2 October 1920
MR. WYNNE BAXTER.
Mr. Wynne Edwin Baxter, one of the best-known of the London Coroners, died yesterday at his house in Church-street, Stoke Newington, at the age of 76. For 33 years he served as coroner for East London and the Tower of London. About three weeks ago he had a sudden heart attack while holding an inquest at Poplar, and since then had been practically confined to bed.
Born at Lewes in 1844, the son of the proprietor and editor of the Sussex Express, Mr. Baxter was admitted a solicitor in 1867, and appointed coroner for Sussex in 1876. He conducted the inquiry into the murder of Mr. Gold, a retired merchant, who was shot while traveling by a Brighton express in June, 1881; and held the inquest on Lefroy, who was executed for the crime in November of the same year at Lewes Gaol. Mr. Baxter was appointed coroner for East London in 1887, and among the first inquests held by him were those on the victims of the mysterious "Jack the Ripper." He also held the inquests on the policemen who were shot by Russian anarchists at Houndsditch in January, 1911, and on the bodies of the criminals themselves who were killed in the Sydney-street affair. After the Silvertown explosion during the war, Mr. Baxter held, on one day alone, inquests on over 60 bodies at the London Hospital, on which occasion not only were the ordinary mortuaries filled, but bodies had to be laid also in rows along the corridors. As Coroner of the Tower he held inquests on the bodies of the German spies who were condemned to death by courts-martial and shot. He held, on an average, 1,000 inquests annually. One year the number was 2,500.
Mr. Baxter was a collector of editions of Milton, a member of the Archaeological Societies of Middlesex, Surrey, Kent, Sussex, and Gloucestershire, and treasurer of the Royal Microscopical Society. From 1871 to 1876 he was vice-president of the Provincial Newspaper Society. He was High Constable of Lewes from 1877 to 1881, in which year he was elected first Mayor of Lewes. He served as Under-Sheriff of London and Middlesex for several years, and was Clerk to two City Guilds, the Shipwrights' and the Farriers'. At Stoke Newington he served as chairman of the Public Library Committee and chairman of the Licensing Bench.
The funeral will take place at Lewes next Wednesday, following a service at St. Mary's Old Church, Stoke Newington.