Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Trove Tuesday - Body Mystery at Cross Keys Hotel

 Francis McEvoy was a groom at the Cross Keys Hotel in 1889 when a body was found in the Moonee Ponds Creek.  

Francis McEvoy identified the body as that of his sister Kate.  

But Kate was still alive!

WHO WAS SHE?. (1889, December 27). Geelong Advertiser(Vic. : 1859 - 1924), p. 4. Retrieved September 16, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article150626682

13 comments:

  1. Bizarre - I wonder if there was any advantage to the mother and brother if Kate were dead. I can't think it would have been much of an advantage. Are you connected? Regards Anne

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    1. It sure is bizarre Anne, I couldn't think of any advantage either. My great great grandmother owned the hotel at the time. I recently learned that cellars and outbuildings of hotels in those days were often used as morgues for inquests. There was another body story a couple of years later where the inquest was held at the hotel whereas this story actually connects to the groom.

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    2. Too bad DNA wasn't available then...Was it possible they were twins? seems really strange; One for unsolved mysteries for sure.

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  2. I wonder if it was a plot that involved the real Kate. The fact that she was using her maiden name suggests that all was not well between her and her husband, John Grace. Since divorce may not have been an option, suppose they persuaded some poor sole to dress-up like her, and her brother, Francis, was to kill her and claim that his sister had died, thus ending her marriage. Maybe John was involved too. It may have been an unfortunate coincidence that the real Kate was in custody at the time, otherwise it might have gone without a hitch.

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  3. Her name was Elizabeth Hook - she was of the "unfortunate class". No suspicion of foul play. COLONIAL TELEGRAMS. (1890, January 4). South Australian Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1895), p. 10. Retrieved September 16, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91275157
    Might be interesting to try and track down the inquest.

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  4. and more detail here THE MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF WOMAN AT ESSENDON. (1890, January 4). South Australian Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1895), p. 11. Retrieved September 16, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91275334 . Bit peculiar - nothing coming up on an initial search for Victorian newspapers for January 1890.

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  5. In 1894 Kate McEvoy attempted to hang herself in the South Melbourne lock up SPARKS. (1894, January 24). Burra Record (SA : 1878 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved September 16, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36059622
    Because of the location it seems likely that it is the same Kate McEvoy.

    Perhaps she is also the woman who died falling down the stairs in 1897: VICTORIA. (1897, November 25). Kalgoorlie Western Argus (WA : 1896 - 1916), p. 22. Retrieved September 16, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32430047 Another inquest to search out.

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  6. Sorry for the bombardment of messages. I have found the case mentioned at TOPICS OF THE WEEK. (1890, January 4). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 25. Retrieved September 16, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139146292 . There was not one but two inquests for the woman who died in 1889 ie Elizabeth McEvoy and for Elizabeth Hook. In this article McEvoy is spelt M'Evoy. That search gives a whole lot more articles :) http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/result?q=%22kate+M%27Evoy%22 The Argus for example spells her name M'Evoy.

    Regards
    Anne

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    1. LOL Anne, we were both searching at the same time. You did better than me though! Well done :)

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  7. What a great story Kerryn, it certainly makes you wonder what was really going on!!

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    1. quite a mystery for a little while Kylie, I'm going to enjoy reading what Anne has found.

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