Date: 10 Feb 1921
Place: Aldenham Road, Bushey
Henrietta Weightman was found dead in an unfinished villa.
It was heard that she had said that she was pregnant by a certain man and that the man had promised to find someone to help her but that he had failed. The man said that he had not been with Henrietta Weightman on the evening before her death.
A doctor said that there was no indication of any irritant poison or attempted abortion.
Henrietta Weightman had been working for the previous 12 months at Croxby Mill as an examiner of paper. she had lived on Gladstone Road in Watford.
She was last seen alive on the Wednesday, 9 February 1921 after she had returned from work. she had then gone out in the evening dressed in a light fawn costume, and as far as it was known, had had money on her. she had remarked to her mother that she would be back in half an hour, but didn't come back.
Her father said that he had waited up for her until 10.30pm and then left the key on the doorstep for her. However, when he found the next morning that her bed had not been slept in he went to Croxley Mills to find out about her and see if she had been there. He said that the first he heard about her death was when a friend brought him a newspaper. he said that his wife then went to the police station and then came back and said, 'You had better go to Bushey Heath Police Station'.
The father said that he then went to the police station where he identified the body of his daughter in a shed. He said that he didn't know that Henrietta Weightman had had any men friends. He said that Henrietta Weightman had only stayed out all night once before and said that that had been during an air raid.
However, her mother said that she knew that Henrietta Weightman had several male friends and said that she knew of two letters that had been sent to her from two different men, but said that none of her male friends had come to the house. She said that she was not aware that Henrietta Weightman was in a certain condition.
Henrietta Weightman was found by a builder's labourer on the Thursday morning in the empty house where he had been working. He said that the evening before the doors had been fastened by wooden buttons but that on the Thursday morning he saw that one of the doors had been opened and that when he went in he saw Henrietta Weightman in the sitting room on some cement bags. He said that her hat was near but not on her head. He said that she was wearing a fur around her shoulders, and had her boots on but that her gloves were lying on by her left side. He said that a pair of corsets were lying near her and that her skirt and jacker were partly undone. He also noted that her boots were clean.
The builder's labourer said that when he came in he called out 'Are you going to get up today' but that he got no reply and so he whistled and that when he went over to her and touched her arm he began to suspect that she was dead and went out for the police. He said that as he was going, Henrietta Weightman's male friend from Bushey had arrived and he heard him ejaculate 'My God'. He said that the man returned later in the day and remarked to him 'Do you think it is her'.
A friend of Henrietta Weightman who worked at the same paper mill said that they had been to London several times together and that Henrietta Weightman had mentioned that she was in a certain way and that one of the men in London was responsible. She also noted that Henrietta Weightman also had a male friend in Bushey. She said that Henrietta Weightman told her that she had not told her mother and that a friend had promised to introduce her to somebody who could get her out of her difficulty and said that she had taken that to mena a doctor.
The friend said that she last saw Henrietta Weightman on the Thursday at 6.30pm and that he was meeting her male friend from Bushy. she said that Henrietta Weightman had said 'I must hurry, or I shall be late for my appointment'.
Henrietta Weightman's male friend from Bushey, who was married, said that he had first met Henrietta Weightman on a train from Euston after midnight. He said that she had entered conversation with him and not him with her. He said that the next time he saw her he was out walking with his wife and that he then saw her about ten days later and said that she told him that she would like him to take her out to dinner and that she told him that she was in trouble. He said that he took her out to dinner at the Norfolk Hotel in Paddington when she again referred to her trouble. He said that the next time he saw her was a week the previous Saturday and that he never saw her again. He said that she had told him that the person that had caused her trouble was a boy who worked on the films but had said that she didn't know his full name nor exactly where he had worked. The man then said that he had told Henrietta Weightman that he had met a man in Paddington that could carry out a certain operation and said that he later spoke to her of the man again but said the second time was fictitious and that he had noly said it to comfort her because he could see that she was much distressed. The man admitted to writing to Henrietta Weightman saying that he had arranged to met the man in Bushey Hall Road. however, he said that he had met her alone, the man not being there and said that Henrietta Weightman had been angry. He said that his meetings with Henrietta Weightman were known to his wife but noted that his wife did not know that Henrietta Weightman was in a certain condition.
At the inquest, the Coroner asked Henrietta Weightman's male friend from Bushey, 'if a witness states you met her on Wednesday evening, about 7.15, about 80 yards from this house, what would you say?' and the man replied, 'It is not a fact'.
A clerk with the L and NW Railway said that he knew Henrietta Weightman's male friend from Bushey and said that he had passed him coming from Bushey Station along the Aldenham Road at about 7.15pm on the night of 9 February 1921 about 80 or 100 yards from the villa where Henrietta Weightman's body was found and said that he had said 'Goodnight' to him.
Later, a domestic servant who was employed by a man on Aldenham Road said that Henrietta Weightman's male friend from Bushey had called at the house where she worked at about 8.30pm on the night of 9 February 1921.
A man that knew Henrietta Weightman's male friend from Bushey said that he had seen him on the morning of 9 Febraury 1921 but that he had not seen him that evening. However, he said that he saw him the following morning, 10 Febraury 1921 whilst on his bicycle when he had heard of the finding of the body from one of the workmen. He said that he later saw Henrietta Weightman's male friend from Bushey that evening at his house and that they discussed the Henrietta Weightman's death and he said that he tackled Henrietta Weightman's male friend from Bushey on the question and said that he asked him if he had seen Henrietta Weightman on the night of 9 February 1921 and said that Henrietta Weightman's male friend from Bushey said, 'I swear to God I did not see her'.
The man said that he continued to talk to Henrietta Weightman's male friend from Bushey about the matter and that Henrietta Weightman's male friend from Bushey had told him about meeting Henrietta Weightman on the train and about their subsequent meetings and said that he also said that they had made several other appointments but that he had not kept them as he had wanted to finish with her. He said that he again asked Henrietta Weightman's male friend from Bushey whether he had made any appointment with her on the evening of 9 February but said that Henrietta Weightman's male friend from Bushey denied it. He said that Henrietta Weightman's male friend from Bushey had told him that he had told Henrietta Weightman that he would produce the man that could help her but said that he had no intention of doing so.
A doctor said that there was no indication of poison or marks of violence, nor anything to indicate that any attempt at any operation had been made and that he was unable to state her cause of death.
The inquest heard that there was insufficient evidence to show how Henrietta Weightman came by her death and an open verdict was returned.
The Coroner noted that Henrietta Weightman's male friend from Bushey's evidence at the inquest was most unsatisfactory. He noted that Henrietta Weightman's male friend from Bushey's evidence regarding his movements on the night of 9 February 1921 was clearly in conflict with evidence from several other witnesses.
Henrietta Weightman was buried on 19 February 1921. There were dense crowds that lined the streets and the cemetery had to be closed against the crows until after the ceremony. After the ceremony there was a wild rush for the gates by the waiting crowds.
see Cornishman - Wednesday 16 February 1921
see Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Wednesday 16 February 1921
see Pall Mall Gazette - Thursday 03 March 1921
see Aberdeen Press and Journal - Saturday 12 February 1921
see Western Daily Press - Monday 21 February 1921