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Extract from Northampton Mercury Friday 27 February 1903

The Leicester Coroner held an inquest on Monday evening concerning the death of James Taylor Stokes, of Burton Latimer, who was found drowned in the canal on Saturday morning. Henry Stokes, of Burton Latimer, brother of the deceased, said he was 31 years of age. He was single, and a grocer's manager.

George Dicks, East Bond Street, said deceased had lodged at his house for the last five years. He had appeared rather queer in his manner once or twice, and he had drunk rather more than was good for him of late. On Wednesday last, when he appeared to have had some drink, he made use of the expression, “I am dead to the world.” When he went to bed about ten o'clock on Friday night he appeared all right, except that he complained that he could not eat his supper,. During the night his wife heard him going downstairs and woke witnesses, who heard deceased going out by the back way. PC Gulliver said he was called to the backwater of the canal near Bow Bridge, and there found the body of deceased floating on the water. He recovered the body, which was fully dressed with the exception of his coat and hat.

Deceased's employer said his accounts were quite correct, and financially he knew of no reason for the man to take his life. The jury returned an open verdict.

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