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The Sixpence and the Bottle of Stout...

An account of the “The Suffolk Horror”

by Ian Rodwell

Introduction:

In the early hours of Sunday, 9th July 1899, the body of Eliza Dixon, aged 33 and the mother of six, was discovered on Wortham Green in North Suffolk. She had been beaten and stabbed sixteen times in the throat, face and thigh. It was a crime reported across the country and beyond in terms of horror and revulsion[1]. The Diss Express and Norfolk and Suffolk Journal described it as ‘one of the most revolting crimes that has ever taken place in the Eastern Counties[2] while the New Zealand Herald breathlessly reported that ‘nothing more foul has been disclosed in East Anglia than a murder perpetrated on the village green of Wortham[3].

The case certainly contained elements of the Victorian sensation novel: the gruesome exhumation of Eliza’s body (with her father and brother working unawares in the next field) and a dramatic graveside sermon by the rector‘s sister-in-law castigating the lower orders for their lax morals and wicked depravity. The story also drew upon the Victorian fascination with violent death. One report references the infamous ‘murder of the Red Barn’ at Polstead, Suffolk, while the lurid accounts and artwork in the Illustrated Police News can’t fail to have resonated with a public for whom the Whitechapel murders were only ten years distant and still very much alive in the popular imagination.

George Nunn, an 18-year-old agricultural labourer, was quickly arrested and later chillingly admitted that ‘what was done with the knife was what I done[4]. His execution at Ipswich Gaol on 21st November made him the last teenager to be hanged in England in the 19th century. Glancing at the exhaustive, contemporary newspaper reports, it seems a cut and dried case. But reading more deeply, nagging questions rise to the surface. In this article, I recount the facts of the case and identify the concerns that remain. I also look briefly at how the murder shines a light on late Victorian attitudes to sexuality and death while reflecting on the impact of such a crime on a closely inter-connected and insular rural community where the victim’s and murderer’s families continued to live in the proximity.


Eliza Dixon’s gravestone

The murder:

Eliza and James Dixon lived at Willow Corner at the far end of the Green and on the road to the church. One end of the cottage was used as a butchers/general stores. Both natives of Wortham, they had been married for ten years and had previously run the Half-Moon Inn at Redgrave. About 9.45pm on 8th July, Eliza Dixon set off across The Green to the Dolphin Inn. She carried a quart bottle to collect stout for the family supper, a common trip which she made ‘on nine Saturday nights out of ten[5]. When she failed to return, an increasingly worried James Dixon instigated a search party which included John Rodwell (his father-in-law), John Rodwell junior (his brother-in-law) and two neighbours, Peter and Pharez Potter. Visiting the Dolphin and hearing from the landlord that Eliza had spoken to George Nunn in the pub, Dixon then woke up the Nunn household where George claimed he had left Eliza then returned straight home. While Dixon and John Rodwell junior were walking to Palgrave to seek the assistance of PC Mills, Eliza’s body was discovered by her father and Peter Potter at 2am in the morning. According to trial reports ‘She was lying in a sort of dry gully alongside the road and terribly mutilated. Her feet were in the direction or the road, her clothes were turned up over her waist, and there was a lot of blood about[6].


The possible murder site

Superintendent Page of Eye, along with Inspector Taylor, Sergeant Chapman and three or four constables were soon on the scene and, as Eliza’s last steps were traced, suspicion quickly fell on Nunn. According to the evidence of Emma Messenger, the landlady at the Dolphin, Eliza arrived shortly before ten and remained in a little side room while the beer was poured. She asked for a glass of stout while she waited. Nunn, who was lounging by the door, offered to pay for her drink but she said, “Don’t you do that, bor[7]. Nunn then went out and shortly afterwards Eliza left. Another witness, Charles Pretty, a young labourer from Burgate, was probably the last person (other than her murderer) to see Eliza alive. His testimony, given its relevance to later claims by Nunn, is worth quoting in full:

…as he was going home that night on the night of the murder, he met Fred Churchyard, Samuel Rodwell, Charles Bartram, and Robert Woods, with whom he had a conversation. After he left them he met a woman whom he did not know, and whom he passed without speaking to. Then he met the prisoner, George Nunn, who was coming from the direction of the Dolphin. Nunn stopped and asked if he had ‘tuppence for a pint’, and he said he had not.[8]

Between 8 and 9am on Sunday morning, the police found Nunn sitting on the Green with some other young men from the village. Noticing a suspicious mark on his wrist, Superintendent Page enquired about the clothes he’d been wearing the previous night. They returned to Nunn’s home and he produced trousers, a waistcoat and a jacket. The police found that his drabbet (a coarse unbleached linen fabric usually in a twill weave) trousers were wet as if recently washed and in the right-hand pocket there were blood stains. There were also stains on a knife in the pocket, especially in the niche for opening the blade, as well as on his jacket. Nunn was arrested and, after examination by a doctor in Botesdale, was taken to Eye police station.

