Personal information about Emma Hill

Below is all the information we have about Emma Hill. As far as we know, the information is correct. However, if you find any errors or have additional information, certificates or pictures, please contact us so that we can update this page. Thank you.

Burial Information

Name on burial register:
   Emma Hill
Burial register image
Click image to enlarge
Age at death:
Date of burial:
   16 January 1900
Abode at death:
(according to burial register)
Burial register information:
Book number: 1899
Page number: 006
Record number: 7245
Official at burial:
   J A Thomas
Source of information:
  Burial Register
* This entry is awaiting verification.

Memorial Details

No memorial information available at this time.



Obituaries and Newspaper announcements

Emma Hill
Article source:    Newbury Weekly News
Date of source:    18 January 1900
Copyright:    © Newbury Weekly News






A sad case of death occurred at Newbury on Friday morning. Mrs. Emma Hill, who for some years has kept a small sweetshop at No.76, Northbrook-street, had suffered from sleeplessness, but otherwise had not complained of anything the matter with her health. On Friday morning a young man lodging with her went home to breakfast, but finding no breakfast ready, went upstairs to rouse his landlady. The bedroom door was locked, and hearing a moaning he went for a neighbour. They burst the door open and found the poor woman in dying condition. The nearest medical man was Dr. Watson, and he came at once in response to a request, but could render no help. The woman died shortly afterwards. The circumstances were peculiar. On a table by the bedside was a bottle containing laudanum, and also a tumbler with a quantity of the same liquid. A post-mortem examination proved that death was undoubtedly the result of poisoning from a narcotic. The bottle bore the address of W. Gee Taylor, chemist, of Hungerford, who is a brother of the deceased, but he positively stated that he had never supplied his sister with laudanum. It was an old bottle, and probably she had become possessed of it when her father, the late Mr. C. Gee Taylor, died, some ten years ago. This was accepted as being most likely, and that suffering from sleeplessness, she had inadvertently taking a dose of the opiate, which by reason of being kept so long, had increased its power tenfold. There was no suggestion of suicide, but rather of inadvertence.

The Inquest

An inquest was held on Friday night in the Lecture Hall, by Dr. Watson, J.P., and a jury of whom Mr. J. Wigmore was foreman.

Mr. William Gee Taylor, chemist, of Hungerford, identified the deceased as his sister. He had not seen her for probably nine months, but had had occasional correspondence with her. He received a telegram that morning saying his sister was dying, and he came to Newbury directly.

Edmund Charles Stevens, cycle mechanic, working for Mr. Stradling, and had lodged with the deceased for three and a half years, said about a quarter to ten on Thursday night he went to bed, leaving the deceased in the sitting-room. She seemed in her usual spirits, and had not complained of illness. On Friday morning at 8.30 there was no breakfast ready for him, and he knocked at her door. As there was no answer he knocked again. Hearing a moaning he fetched Mrs. Pike, a neighbour, and they burst open the door. They found deceased lying in bed, speechless and only just alive. He was not aware that she was in the habit of taking medicine.

By the Foreman – The bedroom was locked on the inside.

The Coroner said witness fetched him, and on going he found deceased almost at her last, and she died just afterwards.



Mary Pyke, wife of James Pyke, living at 1, Milton-place, said at nine o’clock the last witness came for her, as Mrs. Hill was making a moaning noise, and he could not get in the bedroom. She went with him and found the door locked. They wrenched it open, and found deceased unconscious, and breathing faintly. She went for Dr. Watson, and he came at once. He said she was dying, and witness stayed with her till the end. She knew nothing of deceased’s health, not having seen her for six weeks. Deceased was always very cheerful. She found a bottle on the table labelled “Laudanum – Poison, “ and upon it the address of Mr. Taylor, chemist, Hungerford. Beside the bottle was a tumbler, which contained nearly a tea-spoonful of dark liquid, which Dr. Watson said was laudanum. She was not aware that deceased had been in the habit of taking laudanum.

The Coroner said deceased was suffering from poisoning from a narcotic. Perhaps Mr. Taylor could explain how deceased came into possession of the laudanum.

Mr. Taylor said he had never in his life served his sister with laudanum. The only way he could account for it was that it was an old bottle which might have been supplied to his late father, the late Mr. C. Gee Taylor, for the purpose of making a liniment. His father had now been dead ten years. His sister must have taken it from his house.

The Coroner said it was evident the laudanum had been in the bottle for a number of years, as it was now dark and thick, whereas the natural colour was that of sherry.

Mr. Hickman agreed with the Coroner that the laudanum had been in the bottle for years.

Mr. Taylor said had he been asked to supply his sister with laudanum he should have been suspicious. It was altogether inexplicable. He knew that she had suffered from neuralgic pains and she might have used it for this purpose.

Mr. Richard Hickman, surgeon, said by order of the Coroner he had made a post-mortem examination. There were no external marks, and most of the organs of the body were healthy. In the stomach there was about half-a-pint of brownish fluid, most unmistakeably laudanum. The pupils of the eyes were very contracted, as is usual in cases of death from a narcotic. He concluded that it was an undoubted case of opium poisoning. There must have been a great quantity swallowed, from the strong smell, and thought she had probably taken it neat.

Mr. Frank Belben, clerk at the Albert Joinery Works, said he had known the deceased for more than three years. She was intimate friend of his wife. Lately she had complained very much of sleeplessness, and for the last six months she had spent most of the nights reading. She had told his wife that she was very ill from want of sleep, and on Wednesday last she said she was very much tempted to take cholorodyne. Witness’s wife dissuaded her from it. Deceased said she had some narcotics in the house, and would certainly try it and get some relief.

The Coroner said although he ran in when called, it was as a neighbour, and considered an inquest absolutely necessary. For some reason or other, which none of them could tell, deceased had taken an overdose of laudanum, which was very strong.

Mr. Taylor said that from the evaporation and concentration the laudanum was really ten times as strong as it would be in the usual form.


The Coroner said no doubt there would be enough to kill several persons. The spirit had evaporated, leaving the opium in a concentrated form. No doubt it was a fatal over-dose, and the jury might put aside any intention of suicide, of which there was no suggestion whatever in the evidence or the history of the deceased.

The jury returned a verdict “Deceased died from an over-dose of laudanum, self-administered.”

Newbury Weekly News 18 January 1900

No Mrs. P. Code.       Buried 16 January 1900 aged 60.

This obituary entry is awaiting verification.

Biographies & History

Related Links



*The FNRC believe that the certificates published on this page have been added in compliance with the rules laid down by the General Register Office (GRO).Click here for more information.
If you believe that we may have inadvertently breached the privacy of a living person by publishing any document, pleasecontact usso we can immediately remove the certificate and investigate further.
Thank you

Website designed and maintained by Paul Thompson on behalf of the Friends of Newtown Road Cemetery.

Administrator Login