1896: Wealthy bachelor Ed Sheeran found gassed

In 1896, New York papers reported that Edward Sheeran had been found dead, suffocated by gas. Sheeran, a wealthy bachelor, owned a house in Brooklyn, which he shared with his sister, Sarah, and her husband, Michael Sheehan.

Late on the morning of October 4th, Sheeran’s sister went to his bedroom to rouse him. She found the door locked and noticed a distinctive smell of gas. Another relative was summoned to force Sheeran’s bedroom window:

“On the floor was the body of Edward, while the gas was pouring from the burner, which was turned on. The body was lying face downward, and in the dead man’s hand was his trousers.”

The coroner arrived to inspect the scene and speak to witnesses. Believing he may have turned the gas on intentionally, the coroner ordered that Sheeran’s brother-in-law be taken into custody. There is no record of Michael Sheehan ever being charged or tried, however, so it seems that Ed Sheeran’s sad demise – gassed to death while clutching his trousers – was a tragic accident.

Source: New York Tribune, October 5th 1896. Content on this page is © Alpha History 2019-23. Content may not be republished without our express permission. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use or contact Alpha History.