The West Briton, 26th August, 1853


A man and woman have absconded from Calstock, who were charged under a
coroner's inquisition with wilful murder.  The man's name is William GAY, a miner, about thirty years of age; the woman is Eliza PELLOW, wife of Richard
Pellow, aged about thirty-two, who with her female child went off in company with Gay.  We have since learnt that they were apprehended on Wednesday night at St. Austell.

The West Briton, 2 September 1853


We stated last week that a man and woman had been apprehended at St. Austell, who had absconded from the parish of Calstock, the woman having had a verdict of "wilful murder" returned against her on a coroner's inquisition.  The following are further particulars on the subject:-
Considerable excitement has been occasioned during the past week among the inhabitants in the neighbourhood of Calstock, by the exhumation of the body of a child, six months old, upon suspicion of its having been murdered.  It appears that about five or six weeks since, the deceased and also the father
of the child, a labourer named PELLOW, residing at Metherell, in the parish of Calstock, were suddenly taken ill, and in the course of a few hours the child died, but the father who suffered severely from sickness, recovered and was able to resume work.  In the course of the past week, the wife of Pellow absconded from her home, with William GAY, a labourer who had been a lodger in the house, and a suspicion having been excited that the illness of the husband and death of the child were occasioned by poison administered by Pellow's wife, information was given to Mr. HAMLEY, the Coroner, who directed the disinterment of the body of the deceased child.  This was done on Saturday, the 22nd ult., when an inquest was held which was adjourned until Tuesday, for the purpose of enabling Mr. JONES, surgeon, to make a post mortem examination, the result of which has conclusively established the presence of poison in the stomach of the infant, and a verdict of "wilful murder" was returned against the mother, for whom a warrant was immediately issued.   Another account states that a verdict of "wilful murder" was also returned by the coroner's jury against John GAY was accessory before the fact.  The surgeon who made the post mortem examination, stated that the liver was much enlarged, and the stomach presented the appearance of violent inflammation.  He also stated that he had taken the contents of the stomach to Mr. Rowe, a chemist of Devonport and the result of investigations made by the latter was that although arsenic could not be found in a sold form, from it being diffused in the system, yet there were evident traces of its existence, and he believed that death arose from the administering of arsenic.  The accused parties were apprehended on Wednesday night last week at Carvath, a village near St. Austell, by policemen SAMBELS and WESTLAKE, who deserve much praise for their vigilance and exertions.  On Thursday the parties charged with the offence, were safely lodged in the county gaol at Bodmin.

Contributed by Isabel Harris