The Brigante Chronicles (Steve Evans Photography) (15)

Ordinary Folk. Extraordinary Deaths.

‘The Song is Ended, But the Melody Lingers On’ ~ Irving Berlin

What can POSSIBLY be told about a life of ONLY 5 weeks?

My death from parental neglect on Christmas Day in the year 1884 would shine a harsh and uncompromising light into the darkest crevices of York’s society as the pitiful story of my life unfolded…

Sarah Ann Casper

The ONLY clear picture history affords me is that of my death by poisoning one morning in May – despite the best efforts of our Lady Brigante!

For a scroll though our parish records and census returns will only add to the mystery of WHO I am , WHERE I have come from and HOW I have managed to live independently well into my sixth decade!

Mary Wilson

One early July morning, I along with my brother-in-law Alfred and his young son went for a spot of fishing on the outskirts of York.

Shortly before midday, a huge storm erupted and we ran for cover under a large bush far from the riverside. However, no sooner had we escaped from the torrential down pour – there was a huge flash of lightening and a crash of thunder!

Thomas William Casper

Shortly after midday on a balmy August day – my body and that of my youngest child were recovered from the River Ouse in York.

And a story would begin to unfold so tragic that it would touch the hearts of many including that of the coroner who implored the media to use their influence to promote a better understanding on the subject of suicide.

Sarah Bell

I am pregnant and have been suffering from severe sickness and have been living in a quiet area of York with my husband and our young son until things took a turn for the worse one chilly February evening.

As my post mortem examination revealed that I had died as a result of a brain haemorrhage caused by some kind of mysterious ingested poison – an inquest into my death was soon opened.

Florence Byrne

I am a soldier with the 10th Hussars and on a chilly January morning in 1889 – I was found hanging from a pole in the stable block of the York Cavalry Barracks.

On the day following my death the city coroner opened the inquest at our military hospital and as a succession of witnesses stepped forward to offer testimony – my tragic story would unfold.

Private William Dalby

I am a nursemaid and on a typical Autumnal afternoon in 1879 I made my way on foot while cradling my young charge to a popular crossing separated only by a dual rail track.

Having opened the gate to walk across the path, I paused as a luggage train went past but less than two minutes later, the baby and I were hit by a passenger train in an accident of far reaching consequences.

Mary Bell