Unsolved Murders

Henry Foster

Age: 23

Sex: male

Date: 20 Oct 1906

Place: Bowling Green Inn, Abram, Leigh

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Henry Foster died from meningitis arising from erysipelas that appeared to have taken arise from some injury to the head received during a row.

He had lived at 16 Boat Street in Leigh.

It was said that he had been involved in something in the nature of a row on Sunday 14 October 1906, but it was not clear whether he had got injured in the scramble or whether someone had used unlawful violence against him.

At the inquest, Henry Foster's brother said that they had been at a pastry feast at the Bowling Green Inn in Abram on the Saturday 13 October 1906. It was noted that a pastry feast was an event where pastries made of meat, pork, fowls and rabbits with a crust put round were sold at prices varying from 4d to 10s and where people had to buy and eat them on the premises.

Henry Foster's brother said that they had some drink, but that he went home at about 10pm and didn't see Henry Foster until the next morning when he awoke to find him sleeping with him. He said that his brother then had two bruises which were swollen on his head over his right ear and that his jacket was marked with blood. He said that Henry Foster told him that a man had hit him on the back of the head with a clog or something of that kind. He said that Henry Foster commenced to be ill on the Tuesday night and that they sent for the doctor on the Thursday night.

When the police arrived, they were told that Henry Foster had told his mother that he had received his injuries by falling down, and it was noted that Henry Foster's brother did not tell them that Henry Foster had told him that he had been struck by a man with a clog.

A doctor in Leigh said that when he saw Henry Foster on Friday 19 October 1906, he found him to be suffering from erysipelas on the right side of his face.

He said that when he carried out Henry Foster's post mortem on the Sunday 21 October 1906 at the mortuary he found a small abrasion on the right side of his head above the right ear and about half an inch in diameter, but noted that there was no wound there. He noted that there was another abrasion of a similar character above the prominence at the back of his head and also a wound about half an inch in diameter.

He said that Henry Foster died from meningitis arising from erysipelas and that he was of the opinion that the erysipelas had arisen from the wound to the back of his head.

The police inspector at the inquest said that the wound could have been caused by either a fall or a blow.

A man that had lived in Howarth Street in Abram said that he had been to the pastry feast on the Saturday and had heard a row outside and that when he looked he saw about seven or eight people outside and Henry Foster quarrelling with another man and that they were both down on the ground. He said that he didn't see a certain woman hit Henry Foster when he was looking. He said that he then got hold of Henry Foster and pulled him away and took him home about 200 yards away. He said that it was dark and that he didn't notice whether Henry Foster had been bleeding at the back of the head.

Another of Henry Foster's brothers said that he had been at a man's house at 17 Howard Street in Abram and said that Henry Foster and another man had began talking about wrestling and that Henry Foster had then got him and fallen in the house.

It was heard at the inquest that Henry Foster's other brother had given a statement saying that he had taken Henry Foster home and that on the way Henry Foster had fallen. The police inspector that took the statement said that rumours that another woman had struck Henry Foster were false.

An open verdict was returned stating that Henry Foster had died from meningitis arising from erysipelas caused by a wound at the back of his head.


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


see Leigh Chronicle and Weekly District Advertiser - Friday 02 November 1906