Lytham St.Annes Coat of Arms
Lytham St.Annes, Lancashire, England


The Preston Guardian, Saturday 14 October 1876.


On Monday, Mr. Gilbertson opened an inquest at the Talbot Inn Lytham, on the body of a female name unknown, who committed suicide by drowning. On Friday morning the 13th inst., a young woman who came to Lytham by the 10 o'clock train from Preston, with a single ticket, went on the pier about 11.30, where she remained until about 1.15. At that time she was seen by a lady named Miss Sharpe, of Ribble House, to get on to the seat about the middle length of the pier and deliberately drop right into the water. The shrieks from several ladies who saw her attracted the attention of several parties on the beach, including some fishermen, and also of the man in charge of the pier. The tide was up at the time, and the boats were riding out at anchor, so that nothing was done to rescue her, for before any person could have got to her she had sunk.

Later in the afternoon a black shawl, a skirt, and a purse containing 6s 5½d, with a small bunch of keys were found on the sands. Search was made for the body on Friday night, but without success, but on Saturday morning it was found by a fisherman named Thomas Eccles, of Common-side, Lytham, some four or five miles below the pier.

At the inquest, Miss Sharpe was the first witness called, and she deposed to seeing the deceased sitting on the pier when she and the young ladies of her school went on the pier about one o'clock on Friday. She stated that the deceased got up from her seat and fell down twice before she got on to the, seat and railing and threw herself into the water. As deceased fell she screamed, and looking into the water witness saw deceased hold her hand up. The attention of several fishermen on the beach was called to the woman, but did nothing to rescue her.

Thomas Eccles deposed to finding the body and Robert Casson stated that when on the pier about twelve o'clock he saw the deceased gazing into the water with a very dejected look-—P.S. E. Holding said deceased appeared to be about 35 years of age, and was 5ft. 2in. or 5ft. 3in. in height. —On account of the absence of evidence as to the state of mind of the unfortunate woman when she committed the rash act, the inquest was adjourned till today, Saturday. It has since been ascertained that the name of the woman is Mary Hoyle, and she lodges at 33, Lord-street Preston.

The Preston Guardian, Saturday 14 October 1876.