|An inquest was held on Wednesday at the Crown and Anchor Inn, Wellingborough, by Mr. J. T. Parker, on the body of John Thomas Holman, of Higham Ferrers, whose body was found floating in the river Nene on Monday night by a platelayer named Clark. Mr. John Green acted as foreman of the jury.
Mrs. Holman was the first witness called and deposed that the body was that of her husband John Thos. Holman, aged 33, a currier's labourer of Higham Ferrers. She last saw him alive on Feb. 18th. He left home that morning to come to Wellingboro', to work for a week at Mr. Watkin's. She did not hear of him, and on making enquiries of Mr. Watkin she found that he had not been there. She also wrote to the office at Northampton, whence he received a pension, but they had heard nothing of him. She had not informed the police, as she thought perhaps he had gone elsewhere to seek work. He was not in pecuniary difficulties, and had never threatened suicide. He was on good terms with witness.
William Clark, of 13, St. John-street, Wellingborough, who is a platelayer on the Midland Railway, deposed to being at work on Monday evening near the Viaducts, and on going down the bank, near the river, he saw a, body floating down the river. He called his mates, who got it out, and he went for the police. In answer to a question, witness said if a man had fallen off the plank bridge near Chester House he might have floated out of the backwater into the Nene if there was sufficient water.
P.C. Swingler deposed that he was fetched by the last witness to the river, and found deceased's body on the bank, having apparently just been got out. He searched the body and found 10d. in money, a pawn ticket, and other articles. He found that the ticket related to a jacket pawned at Messsrs. Shaw and Prattley's on the morning of Feb. 18th. His clothes were not torn nor unbuttoned.
Dr L F Walker deposed to examining the body on Monday, and stated that he found no marks of violence on the body. The appearance was consistent with death from drowning. Rats had eaten part of one of his hands.
As there was no evidence to show how witness came into the water, the jury returned a verdict of "Found drowned." Several jurymen expressed their indignation at the bad condition of the plank bridge at Chester House.