who has gone through very 
much I do not put it to you in the way of sympathy 
but there must have been something folding him up, 
and I think I can say it of him with reverence and 
absolute meaning in every word, " The Eternal God is 
my refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." 



Closing Speech for the Prosecution. 

Mr. DICKENS My learned friend, who has just 
addressed you, need offer no apology for having done his 
duty, and far from offering any apology, I think he is 
entitled to be told from my lips to start with that I 
admire his efforts on the part of the accused. Gentle- 
men, this case is not to be decided by words of counsel 
or suggestions of counsel. This case must be decided 
upon the facts which are brought before you hard, 
stubborn facts, and upon these alone. I have still a 
duty to perform. It is a painful one, but it is an 
imperative one, and that is, appearing as counsel for the 
Crown, to point out to you facts which we suggest to 
you prove irresistibly that the accused is guilty of this 
murder. 

The case has been a painful one to all of us painful 
more especially having regard to the position of the 
wife, inexpressibly painful to have to cross-examine a 
man on trial for his life, and also to have to cross- 
examine his wife, particularly in the state of health in 
which that unfortunate woman was. At the outset 
in my opening speech I warned you that we must 
not judge this case by any feeling of sympathy we must 
all have for the woman. If we were to do that, public 
justice could never be vindicated, because there is hardly 

291 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickens 

a crime which, is committed which, does not bring 
unhappiness, grief, sorrow, ruin upon the relatives of 
the guilty man. My learned friend has said you are 
called upon to give the most solemn verdict man can 
give. I must* remind you of the other side of 
the question. You are called upon to vindicate public 
justice, which, if the case for the Crown be true, has 
been outraged. You have to consider, of course, the 
interest of the accused to this extent; that you must 
remember that the Crown have to satisfy you beyond all 
reasonable doubt reasonable doubt, not a shadowy 
doubt. As I have put it more than once, it must be a 
doubt born of your reason, not of your sympathy or your 
prejudice. 

There have been many topics urged by my 
friend, many little bits of evidence introduced which 
have very little bearing upon this case. Pull latitude 
has been given not only to the counsel for the defence, 
but every opportunity has been given them that the case 
should be fully and well heard, and evidence has been 
received in this case which, had I been strict, I could 
have undoubtedly objected to, but my sole object, the 
sole object of the Crown is to see that justice is done, 
and we conceive it right, and in the interests of the 
accused, that there should be no technical difficulty to 
the admission of -evidence, and it was for that reason 
that evidence was admitted which was not admissible or 
relevant to the issue. 

I think it was unworthy of my friend he will 
excuse my saying so suggesting that the prosecution 
had been unfair in keeping Bouse and Stammers 
back, as he said, to the last moment. Nothing is further 
from the truth. When evidence is given, notice is 
given, and there cannot be a suggestion, and there is not 
one tittle of foundation for the suggestion, that notice 
of that evidence was withheld after the evidence had 
been given to the police. See how the other side have 
292 



Closing Speech for the Prosecution. 

Mr Dickens 

treated us in that respect perfectly within their rights. 
Witnesses have been called, and we have heard gentlemen 
who were asked the day before the last trial, with no 
notice to us. Large numbers of witnesses were called we 
never heard of on the last occasion, and it does seem 
rather absurd, if I may use the expression, io make a 
suggestion that the notice of these witnesses was with- 
held from them, while they had the advantage of calling 
numerous witnesses as to whom we have had no know- 
ledge, and no idea that they were going to be called. 

Another topic my learned friend urged was that there 
was somebody who had motive against the accused for 
putting the crime on him. His expression was " not too 
popular a man.' 1 There is not a tittle of evidence that 
any single workman in Smyth's bore that man any 
ill-will, Gardiner would not suggest it because he 
could not suggest it. It was the suggestion of counsel 
and counsel alone, and it is for that reason that I must 
beg respectfully to warn you against adopting what 
counsel says, and I respectfully beg you to remember 
that what you have got to show is what the defence 
prove, and to that your attention is directed. 

Gentlemen, another topic was strongly urged by my 
learned friend, and that is that Gardiner is put forward 
before you as a man, religious, respected by those who 
know him. lie is quite right. You should throw that 
in the scale for what it is worth, but you must remember 
that in throwing it into the scale you must bring your 
common sense to bear and your own knowledge of the 
world as men of the world. We know well that in crime 
after crime that is investigated in Courts of Justice, a 
man who is charged is a man who has always been looked 
up to both as a religious man and as a good man. And, 
if our case is true, Gardiner did not deserve the position 
which he attained to, and Gardiner has been deceiving 
those who believed in him, and therefore, while giving 
fair effect to the fact of his having had a reputation 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickon* 

amongst those who knew him, you must not lay too 
great stress upon that, because otherwise you would 
not be bringing to bear that ordinary knowledge of the 
world, which all of you must possess. " No breath of 
suspicion/' says my learned friend, " upon him to the 
1st of Ma"y." The same always applies. If he was a 
man carrying on an illicit intercourse with a woman, 
having regard to the very fact of his high reputation 
and his position in the church, he would necessarily 
disguise his real self, and he would necessarily be care- 
ful of his conduct so that he should not be found out. 

There is another suggestion that was made that 
is also the suggestion of counsel, and it was in order 
to disparage Wright and Skinner in your eyes ; that, as 
Davis said, this kind of nasty writings were generally 
talked about in Peasenhall, that, therefore, you must 
assume that Wright and Skinner are of the ,$ame stamp, 
and must be permeated with beastly ideas in their minds. 
Not a tittle of evidence suggests it, not a word put to 
either of them even to lay the foundation for such an 
assertion. Skinner was twenty-seven years old, past 
the age which some boys go through with all this kind 
of indecent feeling uppermost in the mind. And, there- 
fore, when you consider the evidence whicb is to be 
attached to the story of Wright and Skinner, it would be 
a shocking thing if you were to allow yourself to be led 
away by a suggestion of fact, and which there has been 
no attempt to show any foundation for whatever. 

Now, gentlemen, I do not understand, I am bound 
to say, why this extraordinary anonymous letter was 
produced. It has fizzled to nothing. My lord very 
properly said if I may be allowed respectfully to say 
so that although it was not admissible in law, in a 
case of murder he thought nothing should be shut out, 
and, gentlemen, from the point of view of pub-lie justice, 
I think it was a course that was eminently desirable, as 
it has turned out, because if that letter had not been 
294 



Closing Speech for the Prosecution. 

Mr Dickon. 

produced, if we had taken the technical 'objection with 
regard to it, my learned friend would have been able to 
suggest what was behind, that there had been some con- 
fession which might have had a great deal in it. And 
what do we find? Three confessions one from Burton, 
one from Devonshire, one from London and* you know 
perfectly well that it is one of the extraordinary things 
that follow a prominent trial of this kind that confessions 
from all sorts of people are constantly being sent. My 
learned friend first of all suggested that it was written 
by the murderer. Of course, neither of his experts dared 
suggest for a moment that that letter was written by 
the writer of " A " and " B." The first man said: 
t( I should be a very bold man if I suggested it." And, 
therefore, that is not a fact. Then it is suggested that 
it may be the real murderer had tried to put it upon 
Gobdchild. Can such a suggestion for a moment be 
entertained? But that it is not written by the real 
murderer is shown by the intrinsic contents of the letter 
itself. There are three points to be considered in regard 
to this letter. First of all, there was an allusion to a 
sofa, whereas, as a matter of fact, there was none in 
the room. The second one is that it said : "I wore my 
maltster's shoes/' But it appears after careful inquiry 
that they do not have any bars at all on maltster's shoes, 
but flat soles. Thirdly: "My boots were filled with 
blood." If anything is certain in this case, it is this: 
that, whoever committed that murder obviously was suc- 
cessful in preventing his feet from coming into contact 
with the blood upon the floor. The real reason why that 
letter was produced was because they are seeking for 
some unknown man. They are trying to suggest there 
is some unknown man, other than Gardiner, who is likely 
to have committed this crime, and that is a difficulty 
they have been in all through. Three anonymous letters, 
three confessions, all gone ! Davis is no party to the 
murder! Who, then, was the murderer? 

295 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dicken. 

