THE CHISELHURST ASSAULT.
[The Times of August 6, 1892, says:-]
“A deliberate and, at present, unaccountable attempt to murder two young ladies, one of them a daughter of the Rev. R. Wood, vicar of Bickley, and niece of Mr Goschen, Chancellor of the Exchequer, was made on Wednesday of last week between Bickley and Chislehurst, in Kent.
About four o’clock Miss Hilda Wood, who is 16 years old, and tall for her ago, with a friend, Miss Edith Philbrick, aged 14, a daughter of Mr F. A. Philbrick, Q.C., were walking through a [wheat field at Blackbrook Farm] belonging to Mr G. Beath, farmer, Southborough, along the path which leads from Bickley to Chislehurst. When about half a mile distant from Mr Philbrick’s house Miss Wood noticed a man with a gun lounging along behind them. She called her companion’s attention to the man, saying she did not like the look of him, and suggesting that they should stop and allow him to pass. They accordingly stood on one side.
The man came along at the same pace, but when he came up to them he suddenly turned round, and, pointing his gun in Miss Wood’s face, fired. She fell to the ground stunned, and on recovering consciousness found herself lying in the field, her friend being in a like condition; but the man was not in sight. With an effort she dragged herself to [Viggins] cottage about 600 yards away …
Lord Goschen, uncle to Miss Philbrick
Sailors on the Cutty Sark
From the the national maritime museum
Police-constable Penny said that, on the evening of the 3rd, he was informed that a girl was lying in a wheat field near Blackbrook Farm unconscious. He went there an found Miss Philbrick lying in a pool of blood. He had her conveyed on a hurdle to the cottage, where he saw Miss Wood, who was severely injured, and had shot-wounds on the left side of her face. She made a statement to him, and he afterwards arrested the prisoner on Higgs Farm. … in an insensible condition and bleeding profusely from her head and face… the police… soon prosecuting a strict search… a man was found in hiding on the Higgins farm at Southborough, and was arrested. He was placed with three others before Miss Wood, and she identifled him as the man who had attacked her and Miss Philbrick.
At Chislehurst police station, he gave his name as Leonard Manktlow, aged 21, living at 9 Havelock road, Bromley, and said he was a sailor or fisherman [a fisherman or sailor in Bromley??]. He was charged with shooting at Hilda Wood, aged 16, and Edith Philbrick, 14, with intent to murder them and thereby causing them grievous bodily harm…
The Rev. Robert Wood, the vicar of Bickley [one of the victim’s father], was the prosecutor. Mr Bernard Wilson defended the prisoner. The court was crowded, and when the prisoner was brought in, he was weeping bitterly. He was allowed a seat in the dock, and sat with his face buried in his hands. He is a powerfully built man and was attired as a sailor. The Chairman [of the magistrates] said he only wanted sufficient evidence to to justify a remand. The prisoner was then remanded till Monday next… Mr Bernard Wilson said no doubt considerable excitement had be caused out of sympathy for the young ladies. But from his instructions he believed he would be able to put a very different complexion on the case later on.
At the conclusion of the police-court proceedings, as Manktlow was being escorted across the road to the police-station by two constables, he was suddenly seized with a fit, and would have fallen to the ground but for their support. A very large crowd had gathered between the court house and the station, a distance of about 40 yards, and several constables were present keeping order. Three of these at once went forward, and with their assistance Manktlow was carried to the police station, where he received medical attention.
Miss Philbrick had a relapse yesterday morning. She improved slightly during the rest of the day but her condition is still very critical.
Leonard Manktlow, the man who attempted to murder Miss Hilda Wood, niece of the Right Hon. J. G. Goschen, late Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Miss Edith Philbrick, at Chislehurst on August 3, has been declared to be a lunatic, and has been ordered to be detained during the Queen’s pleasure.
[retrieved in large part from Trove, National Library of Australia, 28th September 2017]
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