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A NEW REFORM ASSOCIATION.

n THE SUICIDE OF VICTOR TOWNLEY.I

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n THE SUICIDE OF VICTOR TOWNLEY. I An inquest was held on Thursday, at the Penton- jjille Prison, in London, on the body of George Victor Townley, the murderer of Miss Goodwin, who com- mitted suicide on Sunday evening week, by throwing himself over the staircase after chapel. The body presented a ghastly spectacle, occasioned by a severe cut (sustained in the fall) over the right temple ana forehead, extending half over the right eye. principal evidence was by George Bearman, a priso who said:— I recollect that on Sunday, the 12th Inst., I UU the right of the deceased at chapel- He was prayer the last hymn was sung. He then got up, opened^u^rayer hook and sang out the last two verses very. «< 319th hymn." heard him do that before. He said to • h t jjis praveP, Th.lm, th. right hymn. H. -M" He t £ mask I have never been spoken to byany one He neverusedtospeaK. b 1 8peak without the least fear vThat i toow of the c^se! We were all singing when K JecfaieKan to sing- He sang very loudly the follow- ^Helrno foe with Thee at hand to bless, nit w/no weight, and tears no bitterness; Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory 1 I triumph still, if Thou abide with me. Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes, Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies. Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee. In life, in death, 0 Lord, abide with me.-Amen." He used to walk out of his cell and go into the chapel and ait down. He never used to speak to any one. When he jumped over, the Warder was about 24 feet from him. He sprang over so suddenly that I had no opportunity of catching bold of him. Samuel Holmyard, another prisoner, stated that when in chapel he said to Townley, How long ?" and he replied, Ten;" meaning that his term was ten years' imprisonment. Mr. Bradley, the surgeon to the prison, in the course of his evidence, said The substance of the brain, as far as I could see, was healthy. There was no evidence of any disease; its weight was 55 ounces, which Is above the average by seme ounces. His weight at the time of death was list. lib. He was twenty-five years old when he was convicted. There was no disease of the brain so far as could be ascertained, but, not- withstanding that, insanity might have prevailed. He came into this prison on the 3rd of February, 1864. On admission he appeared in good condition. I have had opportunities of judging the state of his mind from time to time, and I as- sumed that if anything strange had occurred it would have been reported to me. I have seen nothing to lead me to sup- pose he was subject to attacks of insanity nor has he ever been reported to me as having any tendency to unsoundness of mind. I have never observed anything in his habits of an unusual nature. I had frequent opportunities of talking with him, and I thought hm generally cheerful. He was 12st. Ctb. on admission, atid list. lib. on the 13th of January. Finding that he had thus wasted I prescribed more bread for him, for which be subsequently thanked me. In my expe- rience a man may have lucid intervals, but there would be no evidence of such Insanity. The deceased never appeared to be desponding. 1 think, on the contrary, that his corres- pondence showed he had hope. The chaplain to the prison, the Rev. Mr. Irwin, said During the first twelve months he was here I had con- versation with him upon the cause of his committal. He seemed perfectly insensible to the crime, and would talk coolly about It. He admitted he had committed the crime, but he denied there was any guilt in it. From this I opine be was morally insane. Beyond this I nevernoticed any act of insanity. He was always cheerful, always ready to enter Into conversation, and at all times extremely courteous. I have seen four of his letters written to his friends. He wrote a letter last Friday to his mother, of which a passage, I think, indicates an unsound mind. # The paragraph referred to, was at the request of the jury, read by the witness. Its tendency was that of finding fault with the prison discipline, because one of his letters to his friends had been intercepted by the governor in consequence of its being interlined, which, according to the rules of the prison, disqualified it for transmission. The governor explained that the rule of the prison was that prisoners did confine themselves in writing to ^fluielnnes °^the P?Per- Th°y were allowed to v i_ liked, but were not permitted to write between the lines. The following letter, written by the deceased to his mother on the Wednesday be- fore he committed suicide, was then read 8th February, 1865. My dearest Mother,—My writing gets worse and worse partly, I suppose, from want of exercising it, and partly from the steel pen however, you won't mind, I dare say. Letter paper is only issued on Wednesday's now, which is the cause of the delay; had I been aware of the new rule you might have had this last week, tho' it is doubtful. What can I say to you for your birthday any more, mum? Little, fJe&T> '° the purpose; as for hopes and wishes; but altho' these are useless, there Is^still love. Would that my love and gratitude were in anyway sufficient to jep&yyou for cnmft gone through for me; but I must sit here Job's J" A pretty way, indeed, of wishing you many M? T The fact mum, dear, as is usual with is 1 turn brain inside out, and there peonle wrm 1 er^T* 'a8n an t. It is true I find what some what can I Hn w kiod wlshes. but then that's all rubbish, so and Ml vnn tl.t TSn ot! y g1ve y°u my best and kindest love, and what ? iam Juat as usual» no difference whatever, ,o'1 mr, ?oi