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THE SHIRLEY MURDER. George Broomfield was indicted on Monday, at the Winchester Assizes, before Mr. Justice Keating, for the wilful murder of Caroline Sophia. Colborne, at Shirley, on the 3rd of December, 1864. When called upon to plead, he answered, I wish to die," so the Judge directed a plea of "Not Guilty" to be recorded. Mr. Bere then opened the case on the part of the prosecution. The prisoner, he said, was 47 years of age; he had been married six or seven years, and had been in the service of several gentlemen. In October, 1863, he entered the service of Miss Onslow, at Aires- ford, and remained there until March, 1864. The unfortunate deceased was also living in the service of I Miss Onslow as lady's maid. She was a person of attractive face and form, of modest and pleasant demeanour, and unfortunately she attracted the pri- soner, and he fell in love with her and paid his addresses to her. She, however, did not encourage I him; and, in consequence of his importunities, she left Miss Onslow's service, and went to her parents' house at Shirley. She was at the time en- gaged to be married, and afterwards did marry Col- borne, and they lived at Shirley. On the 3rd of De- cember last the prisoner was seen at Shirley. He went to the hotel there, had some brandy-and-water and got change for half a sovereign; he inquired if a Miss Wing (the maiden name of the deceased) lived there, and eventually he was directed to Colborne's house. He left the hotel, and the husband of the deceased happening to call there was told that a person had been inquiring for his wife; he at once proceeded to his house, and found his wife and the prisoner sitting in a room. The deceased introduced the prisoner to her husband, and some conversation took place. After some time the prisoner asked Carry to give him a cup of tea. Colborne offered the prisoner all the hos- pitality his house afforded, and having left the house for about half an hour, he found his wife, on his re- turn, seated at the table writing a letter. She told her husband Mr. Broomfield would like some brandy, and he went out .and procured some, being absent about ten minutes. When he came back he found the pri- soner folding up a letter. The prisoner then said he was going to America to join the army, cither the Federal or Confederate, and he asked the prisoner if he would like to join him in a pipe, and they smoked together. Mrs. Colborne went out for some domestic purposes, and fearing to leave her husband alone with the prisoner she induced him to go with her, so that they left the prisoner sitting by the fire. They re- turned in about three-quarters of an hear. The hus- band'then went out to get some potatoes, and he was absent about ten minutes. What happened during the interval between the prisoner and deceased no one could tell, but it was clear that the prisoner caused the death of the unfortunate woman by shooting her with a pistol. A Mrs. Harris, who lived next door, was alarmed at hearing a noise like a cracker, followed by a fearful scream, and she went out and saw Mrs. Colborne lying by the door. She raised her up, but found -she was dead. Mrs. Harris then heard another report. She was frightened, and went for help, and she then heard a third report. Mrs. Harris and some other persons then entered the house, and found some other persons then entered the house, and found the woman lying quite dead, and the prisoner still living, but severely wounded, lying on the floor with a revolver in his right hand. The revolver had five chambers, and upon being examined it was found that two were still loaded, but three had been discharged. The police came, and they found some letters and a ,CIO note upon the prisoner. One of these letters was in Mrs. Colborne's handwriting, and seemed to have been written at the prisoner's dictation to his wife. It was a farewell letter on his departure for America. There was another letter in the prisoner's handwriting, addressed to the husband of the deceased. It had been probably written while they were all absent from the house. It told him that the prisoner felt it necessary that Mrs. Colborne should die with him, and he hoped God would support her husband under the heavy trial that awaited him. On the discovery of the murder the prisoner was taken to the infirmary. A surgeon there asked him what he bad done it for. He said he had done it for love. On the next morning after he was in the infirmary he said he wished tc make a statement, and his words were written down :—" I am guilty of shooting Caroline Sophia Colborne on Saturday, December 3, but I was not at the time in a sound state of mind." On a subsequent occasion he made another statement:—"The letter found upon me I wish you to send to my wife; it was written by the dear creature Caroline Sophia Colborne in the cottage in her own house, and if I would stay over to- day she had lots to tell me." For a long time the prisoner hovered between life and death, but eventually recovered. Several witnesses were called to prove these facts. to prove these facts. Mr. Coleridge then addressed the jury on behalf of the prisoner. The facts were not denied; the defence rested upon the plea of insanity, and evidence was given that the prisoner had never been himself since he had received some gun-shot wounds when attending on Lord George Beauclerk on a shooting excursion in September, 1862. Lord Falkland, one of the party, missed his bird and shot the accused, from whose head and back 30 shots were afterwards extracted. In summing up the learned Judge-said, in reference to the plea of insanity, that it was not every aberra- tion of mind that would free him. The aberration must be to such an extent as to disable him from distinguishing between right and wrong with reference to the nature and quality of the act which he com- mitted. The jury returned a verdict of Guilty." Sentence of death was passed.








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