This article gives some insight into living conditions in Hanbury Place, Limehouse in the late nineteenth century. The six houses in Hanbury Place were soon demolished to make way for the artisans dwellings known as Hanbury Buildings.
Western Morning News
Thursday 20 September 1923
BRAVE EFFORT TO SAVE HANGING MAN
A remarkable story of the presence of mind and pluck shown by a 17-year old girl named Elizabeth Clark, of Hanbury Buildings, Poplar, was related to Dr. R. L. Guthrie, the East London coroner, at an inquest yesterday on a seaman name Anderson, who was found hanged in a disused timber yard.
The girl Clarke stated that on Monday she was walking along Poplar High-street with her young brother, who called her attention to a man in a disused timber yard.
Entering it she found Anderson. She saw that he was almost sitting down and there was something round his neck which secured him to the window post. Witness called to some men who were passing, but they only looked in and went away, leaving her there. Calling a boy, she sent him after the men to ask then to lend her a knife, but they declared that they did possess such a thing,
As witness felt she could not go away and leave the man there, she tried to gnaw through through the string by which he was partly suspended with her teeth. In this she was unsuccessful, and she then searched to see if there was anything which would effect the purpose. At last, finding a piece of tiling she sawed through the string and let the body down.
Dr. Guthrie: It was very plucky of you to act as you did. Many people would have left the man and run off to search for a constable.
Dr. C. Summers, police surgeon said the man had probably hanged himself a few feet above the ground and then slipped down with a jerk. When the noose tightened and held him taut he remained in a sitting posture, just clear of the ground. The jerk broke deceased's neck.
The Coroner, recording a verdict of 'Suicide while of unsound mind', allowed the girl Clarke a fee of five shillings, and said he was sorry it was not more.