Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Suicide At Seghill

Sarah Barrass was born on 28 May 1798 at Shiremoor, Northumberland, and was baptised on 24 June at Christ Church, Tynemouth. She was the daughter of Alexander Barrass and Sarah Hempseed

Sarah's elder brother Robert was my 4x Great Grandfather.


An extract from Sarah's baptism.
From the Durham Bishop's Transcripts. 
On 30 January 1819 at Gosforth, Sarah Barrass married a man named Martin Morgan. Robert Barrass and Elizabeth Maughan, my not-yet married 4x Great Grandparents were the witnesses to the union. 


The marriage of Martin Morgan and Sarah Barrass.
From the Durham Bishop's Transcripts.
From Gosforth the Morgan family went to Longbenton, along with Sarah's family, and from there they went to Seghill. Together the couple had five children; Martin, Sarah, Alexander, Elizabeth and a second Elizabeth, after the first sadly died in infancy. 

When their third child, Alexander was around the age of 30, he married a lady named Elizabeth Fish. Together Alex. and Elizabeth had at least five children. 

When Alexander was about 63 in 1887 he was seriously injured at Seghill Colliery, after a fall of stone in the pit. 


Published in the Morpeth Herald, 11 June 1887.

Five years after the accident, Alexander's name appeared in the Morpeth Herald again. This time, for a much more tragic reason. 



"On Wednesday, before Mr. J. R. D. Lynn, Coroner, an inquest was held at the Blake Arms Inn, Seghill, touching the death of Alexander Morgan, aged 68, a miner at Seghill."

Alexander's son, Martin came forward confirming that the body was that of his father. Martin also stated that his father had been ill for around 14 weeks, after falling in his house and injuring his head and bowels. 

"On Sunday night deceased complained of a pain and trouble in his head, and could not rest, and appeared to be in a desponding state of mind. In his (witness's) opinion it was owing to not being able to get to work. A few years ago deceased had a fright, which somewhat affected his head. There was an insurance on deceased's life." 

Ann Wilson, a neighbour of the Morgans stated that for a while now Alex. had been in a desponding state of mind. Ann went on to say that a doctor had been attending him for 'shock to the system', caused by the fall he had some time ago. She also stated that she had never known Alexander to threaten to destroy himself. 

On Sunday, Alexander was complaining about the pain in his head. At a quarter to eight on Monday morning, Ann Wilson saw Alexander go into his garden to the privy, but did not take much notice. About three minutes later, Ann heard Elizabeth Morgan shouting and went out into the garden, finding Alex. in the outhouse. He was in a kneeling position, 'working his hand at his neck'. Alexander brought his hand away, and Ann noticed the razor, and the wound in his throat bleeding heavily. 

At once Ann called for assistance and had Alexander carried into his house, where he died about ten minutes later. 

"-The jury returned a verdict that deceased died whilst in an unsound state of mind."