What's the object of it, we can have n^notlon of* tt look! very nonsensical, but that's no business of ourV and at any rate, we have had nothing to do with it, and perhaps we really do only see the wrong side of the carpbt. This however, is trite.; what I mean is, that such being the fact! ,tnJure bei"g equally beyond our control, never mind what happens to my body (you know law and society only profess to vent their spleen on the body), and consider that, after all, it is only with me the loss of a lew personal comrorts, being dressed queerly, and made to look a greater fright than one naturally is, and condemned to live among diMgreeabIe people; whereas with you it is very different, and havl. »°fJ ?ave tried to put myse1' in your place, of thinl. t that you would suffer, and fancy all sorts ~5?i ?an t exactly enumerate. But if you only saw w yv,ake it:> and what llttle trouble there is in wnniri f.i vere' 1 really do think, my dear mum, you rn^ f T vf eart..Remember, it is not with me as with most. I have no one depending on me. I am provided for for life, I may say, therefore I have really no cause to take thought for the morrow. You know the peculiarities of my temperament-tdiosyineracles, I suppose Mr. What's-his-name would say—and were it not for the trouble that my present position causes all of you there would, I think, be little to regret. It seems odd certainly, that when all parties might be suited so easily, this wretched bit of clay continues to eat, drink, sleep, &l, for no earthly object But here again, we get beyond ow v /vf? TaDd' after a111 wo"ld finish this (did you get a lock of hair I sent you with the last lot of books ? —it was in French), by wishing my darling mother as many happy returns of the day as possible, with such an unlucky wightor a son. By the way, I did not forget Kate'birthday. I forgot to tell you so. I had a foolish dislike to mentioning the birthdays at all, and half hoped she would forget mine. Many thanks for the last two letters and the cards which I have, which the authorities were good enough to let me read. I need not say how glad I am to hear of your uniting with kind friends. I won't say what comes upper- most in my mind, for this reason-I have found the Scotch- man's prayer useful. By going on the opposite tact one only puts a stick into the hands of one's fellow Yahoos to break ene's own head with. One gains experience here, and those going into the euter world will, doubtless, not fail to profit by it Should they happen to have been troubled with an excessive benevolence they will find It understood, while those two excellent and useful qitalities-secrettveness and Belf-esteem-will he correspondingly developed. Aboutvisiting from something Kate said-I fancy she and you are thinking of coming. It is very, very good of you both, and 1 fiont know how to thank you; but, my dear mum, it must not be. I told the governor so. I suppose he had not mentioned it. Remember you would never have thought of such a thing bad it noi been for a misrepresentation, and I am so far from being grateful for the same that-well, never mind what; but you shall certainly never be expoted to anything of the kind again, and I may tell you that the very notion of your being within these walls, or in contact with this place in any shape or way, is perfect torment to me, and infinitely worse than anything else I have to bear. I dare say there is not a man in the prt-on of any respectability who would not be heartily glad if the stupid and cruel mockery of visiting were totaily dene avay with. When you can see me withoutinslÙt to yourselves, well and good, but that is unlikely. Pardon me, dearest mum, if this is abrupt. I would have said more and more kindly, but have no space. I would rather not more than two came, and you can fix upon whom you would like to accompany the governor. After all, one can say nothing at such an interview; it must be unsatisfactory And now I must thank you for the eight books the governor brought me, especially for "Gil Bias" and "Silvio Pelltco." I am charmed with the latter. Do you know he sometimes reminds me of you? You would see, for any one else would what I mean if you read it. Charley had it in French. Gii Bias" I have nearly finished, and had many a good laugh over it. What a nice edition But I am sorry you should have got it for me purposely Don't buy any books for me, aid don't sand me any you are likely to want for yourself. Many thanks for the Sunday Magazine. I like it exceedingly, so ™1°J'onghly Catholic in its lone. Thank you for Pascal" and Ollemlorffthe latter does not at all matter beiDg bound together. 1 think j ou had better not send me any more Books that will have to be returned, except perhaps the magazine; but I will speak to the governor about that Dauer "t ia alwa?8 8ome trouble s'gning a itehind think it will be necessary to leave my books wo Sn snea^ewn here' 1 wiu d0 so if you like, but I fancy other men have generally Write when leavln^Oi i^ nld Dot allowed to paver know whin there might be no time you £ ltb my kind love^i aIe l01/:?-, Tel1 the Governor this, need be in any particular tl ^ou; the (the governor) a notion I Bhgjl not goyet awhii7 s?elDK me. I have nothing, and it would be but, of course, I know aee,at the end; there are pientVftf ^8' JSere 1 am'you to say, but I have crammed in „ other things I wanted jove U> Charles and Katy. 1 aW^Ll* 1 dare. My best letters, Did you see her last? ltWMg. your anrt her you for the German character*, and who?»J her- Thank copy them out ao carefully. With all my ,,fvwas s° kind to for your dear letters ever my own mother v™'aiLd thanks ■on .GEO. TOWNLEY our affectionate A verdict of Temporary insanity" Waa retarned.

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