Lizzie Borden’s Timeline


Source: Lizzie’s testimony at the Inquest held from August 9 – August 11, 1892. Inquest Upon the Deaths of Andrew J. and Abby D. Borden, August 9 – 11, 1892, Volume I and II. Fall River, MA: Fall River Historical Society.


Aug. 4, 1892, Thursday
8:45 – 8:50 a.m.

Lizzie comes down “a few minutes before nine.” “I should say about a quarter” [before nine]. (pg. 56, 59).

Saw “Maggie” [Bridget] and Mrs. Borden; Morse “was not there.” (pg. 56).

The family had already breakfasted.

Spoke to her father, and Mrs. Borden . . . “spoke to them all.”

Did not mention Morse, nor inquire anything about him. (pg. 56).

“When I first came down stairs I went down cellar to the water closet.” (pg. 63).

Mr. Borden was in the sitting room reading the paper. (pg. 58).

Mrs. Borden was in the dining room dusting. (pg. 58).

9:00 a.m.*

Mrs. Borden had left the guest room “all in order”. (pg. 63).

She was going to put some fresh pillow slips on the small pillows at the foot of the bed and was going to close the room . . . “

“She had done that [made bed, dusted, etc.] when I came down.”

It would take “about 2 minutes” to put on the pillow slips. (pg. 63).

Did not see her after Lizzie “went down in the morning and she [Mrs. Borden] was dusting the dining room.” (pg. 62).

“I left her in the dining room.” (pg. 62).

“I should have seen her if she had stayed down stairs; if she had gone to her room I would not have seen her.” (pg. 63).

Mrs. Borden could have gone to her room while “I was down cellar.” (pg. 65).

Lizzie did not see Mrs. Borden when Lizzie came back from down cellar. (pg. 65).

“I had supposed she had gone out.” (pg. 66).

Lizzie gone [down cellar] a little more than 5 minutes. (pg. 66).

“Maggie” had “Just come in [while Mrs. Borden dusted the D. R.] the back door with the long pole, brush . . . she was going to wash the windows around the house. She said Mrs. Borden wanted her to.” (pg. 58).

Lizzie did not have any coffee or tea; does not know if ate any cookies. (pg. 59).

When she got down the breakfast things were all put away “except the coffee pot; I am not sure if that was on the stove or not.” (pg. 59).

The next thing that happened after Lizzie got down was “Maggie went out of doors to wash the windows . . . ” and Mr. Borden “came out into the kitchen and said he did not know whether he would go down to the post office or not. And then I sprinkled some handkerchiefs to iron.” (pg. 59).

“Maggie” went out after the brush before Mr. Borden went away. (pg. 59).

“After 9 o’clock”

“It must have been after 9 o’clock” when Mr. Borden went down town. (pg. 60).

“I was in the dining room . . . [when Mr. Borden started away] . . . I had just commenced . . . to iron.” (pg. 59).

“About 10 a.m.”

“My father did not go away . . . until somewhere about 10.” (pg. 68).

Lizzie “had not commenced [to iron handkerchiefs], but [I] was getting the little ironing board and the flannel.” (pg. 60).

Before Mr. Borden returned, Lizzie did not see “Maggie”. (pg. 67).

After Mr. Borden went out Lizzie did not go up stairs at all. (pg. 67).

Lizzie carried some clean clothes up. (pg. 60).

Stayed “in my room long enough when I went up to sew a little piece of tape on a garment.” (pg. 60).

The door to the guest room was closed. (pg. 64).

“He [Mr. Borden] came home after I came down stairs.” (pg. 60).

“I think “Maggie” let him in.” (pg. 61).

“After 10:00 a.m.”

“It must have been after 10 [when he came home] because I think he told me he did not think he should go out until about 10.” (pg. 83).

“He was not gone so very long.” (pg. 84).

When the bell rang “I think [I was] in my room up stairs.” (pg. 61).

“I was on the stairs coming down when she [“Maggie”] let him in.”

“I don’t think I had been up there over 5 minutes” [when Mr. Borden returned]. (pg. 61).

Mr. Borden was gone “not very long.” (pg. 62)

“I was down in the kitchen . . . [when he returned] reading an old magazine” . . . “eating a pear.” (pg. 60, 68).

“I am not sure whether I was there [kitchen] or in the dining room.” (pg. 60).

Lizzie was in the kitchen when her father was let in. (pg. 67).

Lizzie was reading an old magazine “for perhaps 1/2 an hour” before going to the barn. (pg. 71).

After Mr. Borden came home Lizzie was in the sitting room with him. (pg. 66).

Lizzie did not iron any more after he came in. (p. 68).

Lizzie swears she did not see him go up stairs (to his room). (pg. 84, 85).

Lizzie did not see “Maggie” after she let Mr. Borden in. (pg. 69).

Lizzie “might have seen her [“Maggie”] and not know it.” (pg. 70).

Lizzie doesn’t know when Mr. Borden came home. (pg. 69).

Lizzie went right out to the barn-not less than 5 minutes [after Mr. Borden returned]. (pg. 84).

Lizzie got some pears first. (pg. 72).

Lizzie stayed under the pear tree 4 or 5 minutes. (pg. 88).

Lizzie was 15 or 20 minutes in the barn “trying to find lead for a sinker”, and ate pears. (pg. 69, 77).

15 or 20 minutes after Mr. Borden came home Lizzie found him on the sofa. (pg. 69).

Mr. Borden was lying down on the sofa. (pg.78).

Lizzie noticed that he had been cut.

Lizzie…”did not see his face, because he was all covered with blood.” It made her “afraid.”

Lizzie called “Maggie” and told her Mr. Borden was “hurt.”

Lizzie did not know whether or not he was dead.

Lizzie did not search for Mrs. Borden.

Lizzie thought Mrs. Borden was out.

Lizzie sent “Maggie” for Dr. Bowen. (pg. 78).


Questioning by Knowlton:

Q: “Miss Borden, I want you now to tell me all the talk you had with your mother, when you came down, and all the talk she had with you. Please begin again.”

A: “She asked me how I felt. I told her. She asked me what I wanted for dinner. I told her not anything, what kind of meat I wanted for dinner. I told her not any. She said she had been up and made the spare bed, and was going to take up some linen pillow cases for the small pillows at the foot, and then the room was done. She says: “I have had a note from somebody that is sick, and I am going out, and I will get the dinner at the same time.” I think she said something about the weather, I don’t know. She also asked me if I would direct some wrappers for her, which I did.”