Unsolved Murders

Mary Ann Elliott

Age: unknown

Sex: female

Date: 26 Nov 1900

Place: Stancliffe Lake, Matlock

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Mary Elliott was last seen walking back from a night out drinking with her husband on 27 October 1900.

A policeman saw them walking along the street and quarrelling and later saw Mary Elliott standing by a lamp post counting out some money while her husband walked off.

She was found 27 days later in an ornamental pond that was 3 feet 6 inches deep. By the side of the lake they found a man’s bowler hat but no name was found on it.

The coroner said that she had a bruise to her forehead that was caused immediately before she died and that he found a leaf in her stomach and weed in her mouth indicating that she was alive when she went into the pond. The cause of death was given as asphyxia due to drowning.

The coroner also said that Mary Elliott and her husband were on very bad terms and that the husband was last seen at 10pm but didn’t get home until 1am.

Mary Elliott lived in Beeley in lodgings with her husband as well as her sister.

Mary Elliott and her husband had gone out at about 5pm intending to go to Bonsall to see the husband’s stepmother and father and had taken three fowls with them. Mary Elliott didn't return while her husband got home after midnight.

In court Mrs Elliott's sister said that Mary Elliott and her husband had constantly quarrelled and that she had seen him hit her twice and that on 10 October she had seen him knock her to the floor. She also added that she had never heard Mary Elliott speak of committing suicide.

They had been seen in the Square and Compasses Inn in Darley Bridge that night and the landlord said that they were there for about two hours. the landlord said that Mary Elliott had waited outside the inn while her husband was inside that that while there he had sold the fowls. He also said that he later saw Mary Elliott come into the inn in a friendly manner and poke her husband with a stick and ask him if he was ready to go.

A policeman said that he noticed Mary Elliott outside the Square and Compasses Inn and said that she was intoxicated then. The policeman said that he then went inside and told her husband that he had better take his wife in hand because she was drunk and they then left together. He said that they went along the road towards Churchtown and when they were near the railway crossing he said that Mary Elliott was counting some money and that she didn’t walk alongside her husband. The policeman then said that they started walking towards the Grouse Hotel and he told the husband that that was not his way home. He then said that they had words with each other and then the husband went off towards Rowsley while Mary Elliott stood at the corner of the road leading up towards Stancliffe.

The next that was seen of Mary Elliott was when a workman from Stancliffe quarries found her body in the pond 27 days later.


*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.


see Sheffield Independent - Monday 26 November 1900

see Gloucester Citizen - Monday 26 November 1900