Ipswich Journal 8th Nov 1884

Sudden death – An inquest was held at The Fox and Goose Inn on Monday morning, before C W Chaston Esq upon the body of Jonathan Carter, agricultural labourer, aged 77 years.  Harriet Corbyn stated that the deceased, who was her brother, had lived with her and her husband for the last four years; he had had fair health and the witness had not heard him complain.  He left home about nine a.m. on Saturday to be shaved, which was the last time the witness saw him alive.  Several of the family had died of heart disease.  The deceased had not for a long time been attended by a medical man.  Harriet King, widow, said that as she was walking through the churchyard on Saturday morning, about 10 o’clock, she noticed someone lying on the path, and on going up found it was the deceased.  She spoke to him, but receiving no answer she went at once for assistance.  John Edwards, baker, said that in consequence of what the last witness said to him on Saturday, he went into the churchyard and found the deceased lying as described.  He breathed twice, and almost immediately afterwards, expired.  Dr Anderson stated that he had made an external examination of the body, and found no marks of violence.  Judging from his experience and from the evidence given, he was of the opinion that death was caused by a sudden failure of the heart’s action and returned a verdict accordingly.
This inquest report and others inspired the plot of The Fressingfield Witch The Prologue describes Jonathan Carter’s journey through the churchyard.  He is heading towards the cottages in the photograph but never reaches them. Jonathan is found on the pathway as described in the inquest, but he is not alone.  Something terrifying has been placed beside him…
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