top of page

1889: Intoxicated wife attempts suicide

Updated: Dec 8, 2023

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 22 January 1889


Mary Costigan, a respectably-dressed woman, residing at Cuckfield, was charged with attempting to commit suicide by hanging herself, at Cuckfield, on the 17th inst .—

Elizabeth Evelyn Harris deposed that on Thursday evening she was in the Talbot Hotel tap, and prisoner, who was very drunk, left witness to go to bed. Prisoner went into a spare bedroom, and returned in a few minutes and asked witness to get her some water. On witness taking up the water about three minutes afterwards, she could not open the door on account of the weight against it. Witness then called prisoner's husband, and also sent a man named Paxton up.

The Talbot c1880

Witness went up and remained with prisoner till the doctor came, and she seemed sensible enough. When she left witness prisoner said she should go and hang herself because her husband had found a pint of bitter ale that she drew for herself

James Paxton, ostler at the Talbot Hotel, spoke to being called by last witness, and finding prisoner hanging to the bedroom door by a rope passed twice round her neck and fastened to peg behind the door. Her husband held her up, and witness unfastened the rope on the peg. She was not insensible, and the peg was not high enough to lift her off the ground. She was merely hanging back.

Mr G. W. Baker, assistant to Dr Byass. Cuckfield, deposed that he was called to see the prisoner, whom he found in a state of intoxication, and in a sort of hysterical condition. He found no marks on her neck, and she was not hurt in the least.

Prisoner expressed her sorrow for the attempt, which was made under the impulse of the moment.

After some friendly words of caution from the Chairman, the bench dismissed the case.


bottom of page