Davis, Alfred

Davis, Alfred     1868 December 12th             Warminster

An inquest was held at the Globe Inn, Warminster Common, on Tuesday, before G Sylvester, Esq., coroner, on the body of Alfred Davis, aged two years and six months, child of Alfred Clacey.

It appears that about five o’clock on Saturday evening the child was at home with its mother. She was sitting one side of the fireplace engaged in some domestic duty, and he was playing about the room. There was a kettle of boiling water on the fire, and he put the spout to his mouth and drank without his mother seeing him, but his screams soon made her aware of what had happened. She shortly afterwards took the child to P Grubb, Esq., surgeon.

Mr Grubb was examined at the inquest. He said the deceased was brought to him about six o’clock on Saturday evening by his mother, who said he had drank from a kettle of boiling water. He examined him and found that he was very cold and suffered from shortness of breath. He then took usual means to eleviate his sufferings, but he saw that he must die and told his mother. The child died early next morning. The immediate cause of death was suffocation, produced by inflammation of the gullet and windpipe.

In summing up, the Coroner called attention to the fact that the deceased had been in the habit of drinking out of a teapot, and possibly, he thought, out of a kettle when it contained cold water. This was a practise that parents ought never to allow, for children would inevitably run the risk of making the same fatal mistake as had the deceased. Nearly all accidents of the kind that had come under his notice, he could trace indirectly to that practise. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death, caused by drinking boiling water from a kettle.”


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