Now my learned friend went on to say that the hand- 
writing was. practically the only evidence. Such a 
suggestion as that is absolutely devoid of fact. The 
case for the Crown is an accumulation of facts, all 
pointing to the 'accused alone, not one fact, not two, 
and not three, but it is an accumulation of facts which 
we say by the process of exhaustion point to him and to 
him alone. Just follow that. I want to reason it tem- 
perately and fairly, at the same time pointing out that 
our proposition is that all these facts tend to the accused. 
Let us take it by steps. That it was a murder is un- 
doubted; that the murder was not committed for the 
sake of robbery is clear; that the murder was not com- 
mitted for motives of jealousy has not been suggested; 
but by reason of the condition of the woman, sis months 
enceinte, there was an attempt to burn the body; and 
the only motive that could have existed in the murderer's 
mind was to get rid of that girl, hoping to hide her 
shame, and with it the shame of the man who killed her. 
Who was that man? Peasenhall is a small place ; Peasen- 
hall is a little village with not many people resident 
there, and it is a place of small extent. It is clear, 
as I suggest to you from all the facts in the case, that 
the unknown man was a Peasenhall man. It is clear 
from the way in which the man got into the house, that 
lie knew the details of that house ; it is clear also from 
the burning that it was some one who had an intrigue 
with the woman not Davis. It is suggested Davis was 
the father; but there is not one tittle of evidence with 
regard to it. However beastly his conduct may have 
been, he gave his evidence in a way that I think would 
commend itself to you, when he denied that he was the 
father. But supposing he were, how does that assist the 
accused ? If they had suggested Davis was the murderer, 
it might have carried them further ; but they could not- 
It is fortunate in the interests of justice that the real 
writer of these letters was discovered because otherwise 



Closing Speech for the Prosecution. 

Mr Dickens 

it would have been suggested that some unknown man 
had got the girl in the family way and killed her. 
Davis is not the man ; the anonymous letter-writer is not 
the man. Who else had any motive except the accused? 
Had the girl any illicit intercourse with* any other man 
who was in a position that made it absolutely ^necessary 
for him to hide his shame? Gardiner's evidence was that 
he knew the girl well and had never seen her about 
with men under any circumstances. Mrs. Gardiner had 
to admit the same thing, and, therefore, so far as the 
evidence g'oes, ihere js no evidence of any unknown 
man's existence ; and yet the accused and his counsel say 
there is an unknown man. 

Now, will you kindly follow me in my logical 
demonstration, by which I am going to show you that 
the man is the accused. What are the conditions 
1hat must be fulfilled by that unknown man, to 
bring him into the picture at all? First, he must have 
written extremely like the accused ; he wears invariably 
shoes with bars like the accused; he must have walked 
backwards and forwards on tlus night from the accused's 
house to Providence House, and back; he has a knife 
of the same character as the accused had a knife with 
which thiB crime must have been committed; he is 
brought into connexion in a marvellous way with the 
missing bottle, as we see undoubtedly that the accused 
was; he IK a man who uses buffi envelopes, and who has 
access to buff envelopes as we see the accused had; he 
must have told her to put a light in the window where 
it could be seen as undoubtedly was the case with the 
accused; he must have been looking out for the signal 
at about ten o'clock at night as we see the accused was 
looking out; and he inuflt have been a man in such a 
position that it was imperative upon him to conceal his 
shame. 

These ten conditions must all be fulfilled by 
this unknown man, in order to bring him within 

297 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickens 

the picture. There are undoubtedly the footmarks to 
and from the accused's house; there is undoubtedly a 
letter admitted to be extraordinarily like ; and there are 
undoubtedly the envelope, and the signal, and the posi- 
tion of the accused, and the suggestion of the intrigue 
which made it imperative on him to kill her. Are these 
all coincidences? Is it a mere coincidence that every 
one of these conditions which the unknown man must 
fulfil are conditions which point to the accused? Every 
one of them ! That he lived at Peasenhall ; that he wrote 
like the incriminating letter; that he had india-rubber 
shoes with bar,s across them, whose marks go to and 
from his house; that he has a knife with blood on it a 
knife of exactly the same character yoxi might expect; 
that he is brought into natural connexion with the miss- 
ing bottle ; that he has access to the envelopes ; has reason 
to get rid of the girl; looks out for the light; and that 
his position is such that exposure would be fatal to him. 
Who fulfils these conditions, and all of them, but the 
accused? Who is suggested who could fulfil all, or even 
half, or even two or three of them, but the accused? 
And, therefore, you will see I am right when I tell you 
that the case for the Crown is not based on handwriting 
only ; not based upon one or two facts. The case for the 
Crown is based upon this extraordinary accumulation of 
facts, which only points to the accused. What is the 
way out of the difficulty? The only way is that this 
unknown man gets hold of the envelopes, copies for 
such he must have done, having regard to the extra- 
ordinary similarity of handwriting copies the accused's 
handwriting, and makes footprints backwards and 
forwards from his house. By the process of exhaustion, 
gentlemen, I suggest to you that everything points to 
the accused. It is painful for me to have to put it thus 
to you, but after the speech of my friend I should not 
be doing my duty if I did not put to you clearly tem- 
perately, I hope, but clearly the other side of the 

298 



Closing Speech for the Prosecution. 

Mr Dickens 

question; and I submit to you that by the process of 
exhaustion there is no unknown man. By this process 
of exhaustion, all the conditions I have pointed out to 
you are fulfilled by the accused; and by the process of 
exhaustion no other fulfils all these conditions. If that 
is so, the chain is complete murder, motive, letter, 
bottle, shoe. What is the answer to it? I will deal with 
it more specifically. Apart from the evidence of the 
man and his wife, what is the answer? All these 
witnesses are lying all these witnesses are deliberately 
concocting a story in the trial upon which this man's 
life depends. Gardiner was forced to the submission that 
he could not suggest a motive for one or any of these 
witnesses being hostile to him or trumping up a case 
against him. His case is that it is a trumped-up affair. 
People do not act without motives; they are not so 
recklessly wicked as to send a man to his doom without 
some feeling against him of hostility or ill-will. Yet 
it is very important in this case to remember that, while 
it is suggested, and must be suggested, in order to get 
rid of this overwhelming chain of evidence that the 
whole thing is a concoction, there is no single witness 
against whom any motive for making such a concoction 
can be ascribed. Why should Stammers, for instance, 
be gratuitously guilty of the grossest perjury? Why 
should he say there was a fire in the wash-house at half- 
past seven o'clock on the Sunday morning if he had not 
seen such a fire? The only witness against whom any 
charge of motive has even been hinted at is old Rouse. 
This was done by Mrs. Gardiner, the unhappy woman 
who is loyally sticking to her husband as to which, 
God forbid that any one of us should throw a stone at 
her for and the idea she put forward was that Bouse 
was jealous of her husband's position in the church. 
The accused himself, however, standing in the box with 
his friends of the church around him, could not, and 
dared not, make any such accusation against Eouse. 

290 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickens 

On the contrary, he said that the feeling amongst them 
was that they were all brothers. 

Why should all these witnesses be guilty of telling 
the most diabolical lies without having the slightest 
motive for lying? Let us turn our attention to the 
story of ]\Iay, 1902. Of course, to a certain extent, it is. 
not really an issue in the case, and yet it is of great 
importance. What is the story that is told? The curious 
thing is that it is true up to a certain point. It is 
undoubted that the accused went to that chapel. That 
the girl went to the chapel is admitted, and that he 
walked down with her, down the gravel pathway to the 
chapel door, is admitted. Tliat Wright was in the 
neighbourhood is admitted. What is denied is what 
took place in the oka pel. Tkoro, you HOC that yew are 
starting to investigate this story as to whether it is a 
mere concoction by these two young men. You must 
start at the threshold by asking yourselves the question, 
liow far is it true? How far is it admitted? And you 
must remember these facts are not denied up to a certain 
point. Now what is the accused's story about it? He 
says he took his horse at T.30 to the stables, rubbed him 
down, gave him liis bait, passed Wright on the way, 
and went home to lea, and, according to tlie evidence, 
lie was back at that spot at the ohapel at about half an 
hour afterwards. Why did he come? Ho comes back, 
why? He comes back undoxibtedly at a time when the 
girl is in the chapel. He comet* back, knowing, of 
course, that the girl cleans the chapel. He has got no 
interest in the chapel at all. He comes back, he says, 
to see whether his horse is taking his bait. It is for 
you to say whether that story is sufficient to get rid of 
the very specific story of these two young men. It is for 
you to say whether this story of going within half aa 
hour to see whether his horse is taking his bait is one 
that can be relied on. 

What is his story after that? The girl is coming 

300 



Closing Speech for the Prosecution. 

Mr Dickens 

towards Ms gate, and she asks Mm to come and shut 
the door. The evidence is that a year afterwards, about 
the time of the inquest, which, I think, was in June, 
there was planing observable upon the door, and 
it was subsequently painted in October. There is no 
evidence whatever that this girl, who was goioig there 
every fortnight, had had any previous difficulty with the 
door or since. My learned friend said he knew Wright 
was upon him. That was not correct. He passed 
Wright, certainly, and it was nine o'clock at night. He 
had no reason to suppose Wright was about there. But, 
says my friend, Wright jumped at the idea that 
immorality was going to take place, and immediately 
fetched Skinner. If you see a married man with a young 
girl like Rose Harsent going to the chapel in a secluded 
spot, together, quite alone, you would think it looked 
suspicious. So they followed up. 

