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Not Brentford

March News

The first two March news articles are from the Times Digital Archive, the final one has been extracted from the British Newspaper Archive, also available on findmypast. They are in date order and range from 1810 to 1896:

Notes follow some items: further research, useful links etc.

The Times Thursday 15 March 1810

In Saturday, two young men, of the names of
HARRIS and HAM, both inhabitants of Brentford, had
a dispute respecting a young woman, and fought on the
Butts. HARRIS provided victorious, and went home ap-
parently very little worse; but, in a short time after,
was taken very unwell; a doctor was sent for, who pro-
nounced him to be in a dangerous state, and on Sunday
morning he died of a bruise he received on his temple,
either from a blow or a fall. HAM has been apprehend-
ed in consequence, but is admitted to bail.

Tuesday morning, a boy entrusted with the care of a
boat, was unfortunately drowned at Brentford, owing to
a bank being flooded; in consequence of the late heavy
rains, and the flood from the river Brent.


Illustrated Police News Saturday 28 March 1896


On Saturday the funeral of a woman named Elizabeth Quickfall, took place at Ealing Cemetery in the presence of a large crowd, attracted apparently by the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death.

It appears that on Thursday week a lighterman, named Gardner, walking along the tow-path of the Grand Junction Canal at Brentford, during the early hours of the morning, discovered what at first though to be a bundle lying in a dark corner of the path at the end of Boar's Head Yard.

On examining it, however, he found it to be the dead body of a woman. She was poorly clad, and to all appearances was between thirty and thirty-five years of age. The police were summoned, and the corpse was removed to the mortuary

The following day th deceased woman was identified by her sister as Elizabeth Quickfall, married, of 82 Windmill Road, Brentford. She had been separated from her husband for some time past, and had given way to drink. Of late she had gained a precarious living among the barges on the canal.

The body having been deposited in the mortuary, nothing further occurred until the Saturday following the discovery, when the inquest was held. Dr. Dixon, who was called to the deceased, stated emphatically that he had found several wounds about the body, the spleen was ruptured, and the rupture was unquestionably cause by great violence. The injury could not have been caused by a fall. Dr., Bott, divisional surgeon, corroborated the testimony, and after three hours deliberation the jury returned a verdict that the deceased had been wilfully murdered by some person or persons unknown. Two men had been arrested on suspicion, but were subsequently liberated. The matter is now in the hands of the Scotland Yard authorities.


The death of Elizabeth Quickfall was registered in the first quarter of 1896, as would be expected, her age recorded as 35. Her burial took place on the 21st March and here her age was recorded as 34. She does not appear to have been a local woman, or at least she did not marry in the Brentford Registration District, as far as I can ascertain. There are two marriages in Middlesex of an Elizabeth to a Quickfall in the period 1880 to 1895 but both of these Elizabeths are found in the 1901 census.

Were her murderer(s) brought to justice by Scotland Yard? Sadly there is no evidence this was the case. After a flurry of newspaper reports in March there appear to be no references to Elizabeth later in the year, or subsequently (from searches of the British Newspaper Archive using Findmypast).

The lighterman named Gardner who found Elizabeth Quickfall may be part of one of the families of this name already noted on the website: search the home page for Gardner.

Published March 2013; updated March 2018