Emily Cave (née: Windebank) 1892

Whilst doing more family research I sadly discovered that my great, great grandmother (Emily Cave (nee Windebank)) committed suicide in 1892 after drinking the contents of a bottle of Carbolic Acid. I found out about this after conducting routine research through the London newspapers.

London Evening Standard – Wednesday 14 September 1892:

Dr. G. Danford Thomas held an inquest yesterday at St. Pancras Coroner’s Court on the body of Emily Cave (née: Emily Alice Windebank, born 1865), 27, the wife of Walter Cave (Walter Frederick Cave: 1863-1904), a barman, lately residing at 17, Castle-road, Kentish-town.

According to the husband, he lived very happily with the deceased, who was very amiable. She had recently – especially since their last child was born – been “queer” in her head. She complained of pains in the head, and often said she “wished she was dead.”

On Saturday morning the Witness was fetched home, where he found his wife lying insensible on the floor. Upon a table was the empty bottle produced, labelled “Carbolic acid—poison,” and a purse containing half-a-sovereign. He learnt from his little boy that the latter saw his mother drink “something” from a bottle and then fall on the bed on the floor. Before she became insensible she handed the purse mentioned to her son saying, “If I don’t wake up any more, give this to your father.” The husband at once called in a neighbouring doctor. Witness had never heard his wife threaten to destroy herself. The son stated that his mother drank from the bottle itself and then fell down. She asked him if she did not wake any more to “give baby some sugar-tits,” and father the purse. Dr. T. Massi, 183, Kentish Town-road, said when he arrived the woman was dying from the effects of carbolic-acid poisoning, and she expired about an hour and a half afterwards from this cause.

The Mother of the deceased (Harriet Windebank (née: Monk) 1839-1899) said she was a good girl, and had a good husband, and Witness could not account for the mode of her death.—The Jury returned a verdict of “Suicide while of unsound mind.”

Walter Frederick Cave was born in March 1863, the son of Caroline (née: Pritchard born 1822) and Benjamin (died 1863). He married Emily Alice Windebank and they had three children together. He then married Isabella Florence Meyers in 1894 and they had four children together. He died in July 1904 in London, at the age of 41.

Ian Waugh