Now, my learned friend says the whole story rests on 
Skinner. I totally deny that. It is not a fair way to put 
it because it is one point in our ease that Gardiner went 
into that chapel with the girl, and he denied it. He 
said they stood beside the chapel for a little time talking 
about hymns, and therefore, with regard to this story, 
Wright is quite as important a witness as Skinner, 
because Wright speaks undoubtedly to the fact of their 
both being in the chapel together, and Wright speaks 
undoubtedly of hearing them there together. I do 
remind you of the evidence of the conversation in the 
chapel, and you must ask yourselves solemnly whether 
Skinner gave evidence of that with a wicked and 
deliberate attempt to ruin this man, and in this Court 
to jeopardise this man's life by inventing the story. Is 
it a story, and I say this to you as men of the world is 
it a story that you think a man could possibly invent? 
I suggest it is for you entirely, and do not think I want 
to unduly press anything, but I am bound to put this 
side of the question to you. I suggest to you that that 

301 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickens 

story upon the face of it tears the impress of truth. It 
is a story which they could not have invented. It is 
true there is a slight discrepancy of which my friend 
takes hold. Mr. "Wild drew attention to Wright saying 
that " We then left," whereas one went a little before 
the other a very slight discrepancy that, gentlemen. 
When there are slight discrepancies, it is more likely 
the evidence is true. Mr. Wild says: " You see how 
Skinner repeats his story like a parrot." I suggest that 
is farcical. He gave it before the Coroner, the magis- 
trates, and at the last triaL You see he can give it you 
perfectly, therefore the suggestion that he was repeating 
it like a parrot seems to be a suggestion that is worth 
very little consideration. Skinner walked by the man 
to see undoubtedly that he was the man, and the episode 
practically ceases. 

H"ow, gentlemen, with regard to the suggested trials 
about hearing in this barn. Do you think the effect of 
their not hearing the experiments they made is sufficient 
to allow you to justify you in saying it is a malicious 
concoction and a wicked lie? Eli STunn you saw for 
yourself a constable, it is true, but a man of respect- 
ability, who gave his evidence fairly and well, and 
Burgess, who is so well known to the accused. In one 
of the letters to the girl, I see the accused says: " I 
could not be with you as I asked Burgess to ask these 
two chaps to come to the chapel." Burgess was one who 
made the experiment, and Nunn tells you he heard the 
story perfectly well. How these gentlemen spoke, it is 
impossible to say, or to compare their voices with those 
of the two at the time the alleged conversation is said 
to have taken place. Surely, it is not sufficient to justify 
you saying this story is a wicked lie. Remember the 
circumstances under which the story took place. It was 
about eight or nine o'clock in a perfectly secluded spot, 
The girl's voice was much more shrill than the man's, 
and they did not know anybody was there. It was 

302 



Closing Speech for the Prosecution. 

Mr Dickon. 

secluded and removed from the road some distance, and 
there was nothing to prevent those people inside that 
chapel speaking loud. The expression of the girl, " Oh, 
oh ! " is obviously what you would hear. So far as the 
experiments are concerned, they did not disprove the 
story of the two boys. My learned friend said: " Look 
at the conduct of the accused." He said: " If that 
story was true, you would have expected him to bribe 
the boys." See how absolutely absurd that is. It was 
not till after they had told the story about the village 
that the man knew anything about it. When they came 
to his office, it was common property. Any question of 
bribing the boys was impossible. They would not apolo- 
gise. I advise you to lay very little stress upon that. 

There was one remarkable thing I found in the letters 
to the girl at this time, and it was consistent with warn- 
ing the girl. He says : "I only wish I could take the 
matter to Court," but added that " I do n'ot think I 
would stand any chance, because I do not think you 
would be strong enough to face the trial." That is an 
observation one fails to appreciate if there was anything 
in the story. She was a perfectly healthy girl, and 
there was no suggestion of any physical illness. If 
there was anything in the story, why should she not be 
strong enough to face a trial ? That is a passing observa- 
tion, and you must not lay too much stress on it, but you 
cannot ignore it. That, I think, really disposes of the 
story of Wright and Skinner, and now we come to the 
question of the inquiry. 

[At this point, his lordship intimated that it might 
be convenient to adjourn, and Mr, Dickens consented to 
this course. After the adjournment,] 

Mr. DICKENS Gentlemen, I dealt somewhat fully with 
the visit to the Doctor's Chapel, because you will under- 
stand that it is not only a by-show in the case, but that 
it is only fair to Wright and Skinner, who have been 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickens 

violently attacked, and their bona -fides seriously brought 
int'o question. That I should deal with it at some greater 
length than I otherwise would have done is in order to 
show you that they were unjustly attacked. I will leave 
this episode with one further observation, and treat it 
with sucjh. importance as you think should be attached 
to it. It was one of those episodes you would think that 
where a man went straight home he would say to his 
wife: (t There was poor Rose Harsent in the chapel, and 
she could not shut the door, so I closed it for her." I 
was under a misconception when I said the accused gave 
as his reason last time that his wife was ill at the time, 
but, as it was pointed out, she was not confined till 3rd 
May, and kept about her household duties till that time. 
I accept the correction that Gardiner said nothing about 
it because, as he said, " I should not have thought of 
doing that." 

With regard to the chapel inquiry result, we have 
really nothing to do. It is quite immaterial what 
view was formed and what oondUi&ions were arrived at, 
We had a large number of gentlemen called to speak 
as to this or that being said. But what it comes to is 
practically this : Mr. Guy would not accept ihe position 
which Mr. Wild tried to force upon him that the inquiry 
was broken down because the young men's story was dis- 
credited. Mr. Guy said: "No, I can't say that. The 
boys stuck to their story, and as far as I can form a 
judgment they \*ere not discredited." The sum and 
total of it was this: two or three witnesses called and 
said they would rather believe one or two witnesses in 
the church to two outside. That is rather a strange 
form to the judicial mind. I should have thought the 
question as to whether the story was true or not ought 
not to affect the question whether the witnesses were 
inside the church or not. You can understand that 
they did not want a scandal in the church ; it was impos- 
sible to find Gardiner guilty, and there was a deadlock. 



Closing Speech for the Prosecution. 

Mr Dickens 

"Whether Mr. Guy said anything to the effect that it was 
a fabrication or whether these gentlemen called mistook 
his intention, I do not know. I do not suggest that their 
lona fides are doubtful, but I say it has nothing to do 
with us. 

That brings me to Mr. Rouse, an undoubtedly import- 
ant witness. Mr. House's story is very, very significant. 
It is that, after the scandal in May, 1901, in ^February, 
1902, he met the accused with Rose Harsent at nine 
o'clock at night, walking away from their home. A 
few days afterwards he remonstrated with Gardiner, and 
Oardiner acknowledged he had been with the girl, and 
promised it should never happen again. Who denies 
thatP Gardiner, who, of course, has the most vital 
interest in this inquiry. It is suggested that Mr. Rouse 
deliberately concocted the story. For what? What pos- 
sible motive had this old man? He was a member of 
Gardiner's church, and knew Gardiner and his wife. 
Gardiner cannot suggest to you the slightest motive. 
His wife and you will have to bear in mind whether 
you can trust this poor woman's evidence suggested in 
terms that Rouse had deliberately concocted this story in. 
order to ruin them, because he was jealous of his position 
in the church. Those members of the church were round 
Oardiner in the Court, and he knew he could not say, 
as between the two, one was superior to the other. How 
they tried to get something out of this old man's evi- 
dence. They cr'oss-examined him. " You have lived a 
life," said Mr. Wild, " of making accusations against 
other people/' What does that rest on? On two cases 
only. One was a case hf a boy named Tttrrell. There 
was a fire in the farmyard attached to the barn, which 
was not insured by Rouse ; no one but the boy was about 
,at the time, and when Rouse saw a piece of smoking 
-cane lying about, as boys often smoke, he jumped at the 
conclusion that this b'oy must have set the fire alight. 
Be told the police, the boy was taken away, and when 
tr 806 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickens 

he came before the magistrate Bouse was asked if he 
had any proof. The old man simply told the truth and 
the whole thing was dismissed. The other case was that 
he gave evidence in the murder trial of a woman named 
Carter, who was* convicted. There were tw'o other sug- 
gestions. One was a scandal about himself with regard 
to some people named Gooch. Apparently he sold Gooch 
a sow, and Gooch wanted some minister of the church 
to talk to him about religion, and he used to go and see 
him from time to time. The only other suggestion was 
with regard to him making some charge against the 
daughters of a man named Snelling. Rouse said it was 
true they were rather wildish girls, but beyond that he 
never made any suggestion against them. It is perfectly 
"obvious from the fact that these four incidents being 
brought against him, that they have raked up that 
old man's life in every possible shape or form. 

