The following report appeared in The Newsman on September 29th, 1900:
KILLED AT CHRISHALL
THE CORONER’S INQUIRY
VERDICT OF MANSLAUGHTER
“YOU HAVE KILLED DAVID”
The inquiry into the death of David Rodgers, the result of a quarrel at a harvest jollification at the Gate beerhouse at Chrishall, was adjourned till Friday, when eight more witnesses were examined.
Moses Rodgers, cousin of the deceased, deposed that Rutter came to the Cow beerhouse, and said there had been “a little dispute” at the Gate, and that he had given David “what for”.
Another witness, Sidney Harry Hayes, said he heard a woman scream, and saw Rodgers lying on the floor with his head under the seat. Witness was quite sure Rodgers did not strike Rutter. He heard a woman named Law cry out, “You have killed David”.
Supt. Howlett, of Saffron Walden, stated that he took Rutter into custody on a charge of killing Rodgers. Rutter then said: “David Rodgers hit me in the face, and I hit him back in the face. He caught me by the neck, and said, ‘I will choke you, you ——-.’ They got him and kicked him. Daniel, the German, was there and saw it. When I got up Rodgers was lying on the floor; that was all that was done. There were four or five young men from Elmdon there all the time: they were the men who kicked him. Mr Cox (the landlord) and I picked Rodgers up and took him outside”.
The jury returned a verdict of “Manslaughter” against Rutter. They considered Cox unfit to hold the licence of the Gate beerhouse.
ACCUSED BEFORE THE BENCH
Frederick Rutter was taken before E.B. Gibson, Esq., at the Town Hall, Saffron Walden, on Saturday, charged with unlawfully killing David Rodgers.
Mr Bryans Ackland appeared to prosecute on behalf of the Treasury. — Mr A.A. Lyon is for the accused.
The case was adjourned for a week.
Defendant asked for bail, which was granted. Mr. W. Andrews and Mr. Thos. Pigg became his sureties.
Editors Note: Frederick Rutter appears on the 1901 census for Chrishall, listed as a Swing Boat Proprietor living in a caravan in the High Street. There is a David Rogers (no ‘d’) on the 1891 census, son-in-law of Nathan Waller, living in Crawley End, aged. 39. So if this was the same man that was murdered, he would have been 48 at the time of his death. He was an agricultural labourer.