December 27th 1889, 40 year old Eliza Goss was found unconscious in
her home in Nelson by a neighbour. Police and medical assistance were
called, but Mrs Goss never regained consciousness and eventually
died. Her husband, Henry John Goss, was arrested by police on the
charge of assault with intent to do bodily harm. It was reported that
the couple frequently quarrelled, and were up “keeping merriment”
until the early hours of the morning. According a report on the
coroner's inquest in the Wanganui Chronicle on 11 January 1890, the
woman had been “disgustingly ill-used” by her husband. It states
that her death was from apoplexy(1) which was
accelerated through the “brutal usage and ill-treatment” that she
was subjected to by Henry John Goss. He was convicted of manslaughter
in March 1890, and given a sentence of two years.
(1) Apoplexy is an out-dated medical term which was used to describe many deaths that began with a sudden loss of conciousness, such as strokes or internal bleeding.
Click here to visit the New Zealand Police page on domestic violence.
"Accidents and Fatalities." Wanganui Chronicle, Volume XXXIII, Issue 11582 (11 January 1890), 2. Papers Past: http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=WC18900111.2.18&srpos=1&e=11-01-1890-11-01-1890--10-PubMetaWC-1----0goss-all
"Suspicious Death of a Woman ARREST OF HER HUSBAND." Evening Post, Volume XXXVIII, Issue 153 (28 December 1889), 2. Papers Past: http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=EP18891228.2.27&srpos=4&e=-------10--1----0henry+john+goss-all
Chelsea Nichols, March 2010. Unless otherwise stated, all images and information found on this website are property of the New Zealand Police Museum.