ON THIS DAY…… 23rd September 1863

An inquest upon the skeleton of a child, found concealed in the roof of the Rainbow Hotel, Swanston-street, Williamstown on the 23rd of September 1863, before Dr. Youl, the city coroner, at the police station, in Russell-street.  On the 8th of September 1863 during some repairs to the roof of the hotel a bundle containing the remains was found by a slater, concealed between the roof of the house and the ceiling of the room beneath; that this place had been used as a kind of lumber-room, and was accessible from the staircase of the house.  The bundle could not have been deposited from the outside except by cutting through the roof, and that there was nothing in the remains to indicate the sex of the deceased, or the cause of death. The inquest was then adjourned for further inquiries. The most indefatigable researches have been in the meantime made by the detective police into this mysterious affair, and from their minute, and at the same time extensive, investigations, the particulars detailed in the following evidence have been arrived at. Mr. J. M. Smith attended at the inquest to watch the proceedings on behalf of Mr. Cooper, the late landlord of the Rainbow Hotel.   It was not known who murdered the child or who hid the remains but it was believed to have happened in the 1850s.