In all these episodes, do you think there is- 
anything to justify the conclusion that this old gentle- 
man, without motive, without quarrel, without animosity 
against a man, would have invented this diabolical 
story? That is a suggestion I do not think you can 
credit for a moment. The only way in which they meet 
that evidence, which is of an extremely important char- 
acter, is to suggest a pure fabrication of deliberate lies. 
That old gentleman has a reputation to keep like all of 
us. If that old gentleman deliberately did a thing like 
that he has about as wicked and about as diabolical a 
nature as any man could have. Then comes the episode 
of what took place in the chapel. It is all very well 
for people to say that some people in the chapel might 
have seen what was going on. It was a very slight 
incident and very instantaneous as to what this man 
did with regard to Eose Harsent. The old man saw Twhat 
he thought was an indecency. He may have been right ; 
he may have been wrong. What did he do? Through- 
out he has shown himself to be a friend of Gardiner. 
306 



Closing Speech for the Prosecution. 

Mr Dickens 

Old Rouse said that when that inquiry about the scandal 
in May, 1901, was brought before the meeting at Sibton 
Chapel, " I took Gardiner's part; I believed Gardiner, 
and I spoke up for him before the meeting." We have 
had people called who were present before that meeting, 
and no one has ventured for a moment to suggest that 
what Bouse told you with regard to his conduct at the 
time was not absolutely true. Therefore, you have this 
man who is charged with this most diabolical offence, 
at that time, when Gardiner's conduct was brought in 
question, whether he should keep his position in the 
church you find Rouse was one of the most prominent 
men who defended him. And his subsequent conduct 
showed that he had consideration for the man because 
when he saw Gardiner with the girl on that road at 
nine o'clock, instead of going to the church and parading 
himself as a model of virtue, he said not one word to 
his detriment, because he obtained Gardiner's promise, 
" I won't walk with Rose Harsent again." When Rouse 
saw this indecency in the church, he wrote a letter to 
Gardiner, couched in most considerate language, in 
which he told him, " You are going on in a way to make 
people believe you are guilty. Tou are doing harm to 
God's cause. Let there be no kind of suggestion of 
scandal." That is the conduct of this man, and the only 
way in which his evidence is met is by the suggestion 
that this old man, who always showed himself to be a 
friend of the accused, and was always most considerate 
towards him, has most deliberately concocted this story. 
Gentlemen, I suggest to , you that story is unhappily 
true. I suggest to you that you cannot disbelieve that 
story simply on the word of the accused, to whom it 
is vital, and having regard to the conduct of Rouse, I 
submit to you that you must all come to the conclusion 
that this old man, judging by his conduct to Gardiner, 
judging by the way in which he was friendly to Gardiner, 
told yb.u the truth. Having told the truth, what is the 

307 



William Gardiner, 

Mr Dickens 

inevitable consequence of that? The inevitable conse- 
quence of that is that Gardiner was continuing the inter- 
course with the girl. 

My learned friend said that this scandal in 1901 was 
raked up. Not at all. They would have dropped it had 
it not be-en for the continuation of Gardiner's inter- 
course with the girl, and it was his continuation of his 
intercourse with the girl that caused the episode in May, 
1901, to arise again. I quite accept what my learned 
friend said as to an apprehension I might have been 
under as to what extent Gardiner admitted indiscretion 
to Mr. Guy. Of course, up till that time he had pro- 
tested his innocence. 

This brings us to the 31st of May. On the 31st of 
May at 3.15 in the afternoon, a letter addressed to Rose 
Harsent at Providence House was delivered at Mrs. 
Crisp's in a buff envelope. That letter must have been 
posted at Peasenhall between 10 55 p.m. on the Friday 
and six o'clock on the Saturday morning, because the 
postmark shows that it went through Toxford. That is 
an assignation. " Put a light in your window at ten 
o'clock; keep it there ten minutes." I will say a word or 
two presently with regard to the question of the hand- 
writing, but whoever murdered the girl posted the letter 
at Peasenhall in a buff envelope. He did not go at 
twelve o'clock because a storm arises a violent storm. 
Mrs. Gardiner said that she went in to Mrs. Dickenson's 
about eleven o'clock or half-past eleven, and that the 
accused followed her about twelve o'clock or a quarter to 
twelve. The story of the woman and man is that they went 
practically together, one following the other two or three 
minutes afterwards. Curiously enough, at this critical 
time, at ten o'clock, the hour mentioned in the letter, 
Gardiner comes out of his house. The evidence is that 
if you stand inside the door you cannot see the light 
in the window, but if you go either to the middle of the 
road or take two steps either to the right or left, you can 

308 



Closing Speech for the Prosecution. 

Mr Dickens 

see the light. Gardiner admitted he went out of the 
house, that he went to the right 'outside the door. Why 
did he do it? To look at the storm? Does that satisfy 
you? Take that with this significant time mentioned in 
the letter. The only conclusion is that 'Gardiner did not 
stand at the door to look at the storm, but deliberately 
walked to the right, where he could see the ligKt if it was 
shining. My suggestion is that he did that with a 
view to seeing whether the girl had got the letter, and 
whether the signal was there. He could not go at twelve 
o'clock, he had to go late. What time he went, no one 
kn'ows; it is impossible to say what time the murderer 
was in that house. 

In regard to Mrs. Crisp, you must judge for your- 
selves. It is quite true that when first examined she 
talked about it being between twelve and 'one o'clock when 
she was awakened by the storm, and between one and 
two o'clock when she awoke by hearing the thud and 
scream; but -she tells you with honesty that that was 
said without any grounds for expressing an opinion. 
When she talks about it being dark, that is a question 
of degree, leaving it very uncertain as to what time 
she really meant. 

The next thing in the story is this remarkable story of 
Momss's. Follow the story of those shoes, because it 
is most significant. Morriss, when he was gbing to his 
work, knew all about the scandal which had previously 
taken place; knew all about the talk as to the inter- 
course between Hose Harsent and the man ; and his atten- 
tion was attracted by seeing what undoubtedly could be 
seen, having regard to the wet gravel on the macadam 
the footprints from the accused's house to Providence 
House and back again. My learned friend suggested 
that he did not say he saw any mark upon the stone 
step of the accused's house. Very probably not; a stone 
step dries quickly; a macadam road with gravel over it 
does not. Is he telling the truth? Having regard to his 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickens 

knowledge of what liad taken place between these people, 
Momss was so struck by the footmarks with bars across 
that he makes an observation to his head keeper named 
Redgrave, and he makes that observation at six o'clock in 
the morning before anybody even knows that the poor girl 
is killed. Afterwards, the police ask for clothes at the 
accused's Bouse. !N"o one knows that Gardiner has such 
a pair of shoes as those with the bars across. He had 
had them for a week, and he had not worn them. Then, 
in consequence of what Redgrave's brother said to the 
police, they go to the accused's house, and there are the 
shoes, which absolutely bear out the story which Morriss 
told. When before the Coroner, the foreman drew the 
shape of a foot and asked Morriss to draw upon it the 
kinds of marks that he had noticed in the footprints. 
At that time Morriss had not seen these shoes of the 
accused. It is suggested they were lying on the table 
close to where Morriss gave evidence, but there is not 
a tittle of evidence in regard to that. Morriss drew in 
pencil the marks corresponding with the bars on the 
shoes. That, I suggest, points strongly to the conclu- 
sion that Morriss is telling you the truth. The accused 
said: " After ten o'clock no man came to my house; no 
man left my house. " How did the shoes go from his to 
Providence House and back? The only alternative sug- 
gestion is made by Mr. Wild, that the real murderer may 
have done it as a blind, and may have made these marks 
in order to put the crime upon Gardiner. Does that 
commend itself to your common sense? These marks 
were there undoubtedly, and the evidence of Mr. Hart 
does not carry us a bit further. The only suggestion is 
that Morriss did not see the imprint of the hobnailed 
boots of Hart until some time afterwards ; but there was 
a reason for his being suspicious about the shoes going 
from the door of the accused's house to Providence 
House, and he had no reason with regard to the others. 
As to the suggestion that the unknown murderer 
310 



Closing Speech for the Prosecution. 

Mr Dickens 

deliberately made these marks from ike accused's house 
to Providence House and back again, that is met by this : 
that it is part of the accused's story that no one knew 
he had got such shoes, and if no one knew he had got 
such shoes, how could the murderer, with extraordinary 
instinct and extraordinary knowledge, have fixed upon 
the very shoes such as the accused had? 

