Unsolved Murders

Abraham Naylor Cooper

Age: 52

Sex: male

Date: 13 Feb 1925

Place: Doncaster Road, Barnsley

Abraham Naylor Cooper died at a common lodging house.

He died from a fractured skull.

A man struck him in the kitchen but the Coroner said that there was not enough evidence to show how he suffered his injuries.

It was said that he was known to sleep on the top of lockers and that he might have rolled off.

Abraham Cooper had been in the kitchen on the Saturday night at about 11.15pm with about twenty men when a disturbance arose.

There had been four men from Baker Street looking for the man that was remanded for Abraham Cooper's death and one of his friends. Abraham Cooper was said to have said to the man, any one of these four could beat a dozen like you. Witnesses said that the man looked aggravated and hit out at Abraham Cooper hitting him on his jaw, causing him to then fall on his back, his head striking the floor.

The following morning at 6.45am a person saw Abraham Cooper lying on a bench unconscious and saw that there was blood coming from his left ear.

A miner said that he saw Abraham Cooper between 2am and 3am lying with his head under a locker and tried to rouse him but got no answer. He said that he notified the deputy who responded by saying 'What can I do?'. He said that he later saw Abraham Cooper at 6.30am lying on a form in the kitchen.

A policeman said that when he saw the man that was said to have hit Abraham Cooper and charged him with unlawful wounding he replied 'No, not me'.

When the deputy was questioned he said that he didn't think it was necessary to call a doctor.

Whilst the deputy was being questioned by the foreman the Coroner said 'If he answers many more questions, he will be making himself guilty of manslaughter by neglect'.

The deputy said that doctors would not come out to the lodging house during the night.

The Coroner then said that he had a curious way of carrying out his duties, even making allowances for the class of people that he dealt with.

A man that had been to a cup-tie said that he had missed the last train back and had gone to the lodging house. He said he saw Abraham Cooper and the man have some words and then saw the man strike Abraham Cooper in the mouth with his fist. He said that Abraham Cooper fell back onto the stone floor of the kitchen and that when he got up his nose was bleeding.

He said that Abraham Cooper walked into the far kitchen and that when he went there about three hours later a young man told him that an old man had fallen off of the lockers and when he looked he saw Abraham Cooper underneath one of the lockers apparently bleeding from the left ear.

The lockers were about 5.5ft. from the ground and about one yard wide at the top. When he was found he was lying face down by the side of a locker.

The Coroner said that there was no doubt that the man had knocked Abraham Cooper down and added that if it were not for the lapse of time between the blow being struck and him being found near the locker he would not have had the slightest hesitation in saying that it was a case of manslaughter.

The Coroner's jury said that the blow from the man was contributory to Abraham Cooper's death but they were not prepared to find a verdict of manslaughter and the Coroner said that that was hardly clear and said that it would make it manslaughter if they said that the blow from the man had contributed to Abraham Cooper's death and so they returned an open verdict.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Northern Whig - Friday 13 February 1925, p12

see Yorkshire Evening Post - Thursday 12 February 1925

see Yorkshire Evening Post - Tuesday 03 February 1925