I came across this tragedy whilst researching something else entirely. Reading the newspaper reports, I can only admire the thoroughness and competence displayed by the reporter (s) in covering the tragedy and its surprising aftermath. The attention to detail and the flowing narrative are masterful. The first report is from The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated 20th February 1889. I should mention that the baby who drowned was six months old and called EDITH LONG 

The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated Wednesday 20th February 1889

Cadman Street Bridge Sheffield

Cadman bridge looking in the direction of Victoria Quays. In front of the bridge a pipe crosses the canal, on the right bank is a derelict former industrial building.

Copyright Graham Robson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence


The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated Thursday 21st February 1889

The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated Saturday 23rd February 1889

The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent reporter at the funeral of Lucy Long and her daughter Edith stated the large crowd that watched both the procession and the funeral were "excited". Another local newspaper called the scenes witnessed as "disgraceful." 

The Coroner at the Inquest stated that no blame should be attached to the actions of Thomas Long when he "broke up the family home". Lucy's father Mark Barker did state that Thomas Long should have told him before he sold the furniture but he did not bare him any ill-will. He was a "steady man" and he could not fault him. In fact the family attended the funeral together. But clearly the feeling in the district was that Thomas was to blame for the deaths of his wife and young daughter. His actions in breaking the family home led to their deaths and the locals made their views quite plain. The reports infer that the police were expecting some form of trouble and deployed police officers on the procession and at the church. 

Thomas was a temperate, sober, industrious and hard-working, all the values the Victorians prized in the working man, and yet he was vilified in the district.. 

The churchyard where LUCY and EDITH were buried is St Thomas's in the Brightside district of Sheffield

This is their burial record

LONG Edith 22 Feb 1889 6m Corby St C
LONG Lucy 22 Feb 1889 25 Corby St C


Surname First name(s) District Vol Page 
Marriages Jun 1882 
Barker Lucy Sheffield 9c 613 
Long Thomas Sheffield 9c 613 

Surname First name(s) Age District Vol Page 
Deaths Mar 1889 
Long Edith 0 Sheffield 9c 324 
Long Lucy 25 Sheffield 9c 324 


The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated 20th 21st 23rd February 1889

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