The next thing is the medicine bottle. With regard 
to that, it may be that they are perfectly right in what 
they say, that some months before a bottle had been 
given with camphorated oil to Hose Harsent. The bottle 
found there undoubtedly came from Gardiner's house. 
The suggestion of my learned friend is that the girl 
had placed the bottle on the shelf in an out-of-the-way 
place, and the door banging to, the bottle was knocked 
down, and the paraffin spilt over the floor. How the 
murderer picked up the paraffin to set the body alight I 
do not know. It is for you to say whether the suggestion 
is a reasonable one. The suggestion on the other side is 
that the murderer, whoever he was, deliberately came 
with the intention of burning the body. Some people 
have an extraordinary idea that a body will burn like a 
bit of wood. The suggestion that the Crown make to 
you is that the man who killed that woman came with 
that medicine bottle in his pocket, filled with paraffin, 
but could not get the cork out ; and not being able to get 
the cork out, he pulled the lamp to pieces, and tried 
to get the paraffin from that, and not being able to do 
that, broke the bottle and set fire to the corpse. Suppose 
my friend's suggestion, that the bottle fell on the floor 
and was broken, is wrong, what is the alternative? 
Supposing that the bottle was put on the dresser ; suppos- 
ing the girl for some extraordinary reason had kept the 
paraffin oil in that bottle. It is clear it was so tightly 
corked that you could not get the cork out, and, there- 
fore, the alternative suggestion must be the unknown 
murderer, coming in, made up his mind to burn the 

311 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickens 

body, saw the medicine bottle on the dresser, so many 
doses to be taken a day, jumped to the conclusion at once, 
by a sort of intuitive instinct, that it must be a paraffin 
bottle, and broke it to get the paraffin out. 

With regard "to the handwriting, you must please 

understand the functions of Mr. Gurrin. The function 

f 

of all experts is not in the slightest degree to dictate 
to you. It is of the utmost importance in cases of this 
character to have people who have made a study of 
comparison the study of their lives, who can see like- 
nesses and unlikenesses which ordinary people cannot, 
should be called before the jury to point out for their 
consideration resemblances between one writing and 
another. Mr. Gurrin does not suggest that his function 
is higher than that. He is a man of very great 
experience, and his evidence, as I suggest to you, was 
very, very strong indeed for your guidance as showing 
similarities of a most extraordinary description. 
Remember it is not by one I quite agree with my friend 
similarity, it is not by two or three ; it is the accumu- 
lative force of a large number of striking resemblances. 
My friend talks about finding discrepancies. Of course 
you do. If you look at the letters of the accused himself 
you will find a most extraordinary difference in his hand- 
writing. The strength of the position is this, that in 
spite of his own differences in, handwriting, Mr. Gurrin 
comes upon the most extraordinary letters and words 
which are identical in many instances with the words 
in the disputed documents. That is where the accumu- 
lative force comes in. I am not going through all these 
things again. What is common ground between us all 
is this. I suggest that the letter " A " is a very care- 
fully written letter. It is written straight up ; it is not 
an ordinary handwriting for a man; it is carefully 
spaced, carefully aligned, and written with a thick pen. 
The first comparisons we made were in his business 
letters, which were not carefully spaced or aligned, but 
312 



Closing Speech for the Prosecution. 

Mr Dickon* 

you could not expect that from a man writing a business 
letter in a hurry. They were also written with a thin 
pen, and in spite of that, the similarities are of a most 
startling character, especially in the formation of the 
capital " Ps." 

My friend suggests that the envelope (of the anony- 
mous letter " A ") is disguised. It is a very extra- 
ordinary thing that you find very often that when a man 
begins by trying to disguise his hand, the real man's 
hand creeps out insensibly, and that happens with the 
word " Saxmundham." Mr. Fairbank, the handwriting 
witness called for the defence, is not a man who has had 
practice of seeing handwritings. He is an accountant, 
and his theory was curiously broken down. He said 
the alignment and the spacing were irregular, and there 
was bad spelling in Gardiner's writing. Every one of 
these points he had come to when I showed him the 
letter of 29th October, from prison, in Gardiner's hand- 
writing. There was an instance where the spacing and 
the alignment were regular, and when I came to ask him 
about spelling, and pointed out to him that the words in 
the incriminating letter were of a simple character, that 
a man was not likely to make a mistake of spelling in 
it, he had to admit he might be mistaken. The other 
gentleman, Mr. Bayliss, I suggest, did not carry it a 
bit further. He was exactly in the same position as the 
other gentleman. Be guided by your own judgment, 
not by the judgment of Mr. Gurrin or anybody else's, 
and if you do that, I suggest to you the only fair con- 
clusion you can come to is that it was written by the 
accused. I think it was rather unworthy to suggest 
that what Mr. Gurrin told you with regard to the letter 
from prison was untrue; but let that pass. 

We next come to Stammers' s evidence which, is signi- 
ficant. I ask you first, is Stammers' s evidence trueP If 
it is true, why do the accused and the accused's wife deny 
it? It is true that the fire was alight at an abnormal 

313 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickens 

hour^ and was abnormally large. It was blazing at 7.30, 
and must have been lighted half an hour before. If that 
is true, what object have the accused and his wife in 
denying it? We suggest that the fire at that early 
hour was lit foff another purpose. On that occasion 
something was disposed of. The house was never 
searched, for unfortunately this extraordinary theory of 
suicide was started, and the arrest did not take place 
till 8.30 on the Tuesday. I suggest that in the absence 
of some very clear explanation this case is made out, 
and that there is no unknown man no man who can 
fulfil the ten conditions which I pointed out must be ful- 
filled in order to bring him into the case at all. All these 
conditions point to the accused alone. 

With regard to the accused's wife, poor woman, I want 
to speak of her with the utmost respect, and indeed 
the hearts of all of us must bleed for her. She is fight- 
ing for her husband, and we must be men of the world 
in considering what attitude she is likely to adopt. There 
are one or two things which may test as to whether she 
has really told the truth. The first is the animus with 
regard to Mr. Bouse. Why, she imputed the worst 
possible conduct to him in order that his story might be 
discredited! Another point is that if Stammers has 
told the truth, then she has not told it as to when the 
fire was lighted. Another point is that Stammers told 
you she never said a word to him as to her being ill in 
the night, and not going to sleep till five or six in the 
morning. She says she did. In considering her 
evidence, you must bear in mind these three things 
the animus to House, the contradiction of Stamm-ers's 
story, and her statement that she told all this story to 
the police. It is, of course, not necessary to point out 
to you the terrible interest she has in this case. Part of 
her story may be true, but was she awake all that night 
long? The storm had ceased; she had been up at seven 
in the morning; she did not go to bed till two o'clock. 
314 



Closing Speech for the Prosecution. 

Mr Dickens 

With regard to Gardiner him&elf, of course if you dis- 
believe his story about B/ouse, you cannot trust a word 
of his evidence. 

With regard to Mrs. Pepper, she told an absolutely 
different story here to what she told the police. Her 
first story was not that she heard and recognised Mrs. 
Gardiner's footsteps or her voice: but, (f I heard some 
one moving in the house, and from what I was told next 
morning, I found it was Mrs. Gardiner." That is very 
different from what she told you when she was in the 
witness-box. I suggest that this woman's story is no 
real corroboration at all. 

Now with regard to the knife. It is a formidable 
weapon and it had been cleaned. If it had been merely 
put on the grindstone you might not have attached so 
much importance to it. But it had been cleaned and 
scraped inside recently. Why? Dr. Stevenson put it that 
the blood found on it was not more than a month old; 
how much less than a month he could not say. The 
accused said he used the knife for ** hulking " a rabbit. 
Now they say there was no blood on the shoes. That is 
a matter we must consider from both points of view. 
'Prom one point of view, it is favourable to the accused, 
but, on the other hand, you must consider that, as to 
there being no blood on the shoes, that comes to nothing 
because, whoever murdered that woman, there was 
obviously found, what Eli Nunn told us, not a trace of 
trampling in the blood. Therefore, so far as "no blood 
on the shoes " is concerned, that would apply to whoever 
was the murderer. 

If you do not believe the story of the accused's wife 
on the other points of the case, you are not likely to 
give full credence as to whether all the clothes were 
given up. If they were all given up, how is it to be 
accounted that there was no blood on the clothes? 
Supposing they were all given up, they might have been 
cleansed, and what he took off they did not know. If 

315 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Dickens 

the accused went to commit the murder he did it with 
care. I suggest to you there is a chain of evidence point- 
ing to the guilt of the accused. You must not place 
too much importance on there being no blood on the 
clothes, for it is a curious fact that the blood from the 
body spurted out almost on one side. There was some 
blood on the other side, but it almost entirely came out 
on the one particular side. That exhausts the whole 
case. 

Gentlemen, pray remember that I have been address- 
ing you as an advocate. No suggestions I have made 
must in any way be taken to suggest they are my own 
opinions. An advocate has no opinion. As an advocate, 
it is my duty to put before you on behalf of the Crown, 
and put before you forcibly, temperately, and, I hope, 
lucidly, what is to be said on the other side of the 
question, more especially having regard to the accused's 
side having been put before you with such ability by 
my learned friend. Any suggestions or arguments which 
I have addressed to you which do not meet with your 
approval, you will discard. You will take the case into 
your own hands; you will look at it as a whole, and look 
into it as a whole, not the handwriting merely, not the 
shoes alone, not the bottle alone, not the motive alone, 
but look at it in its accumulative force, and then pass 
your judgment as to whether you are satisfied that the 
accused is guilty or not. If you think we have estab- 
lished guilt, the justice of this country must be 
vindicated. If this cold-blooded murder has been 
committed by this man, no considerations should 
prevent you giving effect to your conscientious 
belief as to the accused's guilt, and if you are 
not satisfied, and if you have not got that conviction 
brought home to your mind, you will say that he is not 
guilty, I am sure none of you will regret your responsi- 
bility. We all have to incur the greatest responsibility, 
and no responsibility is greater than the responsibility 
316 



Closing Speech for the Prosecution. 

