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Underwood, Frederick Hatton (1854–1902)

A magisterial inquiry was held at the Railway Hotel, Hornsby, on Thursday, touching the death of one Frederick Hatham [Hotham] Underwood, whose body was found in the Hawkesbury River.

Dr. B. B. Hoyer, legally qualified medical practitioner residing at Hornsby, deposed that on the 7th instant he was asked by the police to view the body of a man found drowned at Brooklyn. Saw the body in a shed. It was that of a man between 40 and 50 years of age, fairly nourished. There were no marks of violence on the body. Death was due to asphyxia by drowning.

Eric Lionel Underwood, a labourer, deposed that the deceased, whose body he had seen at Milson's Island, on the Hawkesbury River, was his father. Deceased was 47 years of age and resided at Marra Marra Creek, and was an orchardist. He was married and left a widow and four in family.

William Cole, a fisherman of Brooklyn, deposed to seeing deceased on the 3rd inst. going in his boat at Brooklyn on his way home. Went with him in the boat part of the way. Deceased then went on afterwards to his home at Marra Marra Creek. He was when witness last saw him pulling for a few hundred yards. Then he put up the sail. He was slightly under the influence of liquor, but quite capable of looking after the boat.

Joseph Rea, a farmer, deposed to finding deceased's boat just below Bar Point, Hawkesbury, with the sail full set and a number of empty cases packets (apparently of groceries) in the boat. Deceased's coat and three oars and a bottle of schnapps (partly empty) were also in the boat.

The Coroner recorded the following finding: — 'That the deceased, Frederick Hatham Underwood, was found drowned in the Hawkesbury River on the 6th January, 1902, but there is no evidence to show how he got into the water.'

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'Underwood, Frederick Hatton (1854–1902)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/underwood-frederick-hatton-25427/text33792, accessed 26 May 2019.

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