Coroner’s Report

Rebecca PYCROFT (born CATE)

1844 – 1919



See for her descendants and

Rebecca’s family Group Sheet At .

Rebecca came to New Zealand in 1878 on the ship Waitangi to Lyttelton. With husband and 9 children.



Please contact me (below) shoud you desire to have a copy of Rebecca's report.


A transcription of the Coroner’s report of Rebecca CATE, the
GreatGreatGrandmother of Barry PYCROFT, who purchased and
transcribed the nine (9) pages of the report.

The report is held by Archives New Zealand and catalogued as :-




Coroners Inquests - Case Files - Wellington - Pycroft, Rebecca [Use copy MICRO U 5498] (R23737010)

1919 - 1919


Item ID




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595 /








INFORMATIONS OF WITNESSES  severally taken and acknowledged
on behalf of our Sovereign Lord The King touching the
death of                
Rebecca Pycroft ~~ ~ ~~ ~~
at the dwelling house of  
Magistrates Court House
[or] known by the name of                 at Wellington
in the provincial District of Wellington
Friday , the sixth day of June
one thousand nine hundred and
nineteen , before ~ Francis Vernon Frazer, one of the coroners
for New Zealand [or a justice of the Peace acting as one of His
Majesty’s Coroners], on the inquisition then and there taken on
view of the body

Rebecca Pycroft

then and there lying dead, as follows, to wit:- 



Page 2 / 9


David Gray
          being sworn, saith that


I live at 43 Hall Street Wellington, and I am a labour foreman.  I was passing through the plantation in John Street about 12.30pm. yesterday.  I there saw deceased. She was lying behind a tree. I went over to her.  She was dead. I then notified the police.  I did not notice any thing near the  body at that time.  A few minutes later I went back to the body with Constable Walsh. I saw him pick up a small bottle just behind the deceased.  I did not examine it. 


            D C Gray





Page 3 / 9


This deponent

Jeannie Boone

on her oath  says


I am a married woman and live with my husband at 13 John Street.  The deceased was my Mother.  She had resided with me for the past six years.

She had been in ill health for the past 4  months.  She had been medically attended.  I understood she suffered from, nerve troubles.  The doctor saw her about a fortnight ago.  I last saw her about 9.15a.m. yesterday.  She was not at all well. She went out as usual for a walk, saying that she would not be long.  She had never expressed any intentions of taking her life so far as I know.  I did not keep Lysol in the house.



Jennie Boone


Page 4 / 9


This deponent

William Pycroft

on his oath says


I am a bricklayer and reside at 10 Genere Street, Berhampore. I identify the body now lying at the morgue as that of my mother , Rebecca Pycroft.  I know nothing of her movements yesterday.  She was 75 years of age, a widow.

W. Pycroft





Page 5 / 9


This deponent

John Walsh

on his oath says


I am a constable stationed at Wellington. About 12.30p.m. yesterday I was informed by the first witness that a woman was lying dead in John Street plantation  I went with him to the place where the body lay . Deceased was lying face downwards under a tree . I found a bottle containing a small amount of lysol (produced) lying on the ground a foot way from the body.  It was uncorked, and the cork was lying underneath the body.  There were no marks of violence on the body and no signs of a struggle.  Deceased’s hand bag was hanging on one of the lower branches of the tree.  It contained a set of false teeth.  I moved the body to the morgue.

John Walsh




Page 6 / 9


This deponent

William Kington Fyffe

on his oath says


I am a duly qualified and registered medical practitioner residing and practicing at Wellington.  Today I made a post mortem examination of the body of Rebecca Pycroft.  She was an extremely emaciated old woman with no fat on the body.  Her lips were much excoriated.  The whole of the mucous membrane of the stomach had been burned up and charred by a fluid smelling like lysol.  The lysol had penetrated several feet down the small intestine and the small intestine was in much the same condition as the stomach.  The whole of the left lung was densely adherent. The liver was coloured and the kidney granular. 

 The cause of death in my opinion was shock from lysol poisoning deceased must have taken a great deal of the lysol

W.K Fyffe.  MD.







Page 8 / 9


New Zealand

         To wit.


The foregoing depositions of


David Gray

Jeannie Boone

William Pycroft

John Walsh


William Kington Fyffe



Written on seven pages of paper numbered consecutively


From one to seven  . and by me fixed  together,


Were taken and sworn or affirmed before me, at Wellington


On the 6th day of June  1919.


F. V. Frazer.









Page 9 / 9

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cor 1919 / 700


Dominion of


New Zealand


To wit.

An inquisition taken for our Sovereign Lord the King at the house of

Magistrates Court-house  ~~  ~~  ~~ 

at Wellington  ~~  ~~  ~~  ~~  ~~  ~~ 

in the said Dominion, on the sixth    day of  June 

in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and nineteen , before

Francis Vernon Frazer, Esquire, one of the

Coroners of our Sovereign Lord the King for the said Dominion, on view of the body of

Rebecca Pycroft ~~  ~~  ~~  ~~  ~~  ~~  then and there

lying dead at the Public Morgue at Wellington:


and the said Coroner, having inquired, for our Lord the King, when, where and by,
 what means the said
Rebecca Pycroft  ~~  ~~  ~~  ~~  ~~  ~~ 

came to her death doth find that the said Rebecca
Pycroft died on the 5th day of June
1919, at the John Street Plantation
at Wellington.  The cause of her
death being poisoning by Lysol,
self administered while in a state
of extreme depression due to ill –

health. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


In witness where of the said Corner has hereunto set and subscribed  his hand

and seal the day and year first above written.







Mr. B.E. PYCROFT,   8 Orcades Street,
Shirley, 8013.  Christchurch,  New Zealand.
Voice: +64-3-942.8417 .. .. Fax: +64-3-942.8417
E Mail: barry at  . . NZSG 8530.

Copyright © 16-04-2019 - B.E.PYCROFT.        Previous change 16-04-2019