Mr Dickens 

which devolves upon jurymen on both sides, not only 
from the point of view of the accused alone, but from 
the point of view of the public. 

Gentlemen, you have shown great attention to this 
case : I am sure you will give effect to your conscientious 
belief, and your conscientious belief alone. 



Charge to the Jury. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAW RANGE Gentlemen of the jury, 
before I call your attention to the evidence in this case, 
there are one or two preliminary observations I desire 
to make with regard to this particular case. Tour 
attention lias been (jailed to the fact that the principal 
part of the whole of the evidence is what is called cir- 
cumstantial evidence. I will state the difference between 
circumstantial and what is called direct evidence, so that 
you may be able to appreciate the difference. You can 
have no direct evidence yourself, sitting as a jury, 
because if you are the person who saw the act committed 
you could not act as a jury, and, therefore, all the 
evidence must be brought to you by some one else. If a 
man came to the witness-box and said he saw A shoot 
B through the head with a pistol, A would be tried for 
murder, and that would be direct evidence. And the 
only question you would have to consider would be, can 
we trust this man who has said he saw A shoot B? In 
direct evidence only one question arises: do you accept 
the statement of the person who gives the evidence P 

Let me give you the plainest and simplest case of 
circumstantial evidence, and the most familiar one in 
the textbooks. Suppose you saw a man rush into a room 
with a naked sword, and you afterwards saw him coming 
out with it covered with blood. Supposing that in that 
room there was a man who was found to be struck in the 
back or in a place where he could not strike himself. 

317 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Justice Lawrance 

That would be circumstantial evidence. First, you 
would have to say whether you were satisfied that the 
witness saw A go into the room, and then, if you 
believed that, the nest question would be : what pre- 
sumption does that give rise to in my mind? Circum- 
stantial evidence is evidence which gives rise to a 
presumption. First, you have to say whether you accept 
the fact, and then, secondly, what is the reasonable 
inference to be drawn from the presumption. In the case 
I have given you there is not one person but what would 
say that A who went into the room must have been the 
person who killed B. I have said this to show the 
difference between direct and circumstantial evidence. 

There are cases in the textbooks in which it is shown 
that circumstantial evidence is of greater value than 
direct evidence. Having said that, I will as briefly as 
I can call your attention to the evidence of the broad 
points taken by the learned counsel on both sides. Let 
me make one observation that has been repeated by me 
with regard to the facts of the case, namely, that you, 
and you alone, are the judges of the facts. All I have 
to do is, if it is required, to lay down the law, which you 
will take from me. You are the sole judges of the facts, 
and it is for you to form your opinion upon the evidence 
called before you. In regard to that duty, you will 
narrowly scrutinise every piece of evidence brought 
before you. It is your duty and your power to do so, 
You must mak up your minds as you go along with 
regard to the different matters brought under your 
notice. 

Let me first call your attention very briefly to the 
broad aspect of this case. This unhappy girl, who was, 
I think, twenty-two, had lived for four years with Mrs- 
Crisp. That she had fallen into bad hands there could 
be no doubt* Her condition is not denied. She was seen 
last on the night of the 31st May. The question is, who- 
is the murderer? We must decide upon how far that 

$18 



Charge to the Jury. 

Mr Justice Lawrance 

relates to the man in the dock, "Was he- the man who 
committed it? It is said there had been scandal about 
this girl and him, and that there had been reports before 
the scandal on 1st May, 1901. What was the reason the 
two young men followed them into the Doctor's Chapel? 
Anybody who knows anything about country life knows, 
unfortunately, the interest which people take in other 
people's affairs, however .small, and especially when 
there is something wicked and wrong at the bottom of it. 
The first evidence we have is with regard to what took 
place at the Doctor's Chapel. 

Mr. WILD My lord, I don't think there were any 
reports before the chapel incident. 

Mr, JUSTICE LAWEANCE I have looked at my notes, 
and am very careful about it; I can prove to you about 
that, if necessary, that there had been. These young 
men, Wright and Skinner, gave you an account of what 
they saw and heard. The whole question between the 
parties is this.: Is that story a deliberate lie, for that 
is how it is met by the defence, or is it true? There is 
no halting ground between the two. Wright's story was 
that he saw the girl go into the chapel, and Gardiner 
follow. He then went to acquaint his companion 
Skinner, and I need not go carefully into where they 
went, for you, gentlemen, have gone so carefully into 
the case that you have relieved me of a great deal of 
what I should otherwise have had to call your attention 
to. I should think the thing that would strike you as 
the first great improbability of the case would have been 
the language used by the girl to the man. But when we 
find those letters which had been in the possession of tie 
girl, it was not likely she would be particular in the 
language she used. You heard the story of the young 
men. Is it true or false ? The lads spread it through the 
works, I suppose; one knows, unfortunately, what boys 
are, and it gets to the ears of the accused, who asks them 
to his room. The matter goes before the inquiry at 

319 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Justice L&wrance 

Sibton Chapel, where some twenty or thirty were present. 
About that inquiry I shall say nothing, for I agree with 
Mr. Dickens, it throws no light upon the question. Had 
it been in any other case, I should not have allowed those 
witnesses called" for the defence in regard to it, but in 
a case of this kind, if there was a chance 'of something 
coming out in the accused's favour, I would not debar that 
evidence being given. The only question these persons 
speak to is, whether Mr. Guy did give two accounts of 
the result of the inquiry, but it does not matter in the 
slightest degree in the world whether Mr. Guy did say 
that they were in a dilemma, or whether he told them he 
did not believe the story at all. It does not matter 
what Mr. Guy thought; it is what you think. These 
gentlemen come here to contradict Mr. Guy, and to 
contradict each other, I am bound to say, in an important 
matter, for some said Mr. Guy said he wo.uld rather 
believe two in the church than two out and that does not 
show a very judicial spirit whilst two said he said it 
was a fabrication of lies. Is it not possible to under- 
stand that members of the congregation are not willing 
to have a scandal made public against any one of their 
members if they could see their way of getting out of 
it? Not improperly they say the thing is not proved, 
and there was an end of it. One thing is certain, that 
House was there, and that he spoke up for Gardiner. 
Now, it was thrown in his teeth, " Why are you coming 
against him now? " The fact that two of the witnesses 
for the defence said Mr. Guy said they were in a 
dilemma, was rather inconsistent with the story that he 
believed the whole thing to be a fabrication of lies. It 
is an attempt and I do not say that offensively, Mr. 
Wild to throw dust in your eyes with regard to the real 
issue as to whether Wright and Skinner are to be be- 
lieved bj not. Mr. Guy averred that he spoke to the 
accused about it afterwards, and the accused promised 
him that there should be no more scandal between him 



Charge to the Jury. 

Mr Justice Lawrance 

and Rose Harsent. Was that a lie made up for pressing 
Lome the charge of murder against the accused? 

A JURYMAN Would not it be Bouse? 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWBANCE No ; Mr. Guy. Let me first 
read this evidence as to what he says on' the first scandal. 

[Mr. Justice Lawrance then read pari of the 
evidence.] 

Mr. WILD There is the cross-examination, my lord. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWHANCE Please don't, Mr. Wild; my 
troubles are quite enough. I hope I have the whole 
thing in my grasp. I was very careful when counsel 
were speaking not to interrupt them. I have a certain 
course to pursue, not the easiest task to impose upon 
anybody. I was going on to read the rest of the 
evidence. 

Mr. WILD I beg your lordship's pardon. 

[Mr. Justice Lawrance then continued to read his 
notes of Mr. Guy's evidence.] 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWBAKCE With regard to this matter, 
it was said it was impossible where Wright and Skinner 
were to hear what was said. You have the policeman 
and the others on one side, and a solicitor, quantity sur- 
veyor, and architect on the other, with two other gentle- 
men on another occasion. Here we get a flat contradic- 
tion, and it serves as a pretty good illustration that you 
can generally find what you go for. I mean that one 
side go to hear something and the other side not to 
hear, and that is where the matter stands. You have* 
amongst other points to say whether you believe the story 
of Wright and Skinner and of Guy. Was it pointed out 
to the accused what he was doing, and did he promise he 
would not see Eose Harsent again? The next point is 
the incident in February, 1902. Mr. Bouse says he saw 
the accused with the girl. There, again, you have 
nothing but the direct denial a story absolutely made 
up by Bouse. I do not like to make observations, but 
I think the accused must have been extremely unfor- 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Justice Lawrance 

innate in the church to which he belongs. There is Mr. 
Guy, the superintendent of the circuit, not to be believed, 
and Bouse, who led an infamous life, according to the 
questions put in cross-examination. The question is: 
do you believe ifouse? If you do not, there is only 'one 
alternative ; Bouse has committed wilful perjury for some 
reason or another. He spoke up for the accused at the 
inquiry, and because he gives this piece of evidence 
against him now, his whole life is raked up. " You 
spend your life in making accusations against people/' 
he was asked. " You brought a charge of arson against 
a boy." I daresay you, gentlemen, know how difficult it 
is to prove a charge of arson at any time. He was 
accused of being intimate with a Mrs. Grooch, and of 
setting broadcast a charge against the daughters of 
Snelling; but if they were true, would Bouse still have 
been a preacher in the circuit? Why did Bouse, 
Wright, and Skinner concoct such stories against the 
accused? The two latter were not on oath at the in- 
quiry; but there is a great distinction between that and 
giving evidence on oath in a Court of Justice. I should 
be sorry to believe that there was in Suffolk any person 
who would give false evidence on oath because they had 
given it before some inquiry. 

