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Family Notices




MURDER AT SWANSEA. On Saturday night last the neighbourhood of the Hafod, Swansea, was thrown into a state of con- siderable exeitement by the rumour that a fearful murder bad just been committed. The circum- stances of the case are of a most painful character. It appears that a man named William Lake, resided with his wife and family at Earl-street, Hafod. The wife was of most intemperate habits, which led to constant discord and quarrelling, and which frequently terminated in blows. On Saturday night, about eleven o'clock, it would appear as if one of this kind of disturbances took place between Lake and his wife, which unfortunately proved fatal to the latter for, on the neighbours proceeding to the house, the body of the woman was found in such a condition, and presenting such an ap- pearance, as to leave no doubt that she had been cruelly murdered. It is said that a stool was found with marks of blood upon it. Mr Lewis (assistant to Dr Paddon) was early on the spot, and stated that life had been some time extinct. The husband has been taken into custody. The inquest on the body of Martha Lake was held on Monday at the Police-court. Mr Smith, solicitor, watched the case on behalf of the prisoner. John Lake, a young man about 18 or 20 years of age, on being sworn, deposed I live at Earl-street, Hafod. I am a sawyer. The body just viewed by the jury is that of my mother. My father's name is William Lake, labourer. I last saw my mother alive about half-past seven o'clock on Saturday night. My father and mother, a little brother and myself resided in the house. We were all in the house on Saturday night about half-past seven. My mother and father were rather intoxicated. I heard no quarrelling between them. Then I left the house, and did not see my father again until I saw him in custody of two policemen about half-past eleven o'clock. I attempted to get into the house to see what was the matter, but was prevented. I don't know that my father was in the habit of quarrelling with my mother lately, but he had plenty of need to, for she was not sober a day for the past three weeks. In reply to Mr Smith: My father had not quarrelled with her lately. He had begged her on his knees to drop the drink. When we returned in the evening-from our work, we generally found her drunk, and in bed. When I came home on Saturday night, they were both sitting in the back room on each side of the fire. I heard no quarrelling. By a Juror: I never heard my father threaten her. A post mortem examination having been ordered, the jury adjourned the inquiry until Thursday morning at ten o'clock. The description given of the state of the deceased is very sad. Her head, face, and arms presented fearful marks of violence, and the door and the walls of the room were smeared in several places with blood. Traces of blood were also visible on the stone floor of the kitchen, and in one place it was evident that an attempt had been made to obliterate one mark on the floor, but the pan containing bloody water and the rug used in wiping the floor, remained as witnesses to prove that such an at- tempt had been made. Blood marks were also found on the stairs and the floor of a room upstairs appeared as if the body bad been laid there. The floor was spotted with blood ir, several places, and in one part evident signs remained as if it had been recently wiped with a floorcloth. There are finger marks on the mantelpiece in the kitchen, and a severe cut on the palm of deceased's left hand near the little finger, showing that she must have leaned there, or taken hold of the mantejpiece to support herself whilst the fearful struggle was going on, as the marks exactly correspond with the injuries on deceased's hand. It will be seen from the evidence of deceased's son, given before the coroner, that she was a person of very intemperate habits, and therefore frequent quarrels occurred between her and her husband. When given into custody the accused denied having iiiflicted the awful injuries that the body presented. He said that she bad injured herself by falling about whilst in a drunken state, and that when he came home on Saturday night, and not finding her in the house, he went to look for her in the yard and found that she bad fallen down into a cutting which is being made through the yard for drain- age purposes. When he pulled her out, be dis- covered she had injured herself in the manner she was afterwards found. We may state that the cutting referred to at the back of the prisoner's house is not more than two feet deep, and the bottom consists of loose earth. The hole certainly does not present the appearance of any person having fallen into it, neither are there any footmarks about it. The interior of the house presents a most miser- able aspect. Some of the rooms are entirely with- out furniture, whilst those that contain a few articles for domestic use indicate the wretched improvidence of those that inhabit it. At the Police Court, on Monday, before Mr Brock, mayor, Mr Bagshawe, Q.C., Major Francis, and Mr Sydney Hall, William Lake, labourer, was charged with the wilful murder of his wife on Sa- turday night. Mr Allison applied for a remand. Mr Smith offered no objection, and accused was remanded until Thursday. Since the 31st of December last 1,600 private per- sons have given notice that they intend to discon- tinue keeping their carriages, and claim, therefore, to be exempt from duty in the financial year 1868-9. The loss to the levenue by these withdrawals will not be less than £10,000 per annum. In an old paper printed nearly a century ago, we find the following on matrimony :— Oh, Matrimony thou art like To Jeremiah's figs The good is very good—the bad Too sour to give the pigs. I never dreamed of such a fate, When I a-lass was courted- Wife, mother, nurse, seamstress, cook, housekeeper, chambermaid, laundress, dairywoman, and scrub generally, doing the work of six For the sake of being supported. ATTEMPT TO BLOW UP DUNDEE BARRACKS.—An attempt has been made to blow up the powder ma gazine at the barracks, presently containing three tons of gunpowder. The magazine was entered on. Thursday by the keeper to give out gunpowder to a merchant, when he found at the foot of the inner door a quantity of flax and a piece of woollen cloth partly burnt. Part of the floor on which the flax lay was burnt, and also a small portion of the door but the flames had not taken secure hold before they had gone out. How the burning material had been placed inside the magazine is a mystery, and it is impossible to say whether the attempt is connected with Fenianism; but an investigation is being made, and a communication has been made to the Lord Advocate. The magazine is enclosed by a high paling and high wall, and is regularly guarded by the police and soldiers.