The Packet Inn was located in Steine Street, near the bottom of St James’ Street in Brighton. This is very close to the seafront and is about three doors down from The Queens Head – where my great great grandfather John Dinnis lived and worked as a Publican and Cook. I know John Dinnis was here in 1859 from looking through Folthorps Directory of that year.
This lists J. Dinnis, Queen’s Head Inn and also Mary Fullick, Brighton Packet Inn. The next documentation I can find is the England Census of 1861 where the Dinnis family is listed at the bottom of the page:
It lists the family members – John Dinnis, Charlotte his wife, daughters Catherine Ann, Fanny and Charlotte Harriet and sons John Henry and Harry. On the following page of the Census young George Dinnis is listed (my great grandfather) and also on this page is Mary Fullick, licensed victualler of The Packet Inn. At this time her brother and two sisters also lived there, along with her niece, Esther aged 11.
In Folthorps Directory of 1864 Mary Fullick is still listed at The Packet Inn, but the Dinnis family is no longer listed at The Queen’s Head.
The next piece of information I found is a newspaper cutting from the Brighton Guardian of April 21st 1869, telling of the sad death of Mary Fullick.
Suicide From a Public House Window – Inquest Last Night.
“An inquest, presided over by the Borough Coroner, (D. Black, Esq.) was held last night at The Packet Inn, Steine Street, on the body of Mary Fullick, who had committed suicide by throwing herself from the window of the second floor of that house on Saturday morning. It transpired from the evidence adduced that the deceased, who was 53 years of age, kept the Packet Inn, and was assisted in the business by her niece. she had been unwell for some time past, suffering from depression and lowness of spirits, and had been attended by a medical man. On Saturday morning the niece left deceased in bed, apparently asleep, about seven o’clock and about half-past seven, on hearing a noise, she went to the bedroom, but did not find deceased there. She then went into another room on the same floor, and, noticing that the window was open, looked out. She saw deceased lying on the ground beneath. Assistance was procured, and deceased was taken into the house. Dr Brown and Mr Jowers were soon in attendance. Deceased, who had never regained consciousness, died yesterday morning about seven o’clock from the injuries she had sustained. She had attempted to commit suicide about five years ago, and one of her sisters had actually done so. The medical evidence went to show that she had been in a depressed state of mind for some five or six years, and also that she had said several times lately that she thought she should do something towards herself. When deceased was taken up she was suffering from compression of the brain, proceeding in all probability from a fractured skull. there was also a lacerated would, some eight or ten inches in length, over the left eye, and both her forearms were fractured just above the wrist. Dr Brown expressed an opinion that deceased was in an unsound state of mind at the time of her committing suicide, and the coroner having very briefly summed up, a verdict of ‘temporary Insanity’ was returned.”
It is interesting to note the inquest took place so quickly, and also that it took place at the Packet Inn. Pubs were used as court rooms at this time. Her niece, Esther, would have been 19.