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: CHESHIRE POLICE COMMITTEE.…

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CHESHIRE VILLAGE TRAGEDY.…

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CHESHIRE VILLAGE TRAGEDY. I —— A TERRIBLE STORY. I T It- village of Hartford, near Northwioh, was I on lVIonday the scene of what appears to havo been a double minder and suicide. Tho vic- tims were the wife and two youngest daughters of Charles (-c-rai'd. who i, a farm bailiff to his mother at the Grange Farm, and has for 20 voars been secretary to the- local Tent of Recha- bites. Tluoe of the Gerrard children are away from home, whi'e of t li(- remaining four Edith I (seven) and Margaret (2J) have, it is believed, boeu killed by iheir own motl^r. Mis. Cenard had been f.uffcltng fiom severe headaches during the pt. week-end. but on Monday morning was able to go about her household duties. Iter husbtind went to work at six o'clock, a.nd on his return breakfast was ready for him. The iwo elder children, Victor and Be at riot*, were sent: to -chool at nin?, and the otlte.r two kept at home. During the morn- ing Edith was sent to a neighbouring shop for a bottle of ginger Uvr. Nothing was seen or ho,:lrd of the family until tho return of the children from school at 12 o'clock. They found the ctoo loctied and tho window barred, the keyhole of the door having been stopped with paper. One of the children ran to acquaint his father and was given the latchkey, but failed to gain admiifanoe. as the bolts had been t-hot. Then the boy's untie was summoned and the door was burst open. Lying doNld on the hoaithnig were tho children Lkiith and Margaret, their clothing saturated w water. Seated at the table, her head bent, was the mother; Conarable Brett was ITctis£.c.d that she had been de.ad for some little time, and tihat the children had been dead for an hour and a half. Thete was a CIO'IV tab on parrially fillcd with water, and the appearance of i he clothing and t.he children's liair indicated tihat- they had been forced into the tub. probably one after the other, head downwards. Not a found, however, had been heard by the n?igh- bours. It would seem that the mot her had contem- plated thiee method* of suicide. In the scul- lery, hanging from a hook in the ceiling, was a- rope which she her<*elf had secured. On the I was a razor, slightly bloodstained, a.nd there was a small scratch on the throat evidently inflicted hy ihat instrument- Death, however, was caused, Dr. Ilines declared, by poisoning. A packet of rat poison 11.1.1,11 1X"'ll mixed w ¡ ¡.(¡ the ginger beer put chased by her daughter and placed iu a cup, the entile contents of the cup being swallowed. THE INQUEST: A PATHETIC LETTER I The inquest wa.? heid on Monday. froq,,iently The w-dcwpr said hi" wife had frequently i?en?f-anse'in he. manner, and became very depressed last Friday. She was a very good rao/ber. lIe hod found a in the do- coasod's bank It was addressed, "My d-*ar husband." and went on: "This is the last ,-oil. I am sorry to leave you and my dear children. Don't bring the girk to Hart-ford, but get out of thisdread- ful cottage. I want you to divide the money r.hat i It, iti my name oniong my sor- rowing children, Lvciia, Mary. Frn". .-t Victor, and Beatrice the moneys in the Winntng- ton C'o-cp. Society, end my watch for Mary, and ail my (I -o i cs to be divided among tbe girls. I feel .-ure you will do your bect for them and make them happy. I d,) hope Ernstr-t will be a good boy and rise up to a good man and keep in eood company. Don": let ■anybody ^ee me and the children." The letter wanton to mention the names of several persons, and said they had been the tans? of this. "The}- have turned my brain." After many other names she oaid: "God hetp them and bleeps thetn mine enem-i. Dear Charlie. T warn for nothing, :-0 it is not your fault. Put its I'1 together, and don't make a fuss. No For two months 1 have suiTer d with In v head. I could not do my duty !o children and house, so cry. bur ju-t laugh. 1 am going to make luppiiies'; not trouble. Don't send for a lot of people to bury 115 Don' telll people about my business or anything about me. as I know I aryl to reot, a n"t I have prayed for for a long time. Dear Charlie, my tife i ended, my time is pa.t, and now I am gone no sorrow make, but love my dear children for my sake. I know you will be happy, for you are happy anywhere. I was your loving wife, Frances Cerrard, Chcffter- ro.p.d. Hartford." NlHdiC:11 erider.ee having been givnn. The Coroner eaid the letter was that of a I deranged woman. Tho jury returned a verdict ijiat the children were willfully murdered by the mother, and that e.he nlso committed suicide during a fit of insanity. Tho jury and the Coroner ex-I pressed sympathy with Mr. Cerrard. 1