Date: 20 Oct 1907
Frederick Charles Edwards died after drinking an alcoholic solution of opium.
His wife said that he had got up in the night saying that he felt queer and went downstairs for a glass of water. she said that she went downstairs too and saw him sitting down with a glass of water in his hand. she said the he then went back upstairs but started snoring loudly and when she found she was unable to wake him up she called for the doctor.
She said she later found a bottle and a glass in the scuttle. A chemist said that the bottle had contained an alcoholic solution of opium.
She also denied that she liked the barber more than her husband.
The Coroner's jury heard that in the early hours of 21 September 1907 the wife went to the barber's lodgings at the Alma Inn. They heard that she told him that her husband had been taken seriously ill and that she had sent for a doctor and borrowed a sheet saying that her husbands was so dirty.
The barber said that he had been with Frederick Edwards's wife on the 20 September 1907 between 4pm and 9.45pm. She said that they had gone out for a walk and that there was no secret about that and that they usually did that.
At Frederick Edwards's funeral a large crowd assembled outside her house and when she appeared she was hooted, and all the roads converging on the cemetery were thronged. Threats against her were heard on all sides to 'tear off the woman's weeds'. As Frederick Edwards's wife left the coach at the cemetery she was groaned at. She had to be escorted to and from the grave by seven police officers, three on either side and one in front. When she got to the grave the hooting and hissing redoubled and shouts of 'Shove her in the grave' were heard. As she returned to her coach her mourning hat and weeds were snatched from her head although a policeman recovered her hat. The crowd then followed her coach back home hooting at it.
The Coroner advised the Coroner's jury not to be influenced by the feeling exhibited at the funeral when coming to their verdict.
An open verdict was returned.
see Chelmsford Chronicle - Friday 01 November 1907