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Wellingborough &Kettering News 04/10/1889, transcribed by Peter Brown
John Laughton
Supposed Suicide of a Rushden Hawker
Mr. J. T. Parker held an inquest at the Red Lion Inn, Irchester, on Friday last, on the body of a man who was found in the locks at Ditchford on the day before.

Chas. Elstow was first called, and identified the body as that of John Laughton, hawker, late of Rushden, aged about 46 years. Witness last saw him about a fortnight previously. He had been drinking, and seemed strange in his manner. He left witness (with whom he had lodged for two months) at eight o’clock on the morning of Sept. 13. A Rushden man told witness he saw the deceased on 13th Sept., and gave him 6d. and deceased then told him he was going to a better world. Deceased left no message at witness’s house.

Wm. Mayes, Nene Navigation Company’s foreman, stated that on the previous morning he was at Ditchford locks, and there found the body of a man lying in the water. Witness got it out, and found that the body was decomposed. Deceased was fully dressed, except his hat. Witness remembered seeing Laughton a fortnight ago at the side of the river near the London and North-Western railway bridge, in the parish of Wellingborough. He was then walking slowly along the path towards Irchester. He appeared to be very dirty, and rather strange in his manner.

Dr. C. R. Owen, Rushden, deposed to examining deceased. There were no marks of violence. Death was due to drowning, and he considered the body had been in the water 12 or14 days

John Letts, parish constable, Irchester, corroborated Mayes’ evidence. He found nothing on deceased but a broken pipe.

A verdict of “Found drowned” was returned.

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