A shocking discovery was made on Friday afternoon on Hampstead Heath, and one which apparently points to murder and suicide. Some children playing on the West Heath, in one of the hollows just above the Leg of Mutton Pond, found the dead bodies of a Coldstream Guardsman and a well-dressed woman lying under a tree. The children told a Heath constable of their discovery, and he in turn communicated with the police. Mr. W. H. Payne, the Police Divisional Surgeon, was quickly on the spot. He found that both the man and the woman had been dead some hours, and both had bullet wounds in the head. The woman was holding a muff to her head over the wound, and the man still grasped a revolver in his right hand. The bodies were taken on ambulances to the Hampstead Mortuary, the removal being witnessed by some hundreds of young people, who had previously been sliding and skating on the shallow Whitestone Pond on the summit of the Heath. At the mortuary it was found that the man was wearing a South African war medal, bearing the name of Private Pateman, of the Coldstream Guards. From subsequent inquiries it was found the name on the medal was correct, the name of the deceased soldier being William Pateman, age 22, a Welshman, and originally a sweep by trade. He was invalided home from South Africa, suffering from enteric fever, and became an inmate of the Golder's-hill Convalescent Home in October, 1900. He remained there as a patient for some time, and was then made an orderly, a position he occupied for about seven months. At times he was, it is stated, very strange in his manner and very excitable, and suffered from severe pains in his head. Last month he was married at Heath-street Baptist Chapel, Hampstead, to the deceased woman, who was formerly a cook in the service of the Rev. W. Brock, the minister of that chapel. About a month ago Pateman left Golder's-hill on a "working furlough" - that is, a furlough permitting him to go in search of work. It is believed that he was unsuccessful in his attempt to find employment. He had a recurrence of enteric fever, and became an inmate of the Guards' Hospital, Rochester-row, Westminster. In the meantime his wife was living with her people somewhere in Kent. A letter found on the deceased woman, and believed to have been written by her, stated that as they could not live together they had decided to die together, and they wished to be buried together. Among the engagements in which Pateman took part in South Africa were those at Graspan, Belmont, Modder River, and Magersfontein, and he was afterwards laid up at De Aar with enteric fever.
At the inquest on Monday, the jury returned a verdict that the woman was murdered by her husband, who afterwards committed suicide whilst of unsound mind. The evidence showed that the man had been subject to occasional fits of depression. A sister of the woman said he had been jealous of his wife
Northampton Mercury, Friday 27th December 1901
The following user(s) said Thank You: djb, Elmarie
I've found another report of the inquest, but this one gives a different regiment - 3rd Grenadier Guards.
THE HAMPSTEAD TRAGEDY.
In London on Monday, a coroner's jury found that William Pateman, 24, private in the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards, murdered his wife Emma at Hampstead Heath, and afterwards committed suicide during temporary insanity. The evidence showed that Pateman was invalided home from South Africa suffering from enteric and general debility. He had complained of severe pains in the head. On the man was found a letter containing the words "We lived together, we die together, rather than be parted. Let us be buried together." The jury returned a verdict that the woman was murdered by her husband, who afterwards committed suicide, whilst of unsound mind.
Very pleased to be able to give an update. I contacted Heath Street Baptist Church, Hampstead, and received an email saying that the marriage registers had been gone through, and that there was no record of Pateman's marriage. I was also able to pay a visit to the church and chat with the minister there.
I've also come across a third report, in a Tasmanian newspaper, the Launceston Daily Telegraph, and this is the fullest account so far (I'd very much like to see the report in the local Hampstead paper); it explains why Heath Street Baptist Church had no record of the marriage - it seems to taken place at Hampstead Wesleyan Church. If this was the one on Hampstead High Street, then it closed in the 1930s, although presumably the church's marriage records still survive somewhere.
The report also says that Pateman must have seen action at Graspan, Belmont, Modder River and Magersfontein.
William Pateman was described as being a Welshman, either 22 or 24. I couldn't find a birth registration for a William Pateman in Wales, in any year from 1870 to 1884.
There were William Batemans born in Newport and Pembroke in 1879.
William and Emma's deaths are recorded in the Hampstead registration district; William's age was given as 22, and Emma's as 24.