Unsolved Murders

Jane Derbyshire

Age: 24

Sex: female

Date: 16 Jun 1919

Place: 15 Wilson Street, Clitheroe

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Jane Derbyshire died from an illegal operation on Sunday 15 June 1919.

Her mother said that she did not know that her daughter was courting. She said that she might have been out with a man but said she did not know that anything was wrong.

The mother said that five weeks earlier Jane Derbyshire became ill and was medically attended for three weeks but a week after getting ill she had got up and was about although she later took to her bed again.

On 3 June 1919 the doctor called again, and he attended Jane Derbyshire until she died on 16 June 1919 at 7.30am.

The mother said that she didn't know anything about her daughter's condition until 13 June 1919 when she questioned her in consequence of something that the doctor had told her.

The autopsy revealed that Jane Derbyshire had died from the result of an illegal operation.

Several instruments were found in Jane Derbyshire's room which were said to have belonged to a watchmaker who had lodged with her and whose tools he had kept in Jane Derbyshire's rooms in a drawer.

The doctors had advised the removal of Jane Derbyshire to the hospital, but the mother said that that had been after the operation on 14 June 1919 and said that she had objected because she didn't think that her daughter was fit to be removed.

The mother said that she didn't know that Jane Derbyshire had been previously ill in May 1918. She had also denied that she had known that Jane Derbyshire had signed a statement in December 1918 stating that she had been walking out with a man for 18 months and knew nothing about an illegal operation then and was not withholding material evidence.

A cement works labourer said that he had been on friendly terms with Jane Derbyshire for about two years but said that their relationship had never overstepped the bounds of friendship. However, he admitted having been to Blackpool with Jane Derbyshire on four occasions. He said that he could not help the police clear up the case because Jane Derbyshire had told him nothing at all.

A doctor said that the cause of death was septicaemia resulting from peritonitis attributed to the unsuccessful use of some fairly sharp instrument.

A juryman said that so far as he was concerned, he did not believe that the whole truth had been disclosed by the mother or the cement works labourer.


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


see Lancashire Evening Post - Wednesday 18 June 1919, p8