Burial of The Suicide – Disgraceful Proceedings at the Grave
(Morning Chronicle May 4 1858)
‘The remains of the woman Talbot, upon whose body an inquest was held on Friday last, were conveyed to the Church of England Cemetery on Sunday afternoon for internment. Considerable excitement prevailed in the neighbourhood and the feelings of the inhabitants were manifested in various ways against the husband of the unfortunate deceased. Shortly after two o’clock a concourse of people began to assemble in front of Talbot’s house, which is situated near to Camden Street and gave vent to their indignation in terms of very threatening and violent nature.
The yells were most unearthly and discordant, and altough there was a faint attempt to procure silence as the corpse was being removed to the hearse, it was only partially successful, and immediately the mourners appeared to enter the coach, the confusion and uproar reached their climax.
As the funeral cortege proceeded the hooting was renewed and there were several attempts made by the mob to ascertain if Talbot himself was in the carriage, as if so they threatened to pull him out and do him some violence.
Several times the hearse and coach were stopped and the yelling was on each of these occasions renewed with increased vigour. At the cemetery gates the crowd received an addition to it number, and it was impossible to keep them out of the grounds. They, therefore, formed themselves round the door of the church with the determination, very audibly expressed of making Talbot feel the effects of their wrath.
In this, however, they were disappointed, for, as the mourners came out of the coach, the crowd looked in vain for the object of their indignation Some of them mistook one of the mourners for either Talbot or his son, and he was accordingly seized and jostled, his hat was knocked off, and more serious measures would no doubt have been adopted but for the coolness and intrepidity of Mr. Inspector Gibbs, who, with very little asssistance, speedily extricated the man from his perilous position.
A few policemen were then brought to the spot, and comparative order was restored until the corpse was brought out of the church to be taken to the grave, when another yell was given, but during the reading of the burial service there was not an attempt at disturbance. The police attended the mourners back to Talbot’s house, and the crowd of men, women and children seemed to have considerably increased. Their looks were fierce and their language promised severe punishment to Talbot if they could get at him, but he wisely abstained from making his appearance, and all that was left for the baffled mob to do was to yell and threaten until they were tired.
The police are keeping strict guard of the house and will doubtless do so until the fury of the populace has subsided. It is satisfactory to be enabled to state that, notwithstanding that the aspect of affairs semed so dangerous, and possessed all the elements of a riot, yet nothing more serious than the disturbance itself resulted. The police acted with firmness and forbearance, and it is owing to such conduct in a great measure that the affair has hitherto been almost harmless in its results. – Birmingham Daily Press.’