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A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

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Extraordinary Suicide

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This article was transcribed from a newspaper column published in March 1856, it also appeard in the Manchester Guardian, Saturday, 15 March 1856, page 5, and the Weekly Dispatch, Sunday, 16 March 1856, page 12

Further information can be found on a relatives website at Ancestors & Descendants of JFH Hobler

Extraordinary SuicideEXTRAORDINARY SUICIDE*. – Last week an inquest was held by the county coroner of Lancashire, on the body of Mr. John Hobler, aged 21, a young gentleman of highly respectable connections in London, who had been studying the profession of a machinist and tool-maker at Manchester. The deceased absented himself in the month of January, leaving letters behind him stating his intention to destroy himself. On Wednesday his dead body was discovered in a copse of plantation called Cheetham’s Close, in Turton, near Bolton. In one of the deceased’s pockets was found a letter, with the address outside:

“The finder of this body, particularly addressed to the police, inquisitiveness being their misfortune.”

The letter was as follows: -

“If they make it a case of tempory insanity, it will be so on the part of the jury. Dearly beloved Cove or Coves, - Now that you have found this body do not be an idiot or idiots, and get up an inquest to talk about what they know nothing about, but somewhere in my pockets you will find 6d, with which get a gill. After that stick my body in a hole somewhere. You need not read over in any service, as I read it myself before starting, and by selling my clothes you will be able to pay yourself for your trouble. After which go away, and above all things do not try to find out who I am, &c., as you will not be able; but do as I say, and the Lord reward you accordingly, - Yours, truly. – The verdict must be, that in great consideration for some person or persons, he destroyed himself to save them the trouble.”

Dr. Clay stated that before leaving Manchester, Mr. Hobler was in a low and desponding state of mind, brought on by over study. Verdict, “Temporary insanity.”

*This article published in the Manchester Guardian also quoted "...the deceased was found dead, having, to all appearance, poisoned himself." The Body was interned Friday 14 March 1856. (Information supplied with thanks by

If you have any further information on John Francis HOBLER (1835-1856) please contact or email Nathanville

Bibliography of John Francis HOBLER (1835-1856)

BIRTH: - John Hobler was born in London, England c1835

Francis HOBLER, born about 1796, London, England and
Jane BOREHAM, born about 1815, Haverhill, Suffolk, England

DEATH: - 10 Jan 1856 in Turton, England
BURRIAL: - 14 Mar 1856 Lancashire, England
John was living with his Uncle Charles Clay at the time of his demise. His uncle (Charles Clay) was married to his mother's elder sister, Maria Boreham. 

As a child John Hobler attended Grammar School at High Street, Haverhill, Suffolk, England. 
In 1841 the Head Mistress and teachers at the school were:-
Elizabeth DEAN (1796) age about 45**
Ann Miria BRIDGEMER (1816) age about 25**
Ann FITCH (1821) age about 20**

At aged six John was the youngest in his group, in the 1841 census the others listed as being in attendance at the school are:-
ADCOCK, Louisa, age 11 (1830)
BOWYER, Mary, age 13 (1828)
BRIDGEMER, Harriot, age 15 (1826)
COLLINS, Hannah Susanna, age 12 (1829)
COLLINS, Mary Bentall, age 10 (1831)
EDRUPT, Mary, age 12 (1829)
FITCH, Ellen, age 15 (1826)
MARTIN, Ann, age 8 (1833)
NUNN, Elizabeth Mary, age 15 (1826)
PUTTRIDE, Elizabeth Miria, age 13 (1828)
RUCE, Maria Mary, age 10 (1831)
RUCE, Susan Elizabeth, age 7 (1834)

By 1851, at the age of 15 John was living with his maternal Aunt at 101 Piccadilly Street, Manchester, Lancashire, England and was an engineering student; five years later he committed suicide! 

The other household members who John Hobler was living with in 1851 at 101 Piccadilly Street in Manchester were: -
Charles Clay, age 49
Maria Clay, age 49
Emily Clay, age 10
Arther B Clay, age 8
Emily Burcham, age 36
Ann Whittaker, age 18
Agnes Whittaker, age 16

**In the 1841 census adult’s ages were rounded down to the nearest 5 year division but children’s actual ages were quoted.

1841 Census
1841 census transcription details for: High Street, Haverhill
National Archive Reference:
RG number: HO107 Piece: 1032 Book/Folio: 8 Page: 8
Reg. District: Risbridge Sub District: Haverhill
Enum. District: Ecclesiastical District:
Parish: Haverhill City/Municipal Borough:

1851 Census
Civil Parish: Manchester
Ecclesiastical parish: St Paul
County/Island: Lancashire
Country: England
Street address: 101 Piccadilly