Unsolved Murders

Annie Pickering

Age: 34

Sex: female

Date: 26 Mar 1903

Place: Manor Farm, Malpas, Cheshire

Annie Pickering was found shot dead in her bed.

An open verdict was returned at her inquest.

She was the wife of a farmer and they lived at Manor Farm in Malpas.

Annie Pickering was found dead in bed on the morning of Thursday 26 March 1903 with a portion of her head blown away and her husbands double-barrelled gun lying alongside her. She was found by the mother's help, her body partly covered by the blankets with the shotgun at right angles to her body.

It was supposed that she had got up in the night and gone downstairs to the kitchen where the gun was hanging on the wall and taken it down and got some cartridges from a cupboard in the same room.

At her inquest her husband said that on the night of her death that he had slept in the other room at her request. He said that she had been suffering severely from neuralgia and had asked him to either take the gun and shoot her or knock her on the head with an axe.

He added that she had threatened to take her life several times.

A mother's help that lived with them at the farm said that on the night of her death that Annie Pickering had brought her child to her bed during the night saying that it was restless.

She said that Annie Pickering and her husband had lived comfortably together.

A servant said that Annie Pickering had said to her children, 'Mamma's going to the buryhole'.

A doctor that described the nature of the wounds to Annie Pickering said that Annie Pickering could have fired the gun in the position in which she was found, stating that it was possible but not probable.

Another doctor said that it was possible.

After hearing the evidence the jury returned a verdict that Annie Pickering died from a gunshot wound, adding that 'there is not sufficient evidence to prove that it was self-inflicted, and therefore the jury return an open verdict'.

Annie Pickering was described as a first-rate dairy woman and had been highly respected in the neighbourhood.

Her funeral took place on the afternoon of Saturday 28 March 1903 at Malpas Cemetery.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Evesham Standard & West Midland Observer - Saturday 11 April 1903

see Northwich Guardian - Wednesday 01 April 1903