The confession:

That afternoon, when Inspector Taylor brought him dinner in the cell, Nunn said he wished to ‘speak the truth about the job[9]. He claimed to have left with Frederick Churchyard and accosted Eliza near to where she was found. They offered her 6d each for an ‘immoral purpose’ (6d was duly found in his trouser pocket) and, when she told them to go home, Nunn threw her to the ground, Churchyard kicked her two or three times in the head and Nunn then stabbed her. Nunn’s accusation is curious. As seen from Charles Pretty’s statement, on leaving the pub, Churchyard was in the company of others who accompanied him to the door of his house. Consequently, he had multiple alibis. Nevertheless, Superintendent Page conducted a ‘minute search’ of Churchyard’s house but couldn’t find the ‘slightest stain in his clothing or boots’. Nunn repeated his accusation at the Coroner’s Inquest held in the Wortham Board School on 18th July, while asserting that ‘what was done with the knife was what I done’. He dismissed Churchyard’s denials with the protestation ‘if I have told a lie I wish I might drop dead this minute’, which caused much consternation in the extensive crowd gathered both inside and outside of the School. Churchyard, who was also at the Inquest, was asked by a juror if he had ever quarreled with Nunn. He replied ‘yes’, adding that they hadn’t been friends for a long time (it also seems they had worked together as railway labourers at Diss station)[10].

Nunn’s implication of Churchyard continued at a special sitting of the Hartismere Bench on 25th July but given the total lack of evidence, there was never any appetite to prosecute him. However, the accusation had one macabre consequence. In a seeming miscommunication between the Coroner and Dr Hannigan of Botesdale (who was called by the police to examine the body), no postmortem was carried out. Consequently, it couldn’t be said for certain whether the blows to the head or the subsequent stabbing were the cause of death. By order of the Home Secretary, Eliza’s body was exhumed on 11th August to settle the dispute once and for all. The Diss Express reported the procedure in extensive — and somewhat gruesome— detail noting that by a singular coincidence her father, Mr. Rodwell, and her brother were engaged in stack thatching at Mr. Graham’s farm near the churchyard[11].

The trial and execution:

Nunn was tried for the murder of Eliza Dixon at the Suffolk Autumn Assizes in Bury St. Edmunds on 31st October. The judge was Mr. Justice Wills and Mr. F.K. North was appointed to defend Nunn. Given Nunn’s confession, Mr. North’s task was, it must be said, an uphill one but, from the reports of the trial, it can’t be said that he rose to the occasion with cunning or skill. North was no Rumpole of the Bailey and, from what I can gather, the main thrust of his defence was that Nunn was drunk and, although having some share in the murder, was an accessory after the act (the only argument for this being that it would have taken more than one person to move Eliza’s body). North also stressed that Nunn had made no attempt to run or to dispose of his clothing and the knife. And just in case the jury was swayed by those troublesome admissions, well, they ‘must not attach too much importance to the confession of this wretched boy made at a time of great depression’. As a defence strategy, it was desperate stuff and the jury was, unsurprisingly, not convinced. They took all of fourteen minutes to find Nunn guilty, although this was caveated with a ‘recommendation to mercy on account of his youth[12].

In the days before Nunn’s execution, the prison chaplain reported his deep contrition for the crime which was the ‘result of an impulse’. His appetite and sleep were affected and he was watched by warders day and night. On the Saturday before his execution, Nunn’s father paid a parting visit; his mother, who had ‘endured terrible mental suffering’ was ‘too prostrated to undertake the journey’. George was their only surviving child.

On the morning of 21st November, a large crowd gathered outside Ipswich Gaol. At ‘four minutes past eight o’clock the black flag was hoisted amidst cries of “there it goes”. This was the only demonstration, and the crowd quickly dispersed’. The inquest on Nunn’s body was held at 11.30am. He was dressed in the same boots and clothes he wore at his trial. The report concluded the ‘dead youth’s face was of a somewhat livid hue, but otherwise he appeared as if only asleep[13].

