Thursday, September 22, 2011

Edith Agnes Bingham, Accused of Three Murders – England 1911



FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 3): London, September 28. – The inquest at Lancaster on the body of James Bingham, whose death was surrounded with mystery, was concluded a fortnight ago, when the Coroner’s jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against Edith Bingham, sister of the deceased, and she was committed tor trial.

James Bingham was keeper of Lancaster Castle. Evidence was given that the accused cooked and gave her brother a beef steak, dosed with arsenic. Within nine months James Bingham’s father and two sisters have died, and the symptoms of illness of the father and of one of the sisters were similar. After the death of James an order was given for the exhumation of the three bodies, which had been interred.

Traces of poison have now been discovered in the exhumed bodies of Edith Bingham’s father and one of her two sisters.

[“Alleged Murderess. - Relatives Poisoned. Sensational English Affair.” The Register (Adelaide, South Australia), Sep. 30, 1911, p. 16]

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FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 3): A sensation occurred at the Lancaster triple poisoning trial yesterday, when for the second time the accused woman collapsed in the dock.

She had swooned the day before. Yesterday, when a letter was read, wherein she complained that she was being made to take “a back place” in the household, the woman again fell to the floor. As gaoler and wardress reached her she broke into hysterical shouting, and, foaming at the mouth, was with difficulty carried below by doctor, gaoler, and wardress. Edith Agnes Bingham, aged thirty, is accused of the murder of three people by arsenic poisoning: —

William Hodgson Bingham, aged seventy-three, her father, in January last;

Margaret Bingham, aged forty-eight, her sister, in July; and

James Henry Bingmam, aged thirty-seven, her brother, in August.

The accused’s father was at the time of his death curator at Lancaster Castle. He was succeeded in this office by his son, James Henry Bingham. The charge against the woman was at first one of murdering her brother by administering arsenic, but after the bodies of her father and her sister had been exhumed and examined by order of the Home Office she was further charged with causing their deaths by the same means. She had acted as housekeeper to her brother.

The family is well known in Lancaster by reason of the office held by the dead father and brother.

The medical evidence and that of the accused’s lover were the principal statements heard yesterday.

[“Woman Accused Of Three Murders. Painful Scenes In Arsenic Trial Yesterday. Lover’s Testimony. Prisoner Twice Collapses In The Dock.” Lloyd’s Weekly News (London, England), Oct. 29, 1911, p. 4]

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FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 3): London, October 31. – Edith Agnes Bingham, charged with murdering her brother. James Bingham, who was the keeper at Lancaster Castle, by administering poison, was acquitted yesterday.

On August 12 James Bingham was taken suddenly ill while showing visitors over the castle, an hour after partaking of beef-steak, bread, and tea, prepared by the accused, the latter was declared to have been cook and housekeeper during the present year, when her father and elder sister died after a few days’ illness, the symptoms being in many respects similar to those developed by James Bingham before he died. In the circumstances Edith was arrested and tried, with the result now announced.

[“Lancaster Tragedy. - Edith Bingham Acquitted.” The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia), Nov. 1, 1911, p. 9]

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