Bouse goes on to another incident in the chapel 
with regard to the accused putting his legs on the girl's 
knees. It would have been very much better if Bouse 
had seen the accused or written himself, but he wrote a 
letter by his wife. The reason he gives is this it may 
be a bad reason : " I thought if I wrote to him he would 
think it came from a member of the congregation who 
had also seen him." It would have been wiser and 
better, I suppose, if Bouse had written a letter or seen 
the accused himself. He says he wanted him to think 
other people noticed this besides him. Is it true that 
there was indecency? Then Mr. Bouse is cross-examined 
in regard to the Snellings : I think it is in the minds 



Charge to the Jury, 

Mr Justice Lawrance 

of the jury enough without reading it. Do you accept 
Bouse's story? Is it true? IJE it is true, what is the 
proper inference to draw? That is. the process you have 
got to go through. 

The next thing, I think, is the letters that passed 
about the scandal, and then we come to the 31st of 
May. On that day, that letter about which so much, 
has been said, was delivered at Providence House, mak- 
ing the appointment. It is obvious that that was written 
by some one who knew the house, and that it was not 
the first time he had arranged to be there. The great 
question is : was that written by the accused ? You have 
had an enormous quanlity oE evidence given you by 
experts, and I am bound to say, speaking for myself, that 
I do not place the greatest reliance upon expert evidence ; 
I would rather trust to my own eyes. But experts are 
useful ; they are useful in this way tliut they call atten- 
tion to points in handwriting. I am bound to say Mr. 
Gurrin is the best of his class ; I have known two or 
three experts who did not give their evidence in the 
same modest way that Mr. Gurrin did. He is there to 
give you his reasons for his opinion, and you are there 
to say whether it commends itself to your mind or not. 
Now, two gentlemen were called yesterday who were 
not experts two bank clerks who, of course, deal prin- 
cipally with signatures. I do not know if one can do 
better than take Mr. Bayliss'B evidence on this point, 
and what does, his evidence and cmss-examination 
come to? There were two letters written from 
Paris in very inferior writing with an inferior 
pen. There can be no doubt about it that there 
is a considerable improvement in the writing of the letter 
" A " to the letters " H " and " I," and while they 
stood apart there was a great distinction between them 
as regards general character. Now, Mr. Gurrin pointed 
out a great many instances where what I ventured to call 
the mechanism of the letters corresponded. Mr. Gurrin 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Jut tice Lawrance 

pointed out to you, and I noticed that you followed it 
with great care, a number of similarities. The question 
is, did lie satisfy you in the instances he gave that the 
handwriting was the same? There are one or two things 
which would strike anybody. There is the continual use 
of the capital " P," and that is one of the very first 
things pointed out by those two gentlemen yesterday as 
being the sign of an uneducated writer; but if you look 
at all the letter you find every conceivable " P " made 
under the sun. In the only places where there are two 
words beginning with " P," in this letter " A " they 
begin with capital " Ps." I am only taking the things 
which strike my mind, and you have got to say how 
much that affects the question. Then there is another 
thing which anybody woiild have been struck by, and 
that is the word " Saxmundham," but it is pointed out 
that the envelope was in a disguised hand. One can 
easily understand that if a letter was being sent by 
post to be delivered by a postman, it might be advisable 
to write in a hand so that people should not know where 
it came from. The question is whether Mr. Ghirrin satis- 
fied y'ou that there is a great similarity between these 
writings. I am bound to say that what seemed to me 
stronger than Mr. Qurrin was what was said by Mr. 
Bayliss. Mr. Bayliss said that the alignment and spac- 
ing of the letters " H " and " I " were extremely irre- 
gular, and the alignment and spacing of the letter " A " 
were extremely regular. That is true; there can be 
no doubt of it, but there came a letter between the two 
the letter of 29th October, written from the prison. 
Mr. Bayliss agreed that this letter forms, as it were, a 
bridge between the two bad writing, much better writ- 
ing, " A " the best writing. If you look at the prison 
letter the alignment and spacing are better, and almost 
as good as in " A." The only difference between them 
is that in the letter " A " the writing is vertical. Mr. 
Bayliss was called for the accused to say there were no 
324 



Charge to the Jury. 

Mr Juttice Lawrence 

similarities, but agreed that there were similarities. The 
question comes, and a very serious question, too, was that 
letter written by tie accused or notp "Upon whoever 
wrote that letter very strong suspicion is cast, because 
there is the letter making the nndnight Appoint- 
ment ; some one kept that appointment ; and the result 
of that appointment was the death of the girl. There 
is one of the links of the chain you have to decide upon : 
was that letter written by the accused to the girl? 
Then what is said in .support of the contention that the 
accused did write that letter, you must consider the 
value of that. It is said at ten o'clock at night, when 
the light was put in the window according to the letter, 
the accused was 'outside his house, in such a position 
that he could see the signal. It is said in evidence, 
and I think not contradicted, that you could not see 
the light from the step of his house, but a few yards 
to the right or left you could see it. Mr. Burgess was 
in the street ai-lhe time, and spoke to Gardiner. The 
suggestion is that that letter having been written, that 
appointment made, that desire expressed for a light to 
be put in the window at ten o' clock, Gardiner was there 
to see it. Burgess brings Gardiner to the time ten 
o'clock and brings him to the position where he could 
see the light. ISTow the murder takes place. I do not 
know that the prosecution have tied themselves to a 
particular time. Mrs. Dickenson's evidence is that the 
accused's wife came in from eleven to 11.30 and remained 
till the accused came about twelve o'clock. They re- 
mained in till 1.30. The evidence of Mrs. Gardiner 
herself was that they went to bed at two o'clock, and 
did not get up till eight o'clock that morning. It is 
suggested that there was a fire in the wash-house belong- 
ing to the accused as early as seven or 7.30 on Sunday 
morning. That is tlie evidence of the witness Stammers, 
a neighbour, whose house looks into the backyard. 
Gardiner's evidence is that he got up at eight o'clock, 

325 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Justice Lawrence 

and lighted the fire about 8.15. He said: " It is a 
deliberate lie that the fire was lighted before then," and 
Stammers 7 s story is an invention. Stammers, of course, 
may be mistaken. The question is : who told the truth ? 
The suggestion ft that they were earlier than usual that 
morning, and that there was a large fire, in order that 
something might be got rid of, and the question is 
whether you think Stammers is right in what he says. 
The prosecution ask why Stammers should tell a deli- 
berate lie with regard to the fire. 

[At this point Mr. Justice Lawrance inquired of the 
jury whether he had made himself clear, and whether 
there was any question they wished to ask him.] 

A JUEYMAN "Was there any smell of the burning of 
cloth? 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWBANCE There was no evidence upon 
that. 

The JUEYMAN If there was any woollen stuff burned, 
it would have smelt. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWKANCE That you must argue 
amongst yourselves; you must not argue with me. 

Another JURYMAN I do nofc think the witness 
Stammers was asked that question. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWBANCE You can only deal with 
what you have before you. The question might not have 
been put by accident or intentionally. Your duty is 
to deal with the evidence, and you can only deal with 
what they have put before you. If there is something 
not put before you that you think ought to have been, 
then you can draw your own inference from it. The 
next point that is relied upon is the question of the 
footsteps, which is spoken to by Morriss. Of course, 
you must bring into the jury-box all your common sense ; 
you must not leave that behind you. We all know there 
had been a storm; we know there had been a great deal 
o rain ; and we know what the efiect of rain is on a high 
road; and you know whether you could see footmarks 



Charge to the Jury. 

Mr Justice Lawrance 

better on a road before or alter rain. The question 
arises : is that evidence true ? Did Morriss see these 
marks? It has been stated in the trial that the first 
theory was that this was a suicide. Whether that was 
Dr, Lay's or not I cannot imagine. The girl was found 
in this condition without any instrument near" by with 
which her injuries could have been inflicted; yet for 
two days they were stumped over this cuse, thinking 
it was a case 'of suicide. If people had jumped at the 
conclusion that it was a case of murder, the footprints 
might have been seen and observed. 

