Author Topic: Faked his own death???  (Read 2318 times)

Offline PixieAnna

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Re: Faked his own death???
« Reply #9 on: Thursday 12 April 07 00:01 BST (UK) »
Hi Valda,

Here's a quote from a letter from William's brother to WSF, in response to WSF's suggestion that he would like to contact the wife and family he left behind in England when he disappeared:

"...you must remember that you will add to your responsibility if you unsettle them, again they may take means of bringing you back against your will, and I am afraid next time it would not be a rehearsal, you will have to die in earnest... I see no chance for you, unless you could square your late employers etc, (the statute of limitations does not come in, in such cases)"

What do you think?
Everyone who's read these letters is of the opinion that he must have actually caused his employer(s) death.

Pixie
BURTON - Alton
COLLINS, LOWE - Eccles
EDWARDS, BROWN - Lyme Regis
FORBES - Edinburgh, Suffolk, Wales, Liverpool, Salford
HANKINSON - Bowdon, Altrincham, Macclesfield, Stockport
HODSON - Barton-on-Irwell, Chorlton-u-Medlock
KIRK, HEPWORTH, LINSLEY - Leeds
LEADBETTER - Halewood, Speke, Childwall, Woolton; Pendleton; Barton-on-Irwell
LEE, HULME - Wilmslow
MELLING - Lytham,
SANDERSON, MARSDEN, RICH - W.R of Yorks.
RALPH - Dublin; Salford

Offline Ninatoo

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Re: Faked his own death???
« Reply #10 on: Thursday 12 April 07 00:26 BST (UK) »
How interesting!  I hope you are able to get to the bottom of this.

I am sure  the newspapers of the day would have reported about the employer's death, so sooner or later you are probably going to be able to make a connection.

Good luck!

Nina
CARSON - Glasgow, Ayr and Ireland
CLARK - Dunbarton
CORR - Glasgow and Ireland
COTTERILL - Glasgow and England
CROMBIE - Glasgow, Ayr and Ireland
DOCHERTY - Glasgow
EASTON - Dunbarton, Renfrew and Glasgow
GLANCY - Glasgow and Ireland
GORDON - Glasgow and Ireland
GRANELLI - Glasgow and Italy
LOGAN - Glasgow and Ireland
MAIN - Fearn, Ross & Cromarty and Glasgow
MCCORMICK - Glasgow and England
MCNICOL - Glasgow and Ireland
O'BRIEN - Glasgow and  Ireland
WATSON - Glasgow

Offline PixieAnna

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Re: Faked his own death???
« Reply #11 on: Thursday 12 April 07 07:52 BST (UK) »
Hi Nina,

Yes - I'm hoping someone closer to Mcr Archives will be interested enough to have a look for me!!

Whatever he did, WSF really did go as far away from England as possible - the letters were sent from Honolulu!

Pixie
BURTON - Alton
COLLINS, LOWE - Eccles
EDWARDS, BROWN - Lyme Regis
FORBES - Edinburgh, Suffolk, Wales, Liverpool, Salford
HANKINSON - Bowdon, Altrincham, Macclesfield, Stockport
HODSON - Barton-on-Irwell, Chorlton-u-Medlock
KIRK, HEPWORTH, LINSLEY - Leeds
LEADBETTER - Halewood, Speke, Childwall, Woolton; Pendleton; Barton-on-Irwell
LEE, HULME - Wilmslow
MELLING - Lytham,
SANDERSON, MARSDEN, RICH - W.R of Yorks.
RALPH - Dublin; Salford


Offline Valda

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Re: Faked his own death???
« Reply #12 on: Thursday 12 April 07 08:24 BST (UK) »
I think 'caused your employer's death' would be more like manslaughter at most.
He could have committed some sort of fraud or embezzlement which led to his employer's company getting into financial difficulties and the stress hastened his employer's death, but that is still at the most fraud/embezzlement, there would have been no intention to cause death by his actions, so unless there was intent to murder and a murder took place I can't see how he could be facing capital punishment. The fact the letter says

'I see no chance for you, unless you could square your late employers etc'

Late as in the sense of you were lately employed by them (and it is in the plural) not late as they are all dead - in which case it would be difficult to square them and you couldn't square the state over a murder anyway. However, you could square your late employers if you had done them some financial harm and could now make financial recompense. Such an action could lessen the subsequent sentence served.

The writer of the letter seems to be over egging the offence which might undoubtedly cause a prison sentence and penal servitude (hard labour) and people did die from the effects of serving such sentences or had their health broken, but I think from the evidence of the rest of the letter about squaring his employers, it would seem not to be a capital offence (though probably was in the 18th and early 19th centuries) as the employers still seem to be alive.

Regards

Valda
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline PixieAnna

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Re: Faked his own death???
« Reply #13 on: Thursday 12 April 07 14:30 BST (UK) »
Hi Valda,

Thank you for your comments which concur with my own regarding the actual offence. Fraud or embezzlement would seem to fit his family's accusations that WSF stole from his employer.
His Mother wrote :
"I am truly sorry you have got into trouble about money matters, it is your own fault and you ought to know better than to touch other people's money..."
WSF's brother recalls their last conversation before WSF left, in which WSF is reported to have said "Providence had not ordained that a man should be miserable, but that he was entitled to enjoy himself".
WSF's brother asks:
"Why do not things satisfy you? You...have no right to do as you like...it is Me-Me-Me althrough..."

The reference to the statute of limitations is confusing and may not refer to murder/manslaughter, if embezzlement charges could still be brought 7 years after the alleged crime. Does anyone know anything about the law in this instance?

Pixie
BURTON - Alton
COLLINS, LOWE - Eccles
EDWARDS, BROWN - Lyme Regis
FORBES - Edinburgh, Suffolk, Wales, Liverpool, Salford
HANKINSON - Bowdon, Altrincham, Macclesfield, Stockport
HODSON - Barton-on-Irwell, Chorlton-u-Medlock
KIRK, HEPWORTH, LINSLEY - Leeds
LEADBETTER - Halewood, Speke, Childwall, Woolton; Pendleton; Barton-on-Irwell
LEE, HULME - Wilmslow
MELLING - Lytham,
SANDERSON, MARSDEN, RICH - W.R of Yorks.
RALPH - Dublin; Salford

Offline TilliesTree

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Re: Faked his own death???
« Reply #14 on: Saturday 13 November 21 18:15 GMT (UK) »
I appreciate this post was some year's ago now, but I am hoping that those that contributed are still members and active on the forum.  I am new to family history, but I have discovered I am a direct descendent of WSF mentioned in this post and through a cousin have also heard stories of the letters home to WSF's brother but we have never seen them.  I have heard that WSF used different first names after emigrating, but do not know if he kept his surname. My cousin even went to Hawaii to see if they could find out anything in the records there, but sadly nothing that would identify any ancestors there, however they did discover from an archivist that he had worked for an electrical firm.  I would welcome any update on this story if there is any.