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THE MURDER OF A SURGEON IN NORTH DURHAM, The inquest on the body of Mr. Robert Sterling, as- sistant to Mr. Watson, surgeon, of Burnop-field, near Shotley-bridge, who was murdered near Gibside, on Thursday, the 1st instant, was resumed in the village schoolroom, last week. Major White, the head of the county constabulary, Mr. Ramsey, county magistrate, and other persons, wore present during the inquiry. Thomas Holmes, a workman living at Burnop-field, was first examined. He stated that while searching for deceased, with his father, Mr. Thompson, one of Mr. Watson s^ assistants, and other persons, on the afternoon of the 6th, he found Mr. Stirling's body in Smaile's- wood. Mr. Thompson was with him when the body was found. The deceased appeared to have been shot in the right side. There was also a wound on the upper part of the nose, and a cut over the right eye. His clothes were much torn, and the trousers appeared riddled, as if by a gunshot. Witness found nothing in his pocket a piece of braid, apparently a portion of a watchguard, was hanging out of his waistcoat pocket, as if the watch had been torn from it. His hat was lying near to where the body was found. The body was laid on its belly. There was a gap in the hedge, as if a body had been pulled through it. Mr. Watson, surgeon, stated that deceased left his house on the 1st, to visit a patient at Spen, and did not return. Deceased had received an appointment in the Turkish Contingent, and had only been ten days in the neighbourhood. Mr. George Septimus Thompson, a student in medi- cine, stated that the deceased had a silver watch with a silver face, when he left Mr. Watson's on the 1st to go to Spen. Deceased did not wish to wear a gold watch- guard in going this journey, and witness gave him a piece of silk to make him one. Witness had ascertained that deceased had left Mrs. Corn's house, at Spen, about half-past one o'clock on that day. Mr. W. K. Eddowes, a retired surgeon, residing at Derwent Cote, near Medomeley, saw the body of the de- ceased on the morning of the 8th, at Mr. Watson's. He was laid on the floor, and the clothes had not been re- moved decomposition had taken place. The trousers of deceased were torn, apparently by a gunshot; and the torn part of the trousers corresponded with the wound found in the right side of the abdomen of the deceased. On removing the clothes from the body, a dark patch of extravasated blood was observed on the right side of the abdomen the discolouration was the size of the palm of the hand, and was punctured with holes, as if a charge of shot had penetrated. Witness also found a cut on the left side of the neck. It was about two inches in length, and two inches and a half deep. In addition to that, de- ceased appeared to have been struck on the right cheek with the butt-end of a gun. Some of his teeth were knocked out, the bone of his nose was broken, and there was a slight wound above the right eye. Those were all the external appearances presented by the body. He had lost very little blood. Witness made a post-mortem ex- amination of the body the same morning. On opening the abdomen, he found the intestines much injured by shot corns having penetrated into them. Witness took some of the shot out,which he now produced. [A juryman, after examining them, said that they were No. 4 shot.] The large omentum was also riddled with shot. Witness also took two of a smaller size from under deceased's clothes. William Coxen, a youth, at present a farm-servant at Black Collerton, in Northumberland, said that he was working in a field on Low Friar-side Farm, on the 1st of November. It was opposite Smaile's-lane, across the Derwent. He was gathering potato-tops, about half-past one or a quarter to two o'clock, with some women, wh.en they heard a gun fired, apparently in Smaile's-wood. He afterwards heard a voice exclaim, "Oh, dear! Oh, dear It was followed by the voice of a man shouting, Hoy hoy and a sound like clapping of hands. He first imagined that some one had been firing at a hare and that the gun bad burst; but when he heard the shouts of "Hoy! hoy he thought that nothing was the worse, and that some one was setting dogs after a hare. 0 D The Coroner at this stage of the proceedings, adjourned the inquest for a fortnight, to give the police ample time for further inquiries. They have some clue, but they are keeping their suspicions quiet at present. The reward now offered for the apprehension of the perpetrators of this horrible outrage is £ -500 the inhabitants of Winter- ton have given £50, the inhabitants of Tanfield £ 50, the Government jElOO, Lord Ravensworth, Mr. John Bowes, and other county gentry, £ 300. Since the murder of Mr. Stirling, the inhabitants of the villages in this neighbourhood have been kept in the greatest alarm by a series of outrages, which, in point of fact, have made it dangerous to leave home after night- fall. Two or three highway robberies have been com- mitted and others attempted. A house has been broken into at Wickham, and the house of a man named Robin- son, residing at Blanchland, formerly a carrier between Newcastle and Hexham, was entered while he was in bed. He was awake, but to save his own life durst not stir, and the burglars came into his room and took j650 out of his pockets, with which they got clear.—A most impudent highway robbery was committed on Monday afternoon, at Swalwell-bridge, about two miles from where Mr. Stirling was murdered. Mr. Jennell, a pub- lican, belonging to Blackhill, was proceeding to meet the Shotley-bridge coach, when he was struck down by three fellows, who, after handling him roughly, robbed him of what money he had upon him. A man named Toby Walker, belonging to Newcastle, has been apprehended, and identified as one of the three men who robbed him.


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