The questions:

As I said, a seemingly open and shut case. But some questions remain unanswered. At the opening of the Inquest on 10th July, James Dixon revealed that he’d been told that threats to Eliza’s life had been made three months previously. He knew nothing of this and wished permission to share who he’d heard the report from. Permission was denied. The threats were revisited when the Inquest resumed on the 17th July. Dixon said he’d heard through his father-in-law that Walter Scott had revealed these threats but, when questioned, Scott denied it and the police concluded ‘there was nothing in the rumours’. Maybe not, but it does seem an overly tidy resolution.

It also prefigures a strange correspondence between the Rev. James, Rector of Wortham, and the press at the time of Nunn’s execution. The Rev. James queries the assertion that ‘no attempt was made to save him [Nunn] from the gallows’. He writes: ‘I myself have written two letters to the Home Secretary on the subject, placing before him aspects of the case which I did not think had been fully considered[14]. We will never know what ‘aspects of the case’ James was alluding to, but the Home Office deemed them insufficient to ‘interfere with the course of the law’. However, James must have felt that important stones had been left unturned. I can’t help but think that his questioning would, given the strength of feeling against Nunn, have proved deeply unpopular with his parishioners. But still he felt obliged to speak out.

Similarly, what should we make of the ‘remarkable facts’ reported in The Diss Express[15] that on the 8th January, there was an ‘incendiary fire’ at Mr. Adams’ farm on Long Green; on the 8th April, another incendiary fire on the same premises; and on the 8th July, Eliza’s murder. Three crimes committed at exactly three-month intervals. Coincidence or something darker?

And then there is the stout bottle, or rather the missing stout bottle. It was never found on Eliza’s body, elsewhere on the Green or in Nunn’s home. Similarly, Eliza had collected about 37s from her delivery rounds that Saturday evening which she was thought to be carrying in a purse when she went for the stout. The police found 13s 10d on her clothing but the purse and 25s was missing. Again, it was never found. And here’s a curious thing, although freely admitting to Eliza’s murder, Nunn vehemently denied stealing the money. At his committal on 25th July, he argued ‘I never took that bottle, nor that purse. I never seen it. I never took a halfpenny of it. Mr Page there knows how much I had in my pocket. That was only 1s 6¼d. I had 1s 0½d in my purse, and sixpence in one of my pockets[16]. Having maintained an ‘impassive demeanour’ to that point, it was only then he burst into tears. Nunn’s revulsion at the accusation of theft yet his willingness to admit to a brutal murder seems peculiar — a moral compass that is perversely askew. This leads us to questions about Nunn — what do we know of him and his character?

The contemporary press reports are revealing. In an early article, The Eastern Daily Press observed he ‘is spoken of as the stupidest boy in Wortham and if struck or hurt but would cry like a child. Everyone believed him to be quite sane, but he is described as sullen and as bad tempered and even as revengeful[17]. In a report of his execution, The Diss Express, noted that if ‘all is true that is said about Nunn in Wortham, he certainly was a bad character’ with school reports revealing he ‘was very spiteful towards the other children’. Later, he spent his hours outside of work ‘loafing about, playing ten-pins or drinking at public houses[18]. Elsewhere his attitude to his predicament appears relaxed, disinterested, almost amused . He is described as entering ‘the courthouse with as little concern as though he were going up to take a prize for a successful exhibit of potatoes at a village horticultural show[20]. Faced with a mocking crowd when emerging from the Inquest, he laughed and said, ‘They are the Diss and Palgrave roughs, who are worse than I am.’ In a farcical turn, a straw hat was then thrown, but missed Nunn and hit the Deputy Chief Constable on the forehead.[21]

Of course, we can wonder about the objectivity of these accounts — a narrative perhaps shaped to explain the horrific act committed. But a picture does emerge of an isolated, unpopular and remarkably childlike youth who seemed chillingly unconcerned by the consequences of his actions. It’s also easy to read too much into small incidents, but one detail does stick in my mind. When initially arrested, Nunn was taken to the Dolphin where the police carts were waiting. As the landlady and Nunn exchanged ‘Good mornings’, she saw the handcuffs on his wrist and said, “Oh, Nunny!”[22]. The nickname or endearment is strangely affecting: was the landlady expressing shock, disappointment or sadness? At the very least, it doesn’t seem a comment one would make to someone you dislike — someone who is clearly under suspicion for a shocking murder.

