Ellen Bury Crime Scene

[This report describes in detail the Princes Street residence of William and Ellen Bury as it was found by the police. —Steve Earp]

Case of W.H. Bury

Inventory of Articles found in Accused’s house Princes St Dundee.

Detective Department

Dundee 12th February 1889

List of articles &c found in the house at 113 Princes St occupied by William Henry Bury.

There was no grate in the fire place—the ribs of an old grate lying flat on some pieces of bricks served to hold the coals burned in the fire place.  There was a small rusty fender, a poker, a coal shovel, a kettle, a stew pot and a wooden box sitting at the fire side.  There was a variety of ashes in the fire place amongst them were—a number of buttons, hooks & eyes, the steels of a pair of stays, and sundry articles (produced in cigar box).

The following articles were on the mantel piece:— an empty quart bottle “Edinburgh Ale” on label: four China figure ornaments named “The Wedding Night,” “The last to bed puts out the light,” “When a man’s married his troubles begin,” and “Returning at one o’clock in the morning”: a small scent bottle: a pocket knife, two blades & white handle: two watch keys: photo of an aged female in mournings: and a small tin box—empty.

In a wall press at side of fire were—two empty quart bottles one broken: a tumbler containing dregs of beer: a gill bottle containing dregs of whiskey: two empty pepper boxes: two empty salt dishes: three table knives: three forks: a dinner spoon: a desert spoon: two tea spoons: two salt spoons: a copper coffee pot: four plates: a bowl: 7 old brushes: and a cigar box containing some dominoes:

The following articles were found on top of the box which contained the body viz:—

Three table covers: 5 tidies: a slip body: a muslin skirt: a pair of woman’s drawers: a curtain: a mantel piece border: a small tidy and an apron:

The box in which the body was found contained the following things viz:—

A dirty sheet, which when removed allowed the lower portion of the right leg to be seen: the body was securely packed with the after mentioned articles viz:— A Bible fly leaves torn out, black covers, with “British and Foreign Bible Society”: a small Testament same as Bible: an English Church Common-Prayer Book (E. H. Peters on front page): a smaller prayer book: a children’s Hymn Book: a book entitled “Child of Jesus” (“To Dear Agnes with best love from Vicky, Agnes Davis with best love from Vicky”) written on front page in ink and pencil: A Hymn book “Songs and Solos”: a small copy of Johnston’s Dictionary: (Emma Pratt 9 Arnold Road Bow E. on it): a book entitled “Orthographical Exercesis [sic]” (“William Peters 1863”): a novel “The Earl’s Daughter”: another—“Gone”: a book entitled “Aunt Phillis’s Cabin”: (J.M. Smith, Rumbury House and Mrs Martin written on it): a book entitled “Charcombe Wells—a Tale of Country Life” nearly new: a book entitled “Belzoni’s Travels” (Harriet Elliott—a gift by Mrs Clark, August 11th 1867—written on it): an old book without covers “Chapter 1 Robin’s Home”: an old Dictionary: a Bible (“British and Foreign Bible Society Centenary of Sunday Schools 1880” printed on cover in gold) a book entitled “The Heiress against her will”: “Natural History” (To Miss Laura Ann Winser from her friends the Revd Albert Badger and Miss Badger 21st August 1863 written on it) a novel “The Leaguer of Lathom”: “Church Hymns with tunes”: a small Common Prayer Book: a novel “The Constable of France”: “First Book of Arithmetic”: a hymn book without covers: a novel—“A Loaf for Life”: a small “Litany” Onigo Ellen Elliott—a gift from her brother George 1868”): “Views of Southend on Sea”: a small atlas: a novel—“The Dead Heart”: a novel “Red Coats and Borderers”: a copy of “The Dundee Advertiser” for February 1st 1889: some periodicals such as Tit-Bits, Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday: &c: 3 umbrellas 2 lady’s and a gents’: the ribs of two umbrellas: a pair of lady’s cloth shoes: a pair of gents’ chamois leather slippers: a woman’s ulster (produced) an old black skirt: six pairs of stockings: a bundle of baby’s stockings: two pairs of baby’s shoes: 8 baby’s dresses: and a quantity of baby’s underclothing all worn but clean.

Lying on the bottom of the box under the body were—:

A black skirt and an old torn petticoat.

Lying in a bundle on the floor as if taken out of the box to make room for the body were—:

Five shirts, 2 linen sheets, two white table covers (one has W.P.4 on a corner) 9 tidies: a worsted shawl: a towel: two white curtains and a red one: an old linen sheet: 2 pairs of women’s drawers: 2 chemises: 2 white petticoats: a slip body: 3 pillow slips: a piece of window blind: a window screen: a pair of linen cuffs: and some white rags:

Lying on window sill:—

A bag containing 68 farthings: a bag with 2 cups, a saucer, a sugar bowl & 2 scent bottles: 2 hair brushes: a comb: a table knife; and a pen knife.

In an open portmanteau at foot of bed—:

A red plush dress: a man’s grey jacket suit (well worn) and a pair of brown socks.

Lying on floor at foot of bed:—

A Basin: a bowl: two window blinds, and two pairs of mens boots:

In large padlocked box:—

5 Gents’ ties: a leather belt: a quantity of rags: 5 petticoats: a pair of black kid gloves: a cape: 7 women’s jackets (belonging to dresses): a piece of silk: 4 skirts: a man’s coat: a vest: a pair of grey tweed trousers: a red plush jacket (to match dress in portmanteau): a cravat: a hood: a muff: a silk sash: a pair of womens drawers: a skirt: a tidy: a fur boa: 5 women’s hats: 2 old felt hats: a tile hat: an album: small pair of scissors: 3 pairs of boots: two necklets: 4 Alberts: a sovereign holder: 2 finger rings: pair of sleeve links: some studs: A thimble and two watch keys (These articles of jewellery are of very inferior metal)

In the Bed:—

A black Cashmere, fur lined cloak: a long black cloth jacket: an old figured velvet jacket: a woolen plaid: 3 bed covers: a pair of English blankets: a sheet: 2 pillows and a bolster: a flock matress and two straw mattresses.