The witness Hart was called by the defence, whether 
to contradict Morriss or not I do not know. I cannot 
imagine why the man should have been called unless to 
show that he went past the accused's house and saw 
nothing of the footmarks. As a matter of fact, he did 
nothing of the sort, and does not contradict Morriss in 
the slightest degree. The question you have to decide 
is this: did this man see? The man said: " I did see 
footsteps." You have got the whole of the evidence, 
and it is an important piece of evidence, too, I need 
hardly point out to you. You have to say whether you 
believe this man when he said these footstepa did come 
on that night from the accused's house up to the gate of 
Providence House, and that in consequence of the scandal 
he had heard about the accused and the girl, he told his 
superior gamekeeper what he had seen. It does not quite 
end there, I must remind you, because curiously enough 
within a week before the accused had become possessed 
of a pair of india-rubber shoes. The accused's wife gave 
up everything and told everything to the police con- 
stables as far as she knew. She gave up clothes, and 
gave up other things, with a pair of india-rubber shoes 
with diagonal bars upon them, said to be like the marks 
which the man Morriss had seen. This is one of those 
cases in which you have got to say and make up your 
mind as to whether you accept Morriss's evidence or not. 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Justice Lawrence 

And now the next point is the fact that there was 
found upon the accused a knife, and such a knife that 
might have caused the injuries which were found on the 
girl; you remember what the injuries were; the girl 
had been stabbed with an instrument which had a 
sharp point, and she had marks upon her hand showing 
that there ^had been some resistance on her part. 

No weapon was found in the house at all, and 
I do not see how the suggestion of suicide could 
possibly have arisen, because nothing was found 
near the girl at all. The accused was taken 
into custody on the Tuesday, and you see he 
had between that time the whole Sunday and 
Monday. The knife was found on him and was 
found clean. There is nothing particularly suspicious 
in that, of course. You have the evidence of Dr. 
Stevenson, who examined all the articles, including the 
clothing, on which there was found no blood whatever. 
That was in the accused's favour. The doctor, however, 
said that in the haft of the accused's knife blood had 
been smeared. It was mammalian blood, and though 
now I believe the difficulty of telling human blood from 
animal blood has been solved, under present knowledge, 
at all events, Dr, Stevenson's knowledge I did not ask 
him about it because it would be introducing another 
matter it is impossible to tell you any more than that 
it is the blood of a mammal. If you come to the con- 
clusion that this was the man, you would have this 
additional fact, that the man was found with an 
instrument in his pocket that might have done the deed. 
I think it was suggested that he might have thrown the 
knife away, but that would have been the most dangerous 
thing the man could have done, as it might have been 
found. The accused's explanation was that he had been 
hulking rabbits, which, I suppose, is disembowelling 
them. 

There is blood there which might have been human 



Charge to the Jury. 

Mr Justice Lawrance 

blood. The knife Lad been recently sharpened. The 
accused said there was blood there because he had been 
hulking rabbits, and he very often sharpened his knife. 
It is one of those incidents, which, by itself, would not 
be worth a farthing, though with other facts, it is more 
important. 

We come to the question of the medicine bottle, which 
stands, as I understand it, in this way. It was found 
upon the floor broken to pieces, and Dr. Stevenson say? 
that the bottle had contained paraffin. It had the cork 
pressed so firmly down that it could not be got out. 
Whether it was necessary to break the bottle to get the 
paraffin out I do not know. One important thing was 
that it had a label upon it which had been put upon it 
by Dr. Lay, and was labelled to be taken by the children, 
and for Mrs. Gardiner's children. Now, it is said by 
the other side, Mrs. Gardiner gave Rose Harsent a 
bottle full of camphorated oil, some time before, and a 
witness, Mrs. Walker, was called, who said she had 
seen Rose Harsent, who had told her that Mrs. Gardiner 
had given her the oil, and had made her better. I do 
not think it throws much light upon it, but it is worth 
mentioning that, curiously enough, there had been an 
inquiry by the police for a bottle which was labelled 
" Mrs. Gardiner's sister"; and I suppose that had 
arisen owing to their not being able to read the label 
properly, and they found out that medicine had been 
provided for Mrs. Gardiner's sister at some time or 
another, so that when they went there the police asked 
for a bottle that Mrs. Gardiner's sister had been supplied 
with. Mrs. Gardiner said she went to look for it, and 
was unable to find it. The suggestion on behalf of the 
prosecution, whether a well-founded one or not, was that 
it was taken there by the accused. It must have been 
done by a person who had very little knowledge of burn- 
ing a body. I think I have gone through the whole 
facts of the case. I do not remember one I have missed. 



William Gardiner. 

Mr Justice Lawrance 

Mr. DICKENS There is a point I had intended to say 
something about, but had forgotten. There was a small 
piece of cloth my friend mentioned. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWEANCE There is a very tiny piece of 
cloth of some kind. I do not know whether it is woollen 
cloth or not. Take it and examine it. It is said to come 
from some clothing, but no clothing to which it corresponds 
has been discovered. It is a curious fact there is no 
doubt about it that blood spurted out of the body, and 
yet on the right side of the body there was no blood at 
all, and no footsteps; no one had trampled about and 
made marks. The circumstances were consistent with 
the fact of her being struck on coming downstairs, or on 
getting at the bottom of the stairs. "Whether the wound 
could be inflicted by a person who stood on the right 
side is difficult to believe, and how one could avoid 
trampling in the blood at all. It had not been trampled 
in, and it is a matter left in considerable obscurity to 
know exactly what had been done, and how the murder 
really was committed. But the person who committed 
the murder tried to burn the body of that there can be 
no doubt. A newspaper was put under the shoulders; 
whether it was lighted before it was put there, or whether 
when it was on the ground, does not appear. The sug- 
gestion is, and it can only be a suggestion, although a 
great probability no doubt, that the person who did that 
would have the marks of blood upon him. The sugges- 
tion upon the other side is that the fire was made in the 
morning for the purpose of destroying the accused's 
clothing. 

There is one other matter with regard to the clothing 
that I do not quite understand, though it may be a very 
small point. The accused tad tad a clean shirt on that 
morning, and how with a fortnight's wear that could 
be managed I do not know, when the man had only two 
shirts belonging to him. 
330 



Charge to the Jury. 

* Mr Justice Lawr&nce , 

Something lias been said to you with, regard to motive 
something about who was the father of the child. 
Whether he is the father of the child or not does not so 
much matter. It appears to me that the matter of 
importance is whether or not he was having immoral 
relations with the girl. No motive would 'justify a 
murder. It might, of course, be put into a man's head 
by revenge. And we often find a savage murder with a 
very inadequate motive; in many cases no motive at all 
can be discovered yet here is a man who knew this girl 
was six months enceinte, and had had immoral con- 
nexion with her for a considerable time, and who, whether 
he was the father or not, was pretty sure to have the 
credit of being the father. You have been rightly told 
by the learned counsel, who has so ably defended the 
accused, that if you have a reasonable doubt, the accused 
is entitled to the benefit of it. But the doubt in a case 
of this kind must be fair and reasonable, and not a 
trivial doubt, such as the speculative ingenuity of counsel 
might suggest. You have been told you must have a 
moral certainty. But the only certainty you could have 
about anything would be in regard to something you had 
seen yourself with your own eyes. The question you 
have to consider is whether the conclusion to which yoxi 
are conducted by the evidence is such as you could come 
to with any degree of certainty in important affairs of 
your own. That is the certainty you ought to have in 
cases of this kind. It depends so much on what people 
mean when they say " a moral certainty. 7 ' I mean such 
certainty as would induce you to a conclusion if engaged 
upon the more important duties of your life. If you have 
that certainty, anc\ if the facts lead you to the conclusion 
that this was the man who did the murder, although no 
human eye saw him, then you will be justified in giving 
effect to that opinion. If you do not find that the 
evidence leads you to that conclusion, he is, on the other 

hand, entitled to your verdict, 

331 



William Gardiner. 

LTlie jury retired at five o'clock and returned into 
Court at 7.12.] 

The CLERK OF ARRAIGNS Are you agreed upon your 
verdict? 

The FOREMAN 1STo, sir. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE You are not agreed? Is 
there any chance of your agreeing ? 

The FOREMAN No, sir. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE None whatever? 

The FOREMAN I am afraid not. 

Mr. JUSTICE LAWRANCE I mean if you are satisfied 
about that, it is my duty to discharge you. You have 
paid great attention to the case, and the only thing I 
can do for you is to make an order that you do not be 
called upon to serve on a jury again for seven years. 

[Mr. Justice Lawrance then enlarged the recog- 
nisances of the witnesses for the prosecution until the 
next Assizes.] 

An application by Mr. Wild that the witnesses for 
the defence should be similarly treated, in order to save 
expense, was refused, on the ground that their 
recognisances could not be enlarged because the witnesses 
had not been bound over. 

The prisoner was then removed, and, the Court rose.