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Gray, John (1825–1884)

Senior-Sergeant Long reported to the City Coroner that about 7 o'clock yesterday morning a gentleman of independent means, Mr John Gray, residing at Heath, Cross street, Double Bay, was found by his housekeeper, Mrs Dorothy Wenzall in his smoking room lying dead. It appears that the deceased gentleman retired to his room at 10 o'clock the previous night, when there was nothing noticeable the matter with him. Strange to say, no report of firearms appears to have been heard during the night by the housekeeper who, on entering the smoking room in the morning found a single barelled pistol, grasped in the deceased's hands. The muzzle was pointing under the chin, where there are the marks of a bullet wound, and all over the mouth and nose a quantity of blood was discovered. An inquest will probably be held this morning at Mortimer's Double Bay Hotel. The deceased gentleman, who is of independent position, has been for a considerable time past subject to melancholia, which were brought on by the death of a sister at Double Bay in September, 1882, a lady to whom he was deeply attached. It was not for some time afterwards, however, that the state of his mind became more pronounced, and last June it was deemed necessary by Dr Schuette, his medical adviser, to remove the unfortunate gentleman to Gladesville. He was under treatment there about two months and was discharged as being so far cured. Since that time he has been residing at Heath with his two sisters, leading a very quiet amiable life, spending a great part of his time in walking with his dog about the neighbourhood. In fact, his conduct had been so rational of late that any suicidal ideas would have appeared to be the farthest from his thoughts. Yesterday had passed at Heath in the usual manner: Mr. Gray had taken his daily walk and had dined as usual, and read up till about 10 o'clock, his accustomed hour for retiring. He left the room where his sisters were with a "God bless you," and walked calmly out of the room towards his own chamber. He did not answer when called yesterday morning by Mrs Wenzall, the housekeeper, who then looked inside the room and found it vacant. She proceeded to the smoking room adjacent, and the awful truth burst on her in a moment. There can be no doubt as far as can be ascertained that the deceased gentleman died by his own act. His disposition had made him much liked and respected in the neighbourhood and it is hardly necessary to add that the sisters, who are both elderly ladies, are terribly prostrated by the unexpected suddenness of the blow. Dr Leibius, of the Mint, who is a relative of the family, caused the occurrence to be at once made known to the Coroner.

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • inquest, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 June 1884, p 8

Citation details

'Gray, John (1825–1884)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/gray-john-27981/text35721, accessed 14 April 2021.

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