Brown, Martha

Brown, Martha          1876 January 22nd          Porton

On Wednesday, in last week, an inquest was held at the dwelling house of Charles Brown, before R M Wilson, Esq., on the body of a young woman named Martha Brown, who died on the previous Monday.

Jane Brown, wife of Charles Brown, on being sworn, said : The deceased was my daughter, and she was going into 23. She was in the family way. She had been in service at Mr Whereat’s, cabinet maker, Salisbury, and being unwell left his service, and came home the week before harvest. I sent for Mr Pile (Pyle), and he attended her, and Mr Coates, the surgeon, also came from Salisbury to see her. Mr Pile attended her for some time, but Mr Coates only attended her once. Mr Pile told me her illness was occasioned by something the matter with her spine. I did not then suspect that she was in the family way, and asked her no questions about it. Mr Pile attended her for two months or more, during which time she was confined to her bed. She got about nicely afterwards.

It was about a month since that, hearing the chat that she was in the family way, I asked Mr Pile, and he said it was so, and my daughter admitted it some time afterwards. She did not tell me that she was expecting to be confined, but that a young man of Broad-Chalk was the father of the child.

On Saturday last I saw Mr Pile was passing by, and I called him in to see my daughter, and he saw her again on Sunday. She complained of pains in her head and chest, but Mr Pile thought she would get better. Her father gave her some gin and water in the night, and when he got up, about 6, he made some tea and brought it to her. He put it down by the bed, but she didn’t drink it. I heard her groan, and as she did not take the tea, I called to her two or three times, and getting no answer, I got out of bed and found she was gone. That was at 7 o’clock on Monday morning. All the week she was poorly and very sick until Sunday morning, but she was not sick after that. Mr Pile prescribed medicine, and that she took. I am not aware that she took anything else. She was quite delirious when she was ill in the autumn, and complained of her head and chest.

Charles Brown, father of the deceased, gave corroborative evidence, saying he got the deceased some tea on Monday morning, and when he returned twenty minutes afterwards, she was dead.

Mr W M Coates, surgeon, gave it as his opinion that deceased died from disease of the kidneys and inflammation of the stomach. He could not in any way connect the present state of the stomach with any poison or irritant which might have been taken in July.

Mr Pile concurred in Dr Coates’s opinion, and the jury accordingly returned a verdict that deceased, “Died from the visitation of God from disease of the kidneys and inflammation of the stomach.”


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