Frederick Hyde

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Police Constable Frederick Hyde, 161H.

Witness at Frances Coles' inquest.

Also referred to as PC 'Hart'.

Born 1862 in Pentonville, London. Married to Charlotte, together they had six children, Frederick (b.1888), Henry (b.1889), Ellen (b.1890), William (b.1892), Victor (b.1898) and Robert (b.1901). In 1891, the family were living at 40 Royal Mint Square.[1]

Appearing on the first day of the inquest, PC Hyde stated that he had started his beat at 10.00pm, 12th February 1891, taking in Royal Mint Street, Cartwright Street, Upper East Smithfield and Trinity Square. All was quiet until 2.15am the following morning when he heard a police whistle whilst he was in Royal Mint Street. He went in the direction of the sound and arrived at Swallow Gardens, about 250 yards away. There he found PC Ernest Thompson with the body of Frances Coles. PC Hyde turned on his light to examine the body and saw that the throat had been cut.

At this point he went to fetch Dr. Frederick Oxley of Dock Street who arrived at the scene in 10 minutes. When Dr. Oxley arrived, PC Hyde said that Coles was still alive. He then searched the locality but could not find any trace of the possible attacker.

He then went on to say that there was a lamp at the end of the Swallow Gardens arch which made the passageway lighter at night than it was during the day. He had seen nobody near the spot in the half-hour before he heard PC Thompson's whistle and said that he heard no cries during that time.[2]


  1. Census reports 1891
  2. Inquest report, The Times, 16th February 1891