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[Murder of Eliza Davis]

At an early hour yesterday morning, (Tuesday, May 9, 1837,) the neighbourhood of Frederick-street, Regent's-park, was thrown into the greatest state of excitement and alarm, in consequence of ELIZA DAVIS. a fine young woman, 21 years of age, barmaid in the service of Mr. Wadley, proprietor of the King's Arms Wine Vaults, the corner of Laxton-pIace, in the above street, having been found with her throat cut in a dreadful manner, and under circumstances which prove, beyond doubt, that she must have been murdered by some sanguinary villain.

It appears that the unfortunate victim had lived about six months with the present landlord, but had held the same situation under the former proprietor for seven or eight years. She was a native of Wales, and was much esteemed for her civility. It was the custom for her to rise early and on the above morning, she arose about six o'clock, and having procured the keys, she proceeded to unlock the place. About twenty minutes afterwards, a mechanic called Hall, passed by, and went in for a glass of beer, and on looking over the counter, was horrified at perceiving the floor of the bar deluged with blood. He ran to the staircase, and gave an alarm, and in a few seconds the pot boy, Jones, came running down half dressed, and in his progress he stumbled over the dead body of the deceased, which was lying on a mat on the landing at the top of the first flight. Lights having been procured, the deceased was examined, when a frightful gash was perceived in her throat, which had completely severed the windpipe. Serjeants Moody and Gladman, of' the police, having arrived, the body was then raised, carried into the front room first floor, and Drs. Swaine and Johnson, promptly attended, but they found the unfortunate creature quite dead, though the body was warm. A strict examination of the premises took place—the counter was found sprinkled with blood, which was traced along the bar floor up the stairs to the place there the hapless victim fell to rise no more. A bloody table knife was found near the spot, with which the sanguinary deed was perpetrated, and it is the general opinion, that the ill-fated woman had been suddenly seized by the murderer, while her back was turned on him behind the counter, and that while in this situation he forcibly drew her head to him, and committed the horrid deed.

Every exertion has been made in endeavouring to elucidate this mysterious affair, and trace the murderer, who is suspected to be a Frenchman, but nothing has been discovered at all likely to forward the ends of justice and satisfy the public mind, which has been so painfully operated upon on this occasion as is was recently in the case of Greenacre.

The deceased had a considerable sum money in her trunk, which was crammed with clothes, and she had also money in the savings bank. It is very improbable she destroyed herself.

Smeeton, Printer, 74, Tooley-st.

SOURCE: Curiosities of Street Literature, London, Reeves and Turner, 196, Strand, 1871.