Unsolved Murders

Mary Ann Palgrave

Age: 65

Sex: female

Date: 1 Dec 1921

Place: Selby

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Mary Ann Palgrave died from head injuries.

She was found at home on 21 November 1921 with head injuries and died on 1 December 1921 in Selby Cottage Hospital.

She was last seen by a 14 year old girl who remembered seeing her on the Monday afternoon 21 November 1921 at 2.30pm and said that she helped her to mix some pigmeal near an outhouse and then later saw her sitting on her doorstep at 3.30pm. she said that she didn't see anyone else about near the house or road.

Later a railway clerk said that Mary Palgrave's husband called at the station at 5.55pm and asked for the loan of a stretcher to take his wife to the hospital. He said that he went back to their house where he saw Mary Palgrave lying on the floor bleeding like a stuck pig.

7 wounds were found on the left side of her head and 1 on her ear, 2 of which were depressed. The doctor stated that he thought they had been caused by a sharp instrument and not self inflicted. The doctor who had also been called out when Mary Palgrave was first found said that he thought the injuries had been caused within an hour and a half of him seeing her.

Death was stated to have been compression of the brain caused by a fractured skull.

When her husband had gone for the police he had said 'Constable, will you come and help to convey my wife to the hospital, she has fallen downstairs'. However, after it was found that she had 7 wounds to her head that could not have been caused by a fall and that there was no blood on the stairs the police examined the house and found an 18 inch long hinge in the fireplace with 4 inches of it sticking out.

The husband said that the hinge was sometimes placed across the fire for the purpose of resting a pot on it and was also used as a poker.

Mary Palgrave's husband was a member of the Selby Poor Law Guardians.

Mary Palgrave had been insured for £15. Mary Palgrave and her husband were said to be happy together.


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


see Western Daily Press - Wednesday 21 December 1921

see The Scotsman - Wednesday 21 December 1921

see Hull Daily Mail - Tuesday 20 December 1921

see Lancashire Evening Post - Monday 05 December 1921

see Hull Daily Mail - Wednesday 21 December 1921

see "Unsolved Murders." Times [London, England] 28 Dec. 1922: 3. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 4 Mar. 2013.