Man found drowned - Broxbourne

Hertfordshire Mercury 8th September 1906


An inquest was held at the Station Hotel, Broxbourne, on Thursday afternoon, before Mr.P.R. Longmore, deputy-coroner, on the body of an unknown man about 55 years of age, who was found drowned in the River Lea the previous day.

Miss Annie Case, of Stansfield, Broxbourne, was the first witness. She stated that on Wednesday, about four o’clock, she was punting down the river near the Essex side a little way below the boathouse when she saw the body in the water floating face downwards. She went back to the boathouse and told the boatman, who went and helped to get the body out.

Albert Adams, of High Street, Broxbourne, stated that he was the boatman to the Broxbourne Rowing Club. On Wednesday last the witness came to him at a quarter past four and said there was a man in the water. He went to the Crown Hotel and obtained drags and the assistance of Charles Barker. They went down the towing path and saw the body at the spot indicated,and pulled it out. Life was quite extinct.

The deceased had trousers, waistcoat, and coat on, but no boots, socks or shirt. Witness went away and informed the police, who came and took the body away. The water was 5ft. deep where the body was found, but higher up under the bridge, where body probably floated from, there was 10ft. or 11ft.of water.

P.C. Hawkins said that the deceased was quite dead when he arrived. He searched the body and found on it a knife, fork, spoon, broken comb, two tobacco boxes, a penny stamp, and a small tooth pick, but no money. There was no marks on the clothing by which the body could be identified. He removed the body to the Station Hotel. He had searched the river banks on both sides, but found no boots, socks, or cap.

Inspector Martin gave the following description of the deceased:

Aged 55, height, 5ft.71/2 in., sallow complexion, full face, large nose, eyes dark brown, full short beard, and brown moustaches turning grey, hair rather long and curling ,light brown, bald on the crown,f ull set of teeth, weight 12 stone. Dressed when found with pepper and salt check coat, blue serge waistcoast, dark check trousers, scarf around neck. Deceased had the appearance of a tramping labourer. Witness had circulated the description throughout the Hertfordshire and Metropolitan District, but had been unable to find out who he was.

Dr Hugh Cecil Addison said that the deceased had general appearance of death from drowning, and he had probably been dead six hours or more.

The jury returned a verdict of ”found drowned”.

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