Talk by Nic Madge: Deaths in the Thames – the tragic story of five members of one Richmond family

Date(s) - Monday 11 September 2023
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Duke Street Church

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Nic Madge

Suicide was one of the great taboos in polite Victorian society.  It was a sin: a challenge to the will of God and the only crime which was, literally, unforgiveable.  There was no way that the dead could obtain remission of their sins.  Suicide was though a staple of Victorian novelists.  Dickens, Hardy and Gaskell wrote of “fallen women” driven to kill themselves.  And the popular press publicised the goriest details of the most salacious suicides. 

Suicide was a personal, human tragedy for the families of those who killed themselves, and a source of anxiety and disgrace.  That is exemplified by the lives and deaths of one Richmond family, three of whom undoubtedly committed suicide and two who drowned in unexplained circumstances.

Following a career in the law, Nic Madge now writes, photographs and teaches.  His book English Roots: A Family History is available via his website

This talk is part of the Richmond upon Thames Know Your Place heritage festival.