Observations:

Over and above the compelling narrative of Eliza Dixon and George Nunn, the newspaper reports of the time shine an intriguing light on prevailing attitudes towards death, sexuality and the social fabric of East Anglian rural life in the late 19th century.

As a modern reader, two things might strike you. First, the pragmatic and extensive accounts of the wounds; every detail from the witness statements, doctor’s examination, the Inquest and exhumation all seem to be included. Perhaps this clear-eyed and unemotional reporting reflected a more matter-of-fact approach to death (perhaps not unsurprising given the contemporary mortality rate). This practical approach is reflected in the actions of the villagers. Early reporters on the scene told of the rushes laid down in the gully to cover the bloodstains and the turf on The Green turned over for a similar purpose. Meanwhile, Eliza’s body was immediately removed to her parents’ house where it was examined and remained until her funeral on the following Thursday. It’s not surprising that her mother felt unable to stay in the house.

However, a more critical eye might identify the sensationalist tone of some of the reporting. This was an age obsessed with accounts of violent death[23]. The New Zealand Herald referenced the infamous Red Barn Murder at Polstead, Suffolk in its report[24]. The 1827 killing of Maria Marten by William Corder provoked national furore inspiring numerous articles, songs and plays[25]. The village became a tourist attraction and the barn was stripped by souvenir hunters. Similarly, the dramatic, and somewhat lurid, drawings that accompanied reports of Eliza’s murder in The Illustrated Police News[26] (very much The News of the World of it day) carry implicit, and even explicit, resonances of the Whitechapel murders of 1888. With references to mutilation and sexual intrigue, the connections would surely not have been lost on a contemporary reader.


Illustrated Police News : 15 July 1899

And this is the second thing that might alert the modern eye. It is intimated but never made explicit what Nunn offered Eliza 6d for. The reason is either omitted or referred to as the ‘prisoner here described the purpose’. One account does refer to an ‘immoral purpose’ and in the doctor’s account is it is confirmed that no ‘outrage’ (a Victorian euphemism for rape) was committed. Such reticence of language is not surprising given late Victorian middle-class codes of morality. However, these principles of delicacy and rectitude may not have reflected the day-to-day experience of the rural labouring poor.

We often see Victorian village life through misty, nostalgic eyes as we imagine sun-tanned families gleefully bringing in the harvest under perennially sunny August skies. But, as Richard Cobbold’s vignettes of Wortham life in the 19th century make clear, the average labourer’s life was tough, uncertain and relentless[27]. Wortham was certainly no rural idyll[28]. One consequence of the murder was renewed calls by local worthies for the necessity of a constable to be stationed in the village. The report lists the several violent offences that had been committed in recent years; the three fires caused by incendiarism; the popularity of ‘pitch and toss[29]; the abandonment of the cricket pitch due to the ‘rowdyism of a number of youths, who cut up the pitch with their knives’; the loss of three bullocks as well as other undetected thefts; and, most sobering, the ‘several cases pending against young fellows of the village for indecent assault’. Reference was also made to the gypsies who ‘had from 20 to 30 caravans in the village at a time, [and] were an intolerable nuisance[30]. All this points to a village struggling to contain crime, with the ‘increasing number of charges of indecency’ a particular concern. This was not a world of wholesome moral propriety and decorum.

In a similar vein, the rector’s sister-in-law, Miss Ellice Hopkins, made an extraordinary graveside speech at the funeral. While exhorting the women and girls present not to ‘flirt’, she castigated the men present by saying that had they been ‘God-fearing’, the ‘very thought of such a deed in your midst would have been killed’. In addition, ‘if you older men had never suffered an impure word or filthy jest to be uttered in your presence, then this awful crime would never have been committed’. One suspects this attempt at ‘improving the occasion’ may have failed in providing the large and emotional crowd with the solace it craved[31].

One final observation. It is easy perhaps to forget the two other victims of Nunn’s crime: his parents. An early report records that ‘sympathy is also felt for the parents of the accused, who is their only son. James Nunn, the father, is a horseman to Mr. Kirby and lives about a quarter of a mile from the scene of the murder’. When George was arrested, James Nunn had urged his son to tell the truth. He accompanied him by train from Eye to Mellis for his removal to Ipswich Gaol and jumped into his carriage on the main line to kiss him goodbye[32]. After their son’s execution, they remained in Wortham, living not far from Eliza’s parents and husband. Given the tight knit nature of rural communities, you wonder how they were treated. Did the initial sympathy continue or were they ostracised and left alone in their grief?

