Thursday, 15 May 2014

Monomaniacal Father Kills Child

A tragedy occurred in Everton in 1871 when a loving father slit the throat of his young son in an act that was committed in a period of temporary insanity.

38 year old Frederick Crawley lived in Rendal Street, Everton, with his wife Betsy and 2 year old son William. Frederick was a loving husband and father, who worked as a driver for a laundry company and also taught in a Sunday School in Kilshaw Street.

His religious feelings though did cause him to have fits of melancholy and this eventually led to him tragically killing his child. On the morning of  22nd February 1871 Frederick got up as usual at around 7am and when he heard William calling him, brought him downstairs for some breakfast. He then cut the child's throat with a razor before shouting to Betsy.

Clarke AspinallWhen Betsy got to the kitchen Frederick was sat motionless with William in his arms and he didn't move or speak when she asked what he had done. Her mother, who resided with them, ran to find a doctor but when he arrived William was pronounced dead. A police officer came to the house and took Frederick, who showed no resistance into custody.

The following day an inquest took place before the Coroner Clarke Aspinall. A verdict of wilful murder was returned and he was committed for trial at the following months assizes.

Whilst awaiting trial at Kirkdale gaol Frederick was examined by doctors and found to be a monomaniac (tendency to have temporary bouts of insanity) with homicidal tendencies. The medical evidence meant that his trial at the Liverpool Assizes on 22nd March was short. After being acquitted on the grounds of insanity the judge Baron Pollock detained him under Her Majesty's pleasure.

No comments:

Post a Comment