Unsolved Murders

Anne Todd

Age: 78

Sex: female

Date: 1 Feb 1901

Place: Hallgate, Cottingham, Hull

Source: www.truecrimelibrary.com

Anne Todd was attacked in her home on 25 February 1900 but survived until 1 February 1901 when she died from her injuries.

Anne Todd was described as an eccentric old lady and lived alone. She was found unconscious in her home on 25 February 1900 suffering from a serious injury to her head.

She said that a man and a woman came to her house and the man said, 'I'm going to do for you', to which she had replied, 'You had better not', but that that was all she could remember.

It was thought that she had been hit with a blunt instrument such as the poker that was found in her room.

After her assault she did gradually recover and was able to get about, walking up to 3/4 of a mile, and continued to live in Cottingham but went to live with her brother-in-law, a cycle dealer, on Anlaby Road in Hull on 23 November 1900 but was taken ill on 5 December 1900 and died on 1 February 1901, a Friday. It was noted that during the summer she was in a semi-imbecile condition and was continually laughing.

She was found by her doctor who had been seeing her for thirteen years in the back room of her house which was on the main street. She was unconscious and her face and neck were all bruises and very much swollen and her eyes were closed and swelling with a huge swelling at the back of her head. There was a fracture to the right of her head and an indication that the fracture extended to the left ear. The doctor also noted that a drawer in the south room had been pulled out and the contents scattered. It was thought that the wounds were about twelve hours old and that she had been assaulted the night before.

A doctor later stated that death was due to cerebral failure due to malnutrition and an inability to take food, in other words, she died of natural causes accelerated by her injuries.

Her brother-in-law said that she was quite independent and was in the habit of banking her money and not keeping much in the house.

A school attendant who lived opposite Anne Todd said that on the day she was found he noticed that her curtain was down and there was no smoke coming from the chimney which he said was very unusual. He said that he then asked his wife to go over and see and said that she found the house all locked up and when she went round the back way she found Anne Todd lying in the corner of her kitchen. She went over and picked her up and noted that there was a lamp burning at the time. She also noticed that the house had been ransacked and that several drawers and cupboards were open. She said there was also a pool of blood in the middle of the room and saw her artificial teeth on the floor.

The police examined the house and found it ransacked with broken pots strewn about. They also found a purse in a drawer that contained £8 10s in gold and 25s in silver wrapped up in paper. The police said that it could not have been a robbery as there was plenty to get and apparently nothing taken. They said that a singular part of the case was that pots and vases were all broken but all of the silver and valuables were untouched.

The Coroner's inquest stated that her brain never regained its normal condition and a verdict of wilful murder against some persons or person unknown was returned.


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


see Hull Daily Mail - Tuesday 27 February 1900

see Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 09 February 1901

see Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Wednesday 06 February 1901

see Hull Daily Mail - Tuesday 05 February 1901

see Hull Daily Mail - Wednesday 06 February 1901