Conclusions:

So, what can we conclude from the account of Eliza Dixon’s murder and the questions that may remain? It would be difficult to exculpate Nunn from the charges laid against him. His own confession as well as the blood-stained clothes and knife are hard to explain away. It would, however, be fascinating to receive a psychological profile of Nunn based on the evidence we have. A lay person’s explanation might conclude he was an outsider, socially isolated and emotionally immature. There are also suspicions of a longstanding unhealthy interest in Eliza[33]. It seems highly likely that he followed her across the Green and killed her when she refused his sexual advances, his rage and frustration culminating in the disfiguring wounds to her face. Maybe his quick confession resulted from a perverse desire for recognition, committing such a crime would mark him as different, special, ‘famous’. No longer would he be the butt of the village’s jokes and suspicions, he would be someone: even if that someone was a source of revulsion, disgust and anger.

It is mere speculation of course, but it might, just might, explain the curious fact of the body being moved. PC Mills’ initial account tells how the body was moved around 8 feet from the murder site on the Green to the gully by the road[34]. It seems a counter-intuitive action because moving the body almost next to the lane would surely have made early discovery more likely?[35] Perhaps, however, that was Nunn’s intention — not only did he want the body to be found but he also staged it as a macabre tableau (Eliza’s head on the Green, her legs pointing towards the road). For someone, you sense, who lacked power and agency, this was the ultimate control he could exert.

So, what of the missing stout bottle and money? A prosaic explanation is that Nunn threw them in one of the ponds pitting the Green, yet his vehemence at the accusation of theft makes that unlikely. Maybe, however, someone found Eliza before her family and made off with the beer and money? Or, maybe, Mr. North was not so misguided in his defence. Perhaps there was an accomplice after all, one who Nunn felt compelled to protect (or reluctant to share the limelight with). And maybe, it was that suspicion that Rev. James felt compelled to pursue. We will, unfortunately and frustratingly, probably never know.


Part of the ballad ‘Diss Murder’

Note on the research:

I first stumbled on the murder of Eliza Dixon when researching my family tree in 2012. My great-grandfather, Henry Copping (the surname was used interchangeably with Rodwell!) was cousin to Eliza’s father, Jonathan Rodwell, as well as to William Rodwell, father of Samuel Rodwell (who left the Dolphin on the night of the murder with Frederick Churchyard). Henry, Jonathan and William’s grandmother was Lucy Rodwell (alias Lucy Coppin) who appeared as one of William Cobbold’s character sketches (see note 27, page 199).

I was surprised as my father and grandfather (who farmed in nearby Mellis) had never alluded to the murder. It was also something I hadn’t encountered in my previous, admittedly haphazard, forays into local history. I emailed Basil Abbot at the Diss Museum but he was similarly nonplussed. Although I found occasional references in local history books, it was only when I researched the original press reports (via the online British Newspaper Archive and the newspaper collection at Norwich Library) that the full details started to emerge. I supplemented this with a visit to the Suffolk Archives at Bury St. Edmunds and then stumbled across the ballad broadsheet at Gressenhall. Via a recommendation on the Diss and District Memories Facebook Group, I was then introduced to Geoffrey Sturgeon in Wortham in 2016. Mr. Sturgeon had a wealth of local history knowledge and we drove to the murder scene to try and map the exact location. Less successful was my attempt to try and locate the original trial reports, police documents etc. A letter to the Suffolk Constabulary resulted in a referral to the Suffolk Archives (where I had already drawn a blank).

[35]The one thing I am still keen to unearth (although it seems increasingly unlikely at this distance from the original event) are any memories handed down through the generations. Although these may not be wholly reliable (see note 19), they might add some depth and local nuance to the contemporary press reports. To that end, the Diss Express kindly ran an article on my research in August 2013 but, while yielding some helpful contacts, it didn’t result in the memories and anecdotes I was hoping for. Yet, I remain optimistic and if you do recall any family reminiscences pertaining to the murder (or would like to discuss any of the details), do contact me at: ianrodwell@btinternet.com.


