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Attempted Murder!

23rd April 1920

A tragic occurrence, it is reported, happened in a cottage off Victoria Street, Cinderford, at about 10 p.m. on Sunday which had its sequel at an occasional Police Court sitting at the Police Station at noon on Monday, when Annie Burgham (48) was charged with the attempted murder of Thomas Burgham her husband, a labourer. Mr Joseph Hale was the magistrate in attendance. Giving evidence, Inspector Wayman, said that, acting on information received, he went to the house at about 11.40 o'clock on Sunday night. He found the man Burgham in the kitchen with a severe gash across the back of his neck, three or four inches long and penetrating to the bone. A doctor was summoned and the man was promptly removed in a weak condition to the General Infirmary, Gloucester. Wayman considered the evidence sufficient to charge the prisoner with attempted murder, and he took her into custody. He asked that a remand be granted till Monday, 26th inst.

The chairman, addressing the prisoner, said that it was his painful duty to remand her in custody for a week. The charge was a most serious one. Inspector Wayman said he had been advised by Superintendent Honeybone not to accept bail in the case. Bail was accordingly not allowed. The prisoner appeared in Court with bruised and blacked features, while blood-stains were visible on her hair and clothes. The facts of the unfortunate happening will, of course, be detailed when the case is fully gone into. The injury was such that, though there was considerable loss of blood through the wound on the neck, neither of the main arteries were severed, and it was anticipated that he would recover. Burgham had been well known as a colliery blacksmith. He had been employed at the Lydney and Crump Meadow Colliery at the Bilson Yard during the past few weeks, but otherwise had, it is said, been out of work for some months. He had an idea he was suffering from a complaint, but the doctors said it was unfounded. This seems also to have worried the wife.

On Sunday night the husband was sitting in his chair, reading a paper when it is alleged she went behind him and drew a razor across the back of his neck. A struggle ensued, in which blood flowed freely and the man eventually obtained possession of the razor and threw it into a tub. Several neighbours heard the noise and went to the house taking all possible steps suggesting themselves under the tragic circumstances of the moment. The clothes of the husband and wife were covered with blood marks and blood was also about the room and in the garden. The police were sent for and PC James was promptly in attendance, arriving at the house at about 10.30. The inspector was at the time off duty, but he hurried to the scene as soon as he could be acquainted of the occurrence, and took the action referred to in the evidence given above. We understand there are several children. On enquiry on Thursday morning we were informed that Thomas Burgham was progressing favourably and there was every hope of his recovery.

April 30th 1920

Annie Burgham, who was remanded in custody to Cardiff jail on April 19th, on a charge of having attempted to murder her husband, Thomas Burgham on the previous Sunday night should have been brought before the Bench on Monday last, but her condition was such that it was deemed unwise that she should attend. She is at present in Cardiff Infirmary in a bad state, suffering from injuries received on the night of the alleged attack by her on her husband. The latter, who lies in Gloucester Infirmary, is progressing favourably, although he is still in a weak state suffering from a loss of blood as a result of being severely gashed on the back of the neck with a razor. In addition to severe cuts, Mrs Burgham also has bruises and abrasions on her shins, face and arms. She is remanded till next Monday.

May 7th 1920

Cinderford Tragedy. Hannah Burgham, who stands charged with attempted murder of her husband, Thomas Burgham, on the night of Sunday, April 18th, appeared again before Mr Joseph Hale at an occasional court at Cinderford on Monday. Since the day after the alleged occurrence, the prisoner had been in Cardiff Infirmary suffering from cuts and abrasions. It will be remembered that she was too ill to be brought to Cinderford on the previous Monday, but she now said herself that she was much improved.

A naturally delicate woman, the prisoner seemed to be suffering much from nervousness. She was accompanied to Cinderford by two wardresses. Inspector Wayman asked that the prisoner be further remanded till Friday May 7th, when he said the case would be fully gone into. He added that Mr Thomas Burgham was considerably improved. In making the remand, Mr Hale said that Mr Thomas Burgham had approached him that morning, asking if he could go to work. He (Mr Hale) advised him not to do so, seeing that he was but convalescent. It would be hard for him to work after such suffering. The accused was accordingly taken to Littledean gaol.

(The picture below of Littledean Jail was taken in 2018)