Emily Keeling

The Arch Hill Tragedy

Emily Keeling’s tragic death in a murder-suicide was a result of unrequited love

Emily Keeling’s tragic death touched Aucklanders in 1886.

Seventeen-year-old Emily Keeling was shot and killed in King Street, Arch Hill, on her way to Bible study at the Primitive Methodist Church in 1886, by Edward Fuller a (possibly jilted) young man who then killed himself. At an inquest to the tragedy, her letters dating from two years prior, were read out.

The people of Auckland were deeply moved by her story: it was estimated that between 5000 to 10,000 people attended her funeral.

“She was a most engaging, intelligent woman….and a general favourite with her companions.”

Mr D Goldie, superintendent of the Alexandra Street Primitive Sunday School raised subscriptions to pay for her tombstone.

Her mother and father were later buried next to their only daughter in the Wesleyan (Methodist) section just next to Grafton Bridge.

  • <p>The scene of the crime was Thomas's Store on Stanley Street in central Auckland. <em>Love and Crime, Te Aroha News, Volume III, Issue 149, 10 April 1886, Page 5.</em></p>
  • <p>A newspaper account of Emily Keeling'smurder at the hands of Edward Fuller. <em>Love and Crime, Te Aroha News, Volume III, Issue 149, 10 April 1886, Page 5.</em></p>
  • <p>Emily Keeling's grave sits in the Wesleyan section very close to Grafton Bridge. She lies next to her father George Keeling who died in 1920.</p>

Aerial photo location

Where is the grave?

In the Wesleyan section of the cemetery, on the north side of Grafton Bridge, and just uphill of the Hobson Walk. Look for twin headstones - those of Emily and her parents - within a small iron fence. Site 13 in the Hobson Walk Trail Guide.