Illustrated Police News : 22 Jul 1899

References:

[1] For example, reports appeared in The Times, The Weekend Standard and Express (Blackburn), New Zealand Herald, Western Times, Liverpool Mercury, The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent and many more.
[2] The Diss Express, and Norfolk and Suffolk Journal, July 14, 1899.
[3] New Zealand Herald, September 2, 1899.
[4] Eastern Daily Press, July 18, 1899.
[5] The Diss Express, and Norfolk and Suffolk Journal, July 14, 1899.
[6] The Diss Express, and Norfolk and Suffolk Journal, November 3, 1899.
[7] Eastern Daily Press, July 11, 1899.
[8] The Diss Express, and Norfolk and Suffolk Journal, November 3, 1899.
[9] The Diss Express, and Norfolk and Suffolk Journal, November 24, 1899.
[10] All references to the Inquest taken from The Diss Express, and Norfolk and Suffolk Journal, July 21, 1899.
[11] The Diss Express, and Norfolk and Suffolk Journal, August 18, 1899.
[12] The Diss Express, and Norfolk and Suffolk Journal, November 3, 1899.
[13] All references to the execution taken from The Diss Express, and Norfolk and Suffolk Journal, November 24, 1899.
[14] Ibid.
[15] The Diss Express, and Norfolk and Suffolk Journal, July 14, 1899.
[16] The Diss Express, and Norfolk and Suffolk Journal, July 28, 1899.
[17] Eastern Daily Press, July 11, 1899.
[18] The Diss Express, and Norfolk and Suffolk Journal, November 24, 1899.
[19] In a letter to the Eastern Daily Press, September 23, 1973, Mrs Daphne Wheeler of Whissonsett wrote: “My mum says she can remember her mother talking about the morning they came for Nunn....he got out of his bedroom window on to the roof, and it was the firemen who had to get him down...” It’s a striking account, but as none of the contemporary press accounts refer to the incident (and it would have been a dramatic one to include!), we can only assume that the facts, as relayed by Mrs Wheeler’s grandmother, became somewhat distorted in the retelling.
[20] Eastern Daily Press, July 26, 1899.
[21] Eastern Daily Press, July 18, 1899.
[22] Eastern Daily Press, July 11, 1899.
[23] For an excellently researched and entertaining overview of the Victorian fascination with violent death, see: Flanders, J. (2011) The invention of murder: how the Victorians revelled in death and detection and created modern crime. London: Harper Press.
[24] New Zealand Herald, September 2, 1899.
[25] Similarly, Eliza Dixon’s murder inspired a ballad erroneously entitled ‘Diss Murder’: from a Ballad Broadsheet entitled Dastardly murder near Diss, Norfolk: married woman butchered (undated) held at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse (accession number: GRSRM:1981.151.1i).
[26] See The Illustrated Police News, July 15, 1899 and The Illustrated Police News, July 22, 1899.
[27] The Wortham Research Group (2007) Parson and people in a Suffolk village: Richard Cobbold’s Wortham, 1824-1877. Ipswich: Wortham Research Group and Suffolk Family History Society.
[28] For other sobering accounts of crime and disturbance in 19th century rural communities, see: Archer, J.E. (2009) ‘By a flash and a scare’: arson, animal maiming and poaching in East Anglia, 1815-70. Oxford: Clarendon Press and Lee, R. (2005) Unquiet country: voices of the rural poor, 1820-1880. Macclesfield: Windgather Press.
[29] A year after Eliza’s murder, Frederick Churchyard, Samuel Rodwell and Charles Bartrum (who were in the group of youths leaving the Dolphin met by Charles Pretty) were ‘charged with playing pitch and toss at Wortham. Sergt. Branch saw the defendants playing pitch and toss with pennies. The defendants, who did not appear, were each fined 1s., and 9s. costs’. The Bury and Norwich Post and Suffolk Standard, August 21, 1900.
[30] The Diss Express, and Norfolk and Suffolk Journal, August 18, 1899.
[31] The Diss Express, and Norfolk and Suffolk Journal, July 14, 1899.
[32] Ibid.
[33] There are ‘various rumours in the neighbourhood as to the prisoner Nunn’s conduct, one of which was that he had been heard to say that one day he would carry out his intention to the deceased woman’. Ibid.
[34] Although we can’t discount the explanation — raised in The Bury and Norwich Post and Suffolk Standard, July 18, 1899 — that Eliza had crawled into the gully after the attack.
[35] The only reason Eliza wasn’t found earlier was that James Dixon and the others assumed that she’d taken the shortcut across the Green to the Dolphin — rather than the less direct route via the road.



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