Unsolved Murders

Sampson Mellor

Age: 46

Sex: male

Date: 4 Oct 1910

Place: Longnor

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Sampson Mellor died from head injuries.

He had come home at 11.45pm on 22 May 1910 covered with blood and had told his wife that they had done for him this time. He had three or four cuts on his head. It was thought that he had been out poaching and had got mixed up in an affray.

He later became ill and had fits and was attended by several doctors. He was later taken to the hospital where he died on 4 October 1910.

At his post-mortem he was found to have had a tumour or cyst in his brain and it was sent away for microscopical examination. When the clinical report on the tumour was returned on 3 November 1910 it stated that it was about two inches in circumference and consisted of four layers:

  1. A layer of normal brain substance.
  2. A fibrous brain layer with numerous blood vessels.
  3. A layer of small round cells showing evidence of necrosis.
  4. A layer of necrosed tissue, which had probably been present for some time.

It was noted that the post-mortem found no marks on the top of his head. The tumour itself was in the brain and had a thick leathery coating.

The doctor said that the blows to his head might have caused a previously existing tumour to grow more rapidly than it might have done ordinarily. He also said that the injuries might have set up the development of the tumour.

At the inquest medical experts detailed the evidence noting that there were no fractures to the skull. However, it was stated that a tremendous blow could be made to the head and that no injury could be found on the outside or inside but that a person could as a result die from concussion. It was noted that the tumour was not a blood clot and one doctor said that it he didn't think that a blow to the head would have caused it although he added that he had not seen it. It was also noted that growths of that type could be found all over the body, but that the tumour in question was near to the seat of the injury to his head.

An open verdict was returned. The jury said 'That Sampson Mellor on October 20th died from a tumour on the brain, but there is not sufficient evidence to satisfy us whether the fatal result was accelerated by injury or was due to disease'.

Sampson Mellor was a pig butcher.


see Buxton Advertiser - Saturday 26 November 1910