Small, Elizabeth

Small, Elizabeth        1875 August 28th

Yesterday (Friday) afternoon at the Council House an inquest was held on the body of Elizabeth Small, aged 55, who died at her residence, 23, Brown-street, on the preceding evening. Mr Dare was chosen foreman of the jury, and Mr G Smith was the coroner. After the jury had viewed the body, the following evidence was adduced.

William Small said : The deceased was my wife and she was 55 years old last April. I last saw her alive on Thursday evening at ten minutes to five o’clock. She was then in bed, she had been very poorly all the week. She had not been attended by any medical man although she had complained for some time of shortness of breath when she was going up stairs or when she was excited. She had had some medicine from Mr Buckland, chemist, Catherine-street; it was the same sort she had had before. The medicine produced was the remains of that supplied. I left my wife alone as she had a great objection to have any one in the house. I returned at about half past seven o’clock and then I found the front door fastened as she had asked me before I went out. I found the water in the closet was running. On entering the house I said according to my usual habit, “Well my dear, how do you feel now,” and receiving no reply I went upstairs. I looked on the bed the first thing, expecting to see her there, but she was lying on her back on the floor; I felt her and she was warm. I went immediately to my sister in New-street, and she came to me quickly. I then went to Mr Winzar, surgeon, and returned with him.

The Coroner : Can you tell us whether she took any of this medicine in your absence?

Witness : I can’t tell that. She would often have a drop of it. She would drink a great deal, she was very thirsty.

Mr John Winzar, surgeon, said : I was called just before eight o’clock by the last witness to visit the deceased and I found her on the floor. She had no raiment on excepting her chemise. The body was slightly warm, but she was quite dead; her countenance was quite placid showing that there had been no struggling. On examining the body I found no marks of violence. I have since then had a conversation with members of the family with respect to her health and previous habits. I find she has suffered from chest disease, and I have no doubt that death resulted form natural causes.

The Coroner in addressing the jury said there was only one point which was not perfectly clear and that was in reference to the medicine. They might have it analysed if they like, or they can call Mr Buckland.

The jury then returned a verdict to the effect that death had resulted from natural causes.

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