|Princes Dock - place of death|
It seems that on 18 December 1872, a person recorded as '---- Callaghan', approx 24 years of age, was buried in Walton Cemetary in a public grave, plot 693B. The burial was recorded as entry 53 in the ledger. On the line underneath, numbered 54, the burial of 'a woman unknown' was also registered.
The fact that the identities of the individuals appeared not to have been fully established is one thing, but the fact that both of them are said to have died in 'Princes Dock' seemed really unusual!
I wondered what the backstory of this couple was? An accident perhaps, or maybe a suicide pact between lovers? I was intrigued and wanted to look into it a bit further.
|Princes Dock, around 1835 (source: Chester Walls)|
I ran a quick search to see if I could find any further information online on the deaths, from a newspaper or other source of that time perhaps, and instead found references to there being a 'deadhouse' in Princes Dock. In the crypt of St Nicholas' church near the dock site, there was a 'deadhouse' - a place where the bodies of people who had died from drowning were laid out; until they were claimed either by relatives, or were simply buried by the authorities.
In the end, this is exactly what happened to our couple. Buried by the council, in a public grave in Walton Cemetary.
So maybe there was no real connection between the couple at all? All they had in common was the river where they died and the public grave where their bodies were eventually laid out to rest....
Out of the Deadhouse... near Princes Dock, Liverpool.