Unsolved Murders

Thomas Harvey

Age: 58

Sex: male

Date: 3 Sep 1902

Place: River Mole, Cobham, Surrey

Thomas Harvey was found dead near the bank of the River Mole, face downwards, in six inches of water. on Wednesday 3 September 1902.

He was a stableman. He was also referred to as Parker.

He was found by a young fellow of Street Cobham as he was on his way to work in the early morning.

He said that by chance he looked over the side of Paine's Hill Bridge into the River Mole and saw the body. The body was then taken to the King's Arms where it was identified as being that of Thomas Harvey, a stableman of Oatlands Park.

His wife later identified his body but said that he had not lived with her for five years and that since he left home he had been an inmate of Chertsey Workhouse. However, she said that she last saw him between 9pm and 10pm on the Saturday evening at which time he was staying with her daughter and seemed to be in good spirits.

The fellow that found Thomas Harvey's body said that he had been going to work as usual at about 5.45am and that as he passed Paine's Hill Bridge that he looked over and saw Thomas Harvey lying in the water on the side of the river towards the Tumbling Bay. He said that the body was about two yards from the edge and face downwards in the water which hardly covered him. He noted that Thomas Harvey was fully dressed.

Thomas Harvey's daughter who lived in Weybridge said that Thomas Harvey had come from her mother's about two weeks earlier and had been staying with her. She said that he suffered from a bad leg and was too ill to work. However, she said that she could not afford to keep him and that Thomas Harvey had told her that he was going to go to Croydon Union, meaning to go from Weybridge to Clapham and had 2s 4d on him when he went.

She noted that she had not pressed Thomas Harvey to leave and said that he had been in very good spirits when he had left and that there was nothing in his manner to suggest that he meant to do away with himself.

She noted that his leg was very painful at times and was a wound of long standing. She said that when he had worked that he had been a stableman.

The landlord at the King's Arms said that he saw Thomas Harvey alive at about 5pm on the Tuesday afternoon. He said that he was in his house for about two minutes and had half a pint of beer and that he returned about 30 minutes later and had another half pint of beer.  He said that when Thomas Harvey left he was perfectly sober and that that was the last that he saw of him.

A policeman that came out to see the body after it was found said that he found Thomas Harvey lying face downwards in the water and that he was to all appearances dead.

He said that when he examined the body that he found no marks of violence whatever and that in his pockets he found a pair of spectacles, a pocket knife and a half-penny as well as an order of admittance to Epsom Workhouse dated 2 September 1902. The policeman said that he had ascertained that the order was issued at Epsom Workhouse and that it showed that Thomas Harvey had been there the previous day.

He said that he found footprints on the river bank which looked as though Thomas Harvey, or some person had walked direct to where Thomas Harvey was found lying, noting that the water where he was found was about six or seven inches deep and that there was no mud at that spot.

When the Coroner summed up he said that there were no marks on his body and that there was no evidence to suggest anything but accidental death. He noted that the question arose as to why Thomas Harvey meant to go to the Croydon Union instead of the Chertsey Union where he had formerly been an inmate but that instead of going to Croydon he went to Epsom and that instead of going to the Union when he got the order he went back to Cobham.

The Coroner then said that the only evidence they had before them was that Thomas Harvey had been found drowned and the jury returned that verdict.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Sheffield Evening Telegraph - Saturday 06 September 1902

see West Surrey Times - Friday 05 September 1902