Unit 38

Item 150

Margaret Lennen

16th October 1856

Inquest held at Ballarat on the body of Margaret Lennen

Death was caused by suffocation from having accidentally fallen into a cesspool whilst in a state of intoxication on Thursday 16th October

Robert Handyside, storekeeper

The deceased has been in my employment as cook and housekeeper for the last three or four weeks. The deceased has been occasionally tipsy since she entered my service. But she has been almost daily so since last Friday the tenth instant. She never slept in my place but came about seven o’clock every morning to her work. The deceased came that morning as usual and gave us our breakfast. She got tipsy about 11 o’clock am and gave us some lunch and after I told her that I would not any longer put up with her being tipsy every day as she had been lately. And that she had better go home and come next morning if she was all right. She went away immediately after and I never saw her again alive. But saw her about three o’clock pm immersed in a cesspool behind my premises.

R M Handasyde (signed in a fluent hand – note different spelling)

Charles Phillips


That about 3 o’clock am I heard that the deceased was in the cesspool at the back of my premises. I went immediately and assisted in taking her out. On going there I could only see her feet and a shawl on the surface of the cesspool. I got her out with assistance. She was quite dead and the last witness Mr Handesyde [sic] came up and identified her as his housekeeper

C. Philipp [sic]