Sunday, 3 April 2016

Killed herself by passion:the death of Sarah Young of Bromley Kent

The sexton's account of the burial of Sarah Young at Bromley Kent on 12 July 1821  records that she was the 34 year old wife of of Henry Young a Wheeler at Widmore but intriguingly describes her cause of death as "killed herself by passion".
The description of the location of the burial plot leads me to speculate that Sarah's burial was not buried as a suicide and the entry is therefore all the more intriguing and unusual. The Sexton's account is usually meticulous in identifying the cause of unusual death using "death was occasioned by" to precede a coroner's inquest verdict. It is not unusual for the record to record "found" details for unexplained deaths or death by drowning or suicide by "reason of insanity" or a direct means. Was this phrase used as a euphemism?
Unfortunately there is no extant contemporary record from 1821 at Bromley Archives to shed further light.
Sarah's entry in the the parish register of burials makes no reference to her cause of death see Kent Online Parish Clerks transcript burials 